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South Galway to star in new movie

WELL-known South Galway locations will be making it to the big screen early next year as the backdrop to a feature film, Seven Songs for Amy currently being filmed in the area.
Glasgow woman Fiona Graham is co-founder and producer at Sonny and Skye Productions Ltd and has also written the screenplay of the film.
Fiona always wanted to be a writer but has spent the last number of years running an IT company and later a marketing and public relations company based in Galway. Working with her sister, Mairi McLellan, and director, Konrad Begg, Sonny and Skye’s upcoming feature Seven Songs for Amy is scheduled for completion in early 2012 with international release expected next summer.
“I have always loved writing. When I was about 12, I started trying to write my first book but when I got a bit older, it wasn’t the career path I chose. I went into business instead and ran an IT company as well as spending time working in PR and marketing. I ran an IT company in Galway for 12 years but I was always writing on the side but I had to establish myself and have money to live and all that stuff too,” Fiona told The Clare Champion.
“I had always wanted to get into writing full-time. It was always my aspiration. I had attended film production courses but it was a dream that was on the back burner until I was eventually able to do it. The IT and the PR and the marketing were well and good but I wanted to make that leap into writing and film production. We sold the IT company in 2008 and that gave me time to set up the film company and further develop the script with the film’s director, Konrad Begg. I was always waiting for the opportunity so when I saw it I seized it,” she continued.
Nominated for Irish Businesswoman of the Year in 2003, Fiona was keen to combine her passion for writing and film with her business background and formed Sonny and Skye Productions in late 2009.
“I think that doing any business in the recession is difficult but I think there are opportunities in recession too particularly for investment. Nothing is a safe investment so investing in a film, like anything else, is a gamble. You have to reduce the risk as much as you can for the investor but when all other investments are collapsing down around the place, suddenly it doesn’t seem such a bad option,” she outlined.
Scenes have already been filmed in the Burren, in the Gallery Café in Gort and Kinvara Harbour as well as in the Pier Head and Connolly’s Pub with Lough Cutra set for further scenes in the coming weeks.
“The actual story is inspired by the Irish music scene on the west coast so I wanted to match that story with authenticity of the place it is originally from as well as using the scenery here as  a backdrop to that story. Obviously, I am living here for the past five years so we had a lot of places in our minds where we could film, particularly in Kinvara. We also got a lot of local support from people we knew and who were willing to help us and the community involvement has been fantastic,” Fiona explained.
“I love music I am really passionate about it. I am not particularly musical myself but I come from a musical family and find the relationships between musicians and bands very interesting. That is what we based a lot of our comedy on for a start and also the ability of music to reach others and form friendships and love and all that,” she added.
Fiona and all at Sonny and Skye Productions are hoping to secure an international distributor and launch the film in the United States.
“Seven Songs for Amy will be on release here too, we hope, but that depends on what level of distribution we can attain. We hope to have it out by late spring, early summer 2012,” she concluded.

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