FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
IFTA AWARDS 2024
The Hurler: A Campion's Tale
When Ireland's most notorious amateur sports star becomes the first man in history to fail a test for PEDs, he agrees to coach the country's worst team in order to try and rebuild his shattered reputation.
Director: Tony Kelly Writer: Tony Kelly Producers: Louis Buggy, Ryan Duffy, Tony Kelly, Shane O'Keeffe
Q: What's the most interesting and inspiring piece of feedback you've received on the film?
- Tony Kelly (Director/Writer/Actor): "On the surface, it's a comedy film, but really what it's about is a guy who's flawed, who's desperate to stay relevant, and is willing to do desperate things to stay there. Then when he faces the consequences of that, it's about him finding out who he truly is, and what really makes him tick beyond the surface. When people were coming up to me when it was in the cinemas and saying how much heart there was, and how they were surprised at that, that actually meant a lot to me because, I've been a comedian for a large number of years and making people laugh. It was the ability for the film to make people feel is what really surprised me and made me smile. "
Q: What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
- John Morton (Actor): "A desire to see more Irish comedy on the screen. That was a really wonderful part of seeing The Hurler playing in the cinema for a couple of weeks. People were going to see it who maybe haven't neccessarily been in the cinema a lot, and certainly not for Irish films, so to have a comedy that really speaks to them is really positive. We have such a wealth of comedic talent here in Ireland that's kind of under-utilised on screen."
- Tony Kelly: "That there is more to the film than what it seems on the surface. When the film was released, it was obviously played heavily in the press as a comedy about hurling. And I don't necessarily feel that that's what the film is about. It is a comedy set in the world of hurling about a hurler. But really, it's a romantic comedy. It's a love story. And it's a redemption story of a flawed character. And I think when people watch the film, they'll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of heart there is".
Q: What did you feel was the most fulfilling element of working on this film?
- Sophie Vavasseur (Actor): The most fulfilling element for me making this film was the team that I worked with. This is a very small, independent film that was truly made on a shoestring budget. But right from the start, there was this contagious burning passion that came from the top all the way down. It was a privilege to work with such like-minded people who all share the same goals and drive as I did. This is a mockumentary, and we truly had such a fun time making it, and I do think it transfers onto screen. But seeing how it's been received is just the icing on top of the cake.