CULTURE Night will be providing its audiences and participants with a grand showcase of modern Irish culture, but one short film aims to go back to the very beginning, writes Conor Clohessy.
‘Lúgh – The Prophecy’ is an independently-produced short film, written by Ger O’Malley, telling the story of how the birth of the ancient Gaelic god Lúgh was predicted and witnessed.
Ger says that he has always been fascinated with Irish mythology, noticing how often Lúgh would be mentioned and paid homage to – a simple example would be that he is linked to the festival of Lughnasa, which is also the Irish word for August.
“I started looking into who he was and started writing stories about him years ago, but the stuff I was writing seemed very visual. I was talking to my brother Martin, who owns Malbay Studios in Miltown Malbay and has a lot of knowledge on how to put such things together. We brought in Martin’s son, his son’s partner and my nephew Cillian to produce it.”
The cast and crew of the short film was limited to those five individuals, because it was filmed at the start of 2021, when groups were disallowed from mingling between households and the nation was restricted to the five kilometres outside their door.
Ger noted that they were very lucky, because within that range they had White Strand, where the majority of the filming was done along the jagged Western coastline.
“The site was definitely quieter because of the pandemic, and the weather was kind to us. But it was funny a few times, you would be dressed as a druid facing out to sea as people would be walking by.”
Ger elaborated that now that the editing and production side of things is finished, he is very happy with the finished product, reminding that this is just an introduction to Lúgh’s story, giving a taste of what is possible within the mythology.
Lúgh was a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the supernatural race of Irish mythology, known as many things; a king, a warrior, a master craftsman, a saviour and a master of many disciplines, including the arts.
He is usually presented as the father of the famous Irish hero Cú Chulainn, and is accredited in many myths with inventing chess, horse racing and ball games.
Ger pointed out that the old-world fantasy genre is at the height of its popularity nowadays, however he is surprised that Irish mythology has not found its way to the big screen amongst all of that, with so many incredible stories to offer.
He added that now that this short film has been produced, the hard part is yet to come; securing funding for a larger project, continuing with Lúgh’s story in the form of a feature length film or a television series.
“That is the ambition. When we produced the film, we had to ask ourselves what to do next. We could have sent it around the production companies looking for backing, but I contacted Siobhán Mulcahy, the County Arts Officer, instead.
“From there we got involved in Culture Night, and we are very pleased to find that it seems to fit right in.”
Ger hopes that if the project progresses further into bigger budgets, that the area in which ‘Lúgh – The Prophecy’ was filmed will enjoy a boost in many ways, as has been the case with Irish locations used in leading shows such as Vikings and Game of Thrones.
The movie runs between 4pm and 12pm and can be accessed online here