Knockcroghery man stars in IFTA winning film

Pat Collins, director of the movie adaptation of John McGahern’s ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun’ pictured with first-time actor Philip Dolan from Knockcroghery after they won the ‘Best Film’ Award at the IFTAs in Dublin last week.

Scoring a very respectable 8.3/10 on the Internet Movie DataBase (IMBD) reviews section, and an enviable 100% on film review website, Rotten Tomatoes, Irish director Pat Collins’ adaptation of John McGahern’s novel ‘That They May Face The Rising Sun’ has also taken the title of ‘Best Film’ at this week’s Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs).

Filmed last summer in the wilds of Connemara, the film has been showcased around the world with screenings in London, Rome and Santa Barbara. The most recent special showing was in Carrick Cineplex last Thursday (April 18th).

As is typical of McGahern’s storytelling, the film isn’t packed with blockbuster drama but rather tells the simple story of a young couple trying to make a go of life in rural Ireland during the 1980s, having said goodbye to the hustle and bustle of London. Adapted for the screen by Irish screenwriter, Eamon Little, the film focuses on the central theme of Joe and Kate as they move through their lives encountering many familiar themes which were remnants of the time in Irish history.

Barry Ward, who plays the lead character Joe is matched by the skill and talent of Anna Berderke, who plays opposite him as his young wife Kate, a lady of unspecified European origin in the film. But the greatest acting debut of note is that of Knockcroghery man, Philip Dolan who plays the part of Jamesie, the local publican.

A pivotal role, Philip delivers his lines with the eloquence displayed during our wide-ranging interview with the local man. Since making his silver screen debut in the IFTA winning film, Philip has gone on to feature in a short film which is currently being edited. Possibly the beginnings of a new career for the retiree?

Speaking to the Roscommon People this week, Philip and his wife Marina told us they hope to have a special screening of ‘That They May Face The Rising Sun’ in the cinema in Roscommon.

The couple, encouraged by friends and neighbours, hope that the special screening in Roscommon can be an inclusive and community-focused event. They also hope that it will be organised so that the film’s director, Pat Collins, can attend and answer questions about the film.

A date for the Roscommon screening is yet to be confirmed but the Roscommon People will keep you up to date with details as we receive them.