A brand new movie starring County Down-born comic and presenter Patrick Kielty is to get its world premiere in Belfast on Thursday.
The drama Ballywalter is Kielty’s first feature-film appearing function.
It additionally stars Seána Kerslake, is directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah and is the opening movie of the 2022 Belfast Movie Pageant.
The movie was shot on plenty of areas on the Ards Peninsula and in Belfast.
That features Nice Victoria Avenue, the Sunflower Pub, the Ulster Sports activities Membership and the Empire Music Corridor on Botanic Avenue.
The Empire was the place Kielty started his stand-up comedy profession within the Nineties.
Stand-up comedy additionally options within the plot of Ballywalter, which was shot in December 2020 and January 2021.
Can comedy heal?
Kielty performs Shane, who’s struggling after the breakdown of his marriage and tries to get his life again on observe by enrolling on a 12-week stand-up comedy course.
He lives on the principle road in Ballywalter on the Ards Peninsula, proper beside the Irish Sea, and should take a taxi to Belfast to go to the course each Friday.
“When comedy is at its finest, it is a form of therapeutic,” the course tutor tells Shane and the opposite college students.
Shane’s taxi driver every week is cynical 20-something Eileen – performed by Kerslake – who’s disillusioned and not sure of her future after returning to Belfast from London.
Each reside in quiet despair, however as Eileen and Shane share the weekly 25-mile journey between Ballywalter and Belfast they discover out extra about one another and their friendship develops.
“Properly, [did you] make anybody chortle?” Eileen asks Shane on one early journey.
“Not but,” Shane replies.
On a later journey, Eileen questions Shane about why he is taken up comedy.
“I do not know,” he replies. “Problem, do one thing that scares you, dance like no-one’s watching you, etcetera – that is what the pinnacle docs say.”
Political world ‘letting Northern Eire down’
Kielty lately advised the US movie and TV web site Deadline that Shane and Eileen’s relationship mirrored quite a bit about Northern Eire.
“There are such a lot of moments the place we’ve not been led and we have needed to lead ourselves,” he advised Deadline.
“Quite a lot of that’s on the coronary heart of the movie, which is about two folks on their very own who need to do it for themselves, and whether or not they may help themselves via it.
“In Northern Eire immediately, individuals are surviving due to their relationships and friendships,” he added.
“They’re making their very own future as a result of no-one’s truly serving to them; no-one’s truly main them and the political world is letting them down,” he stated.
“This can be a story of two folks that really did not suppose they had been going to make it, and ended up discovering one another and realising that perhaps they may,” he added.
Though Kielty is finest often called a comic and presenter, he has additionally made plenty of documentaries.
They embrace My Dad, the Peace Deal and Me, about his father’s homicide by loyalist paramilitaries in 1988 and the legacy of the Good Friday Settlement.
Ballywalter was written by the Belfast-born screenwriter Stacey Gregg whose earlier movie – the thriller Right here Alone – acquired spectacular critiques.
“For a very long time as a screenwriter, it was extremely onerous to make materials about Northern Eire if it wasn’t explicitly concerning the Troubles,” she stated,
“Now we’re lastly getting into a very thrilling interval the place individuals are prepared to listen to extra of a variety of voices.”
The movie marks Prasanna Puwanarajah’s directing debut.
He’s additionally a author and actor who has appeared in plenty of TV dramas and is about to play the previous BBC reporter Martin Bashir within the new Netflix sequence of The Crown.
The premiere of Ballywalter takes place at Cineworld in Belfast on Thursday.
The Belfast Movie Pageant runs from 3 November to 12 November.