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'We made it for nothing, but it worked': After sold-out audiences and awards, this Irish film will screen on RTÉ tonight

Soulsmith, shot in both Dublin and Mayo, is the debut feature from writer/director Kevin Henry.

Source: Seamus Waters/YouTube

AN AWARD-WINNING Irish feature film which was entirely self-funded will receive its Irish television premiere when it screens on RTÉ One tonight.

Soulsmith follows the journey of Ed Smith, a Dublin-based playwright who is struggling professionally after initial success in the Irish theatre world.

After hearing about a family bereavement, Ed returns home to Mayo to attend the funeral and reconnect with family and friends, but is also forced to confront his life and question the value of his work.

The debut feature from writer/director Kevin Henry was shot in both Dublin and Mayo, and won Best International Feature at the Austin Revolution Film Festival.

But it’s almost a wonder the film ever got that far, as Henry explains.

“We made it for next to nothing,” he tells TheJournal.ie.

“We reluctantly had to ask cast and crew to work for free, or to get various locations to let us use them for free. Anything else was our own money, or support from friends and family.”

He also speaks of how humbling it was to have people who he’d barely ever met put in so much time and energy to the shoot of his first feature film.

“It was a great buzz and a great atmosphere. We made some great friends through it, and it worked.

“So many of the crew have gone on to work on bigger projects since, and it’s great to see everyone getting ahead.”

The film took four weeks to shoot, but Henry reveals that the post-production phase was much longer, particularly as he and producer Seamus Waters wanted to ensure it looked right

“Sometimes you hear people who make low-budget films say that it looks a certain way or is missing something because they didn’t have the money,” he says. “But we wanted to get it right.”

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Since its initial release in 2016, Soulsmith has played to sold-out audiences across the country and won an award at the aforementioned Austin Revolution Film Festival.

So how does it feel to have done so much with such a limited amount of money?

“It’s great to get it this far,” Henry says. “A good lot of it is luck, and you just have to keep plugging away. It can be hard to keep going with it, mentally.

“But it’s great that we got the slot on RTÉ, and we’re hoping it might help us now in our next project.”

Soulsmith will screen on RTÉ One at 11:55 pm on Friday 21 December.

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