Local director is in the running for two IFTAs

Garry Keane has been nominated twice

By Sue Doherty


By Sue Doherty

Local director is in the running for two IFTAs

Donegal filmmaker Garry Keane has been nominated for two IFTAs.

Donegal filmmaker Garry Keane has been nominated for two IFTAs.

The Ballyshannon man now lives in Barnesmore and, with his wife Alison, runs their production company, Real Films from there. He's previously been nominated eight times and won Best Director in Television in 2011 for ‘The Writing in the Sky’, his acclaimed documentary on Sligo writer Dermot Healy.

Two shows which Garry directed have been nominated in this year's awards.

'Bypassed' is up against strong opposition in the Specialist Factual category and 'The Toughest Place to Be...' is in the Reality & Constructed Factual category.

Speaking to the Democrat about the nominations, Garry was delighted but modest.

“'A Fanatic Heart; Bob Geldof on WB Yeats' is tipped to win but 'Bypassed' was RTÉ's highest rating documentary this summer, so you never know", Garry said.

"I think 'The Toughest Place to Be... ' stands more of a chance. It seemed to really capture people's imaginations and sense of injustice".

“'The Toughest Place to Be...' is an award-winning format originally developed by the BBC.

“Workers are taken from their day job for ten days and are brought to the other end of the world to experience what it is like to do their job in an extreme, alien environment.”

Garry elaborates, “We took a binman, Mark Crosby, to the Philippines and placed him into a poor community on the outskirts of Manila. He lived and worked with a local binman and his family there.

“The thing about this format, and the real reason I took it on actually, was that it provided an opportunity to explore environmental issues on a grand scale and we were really angry and shocked at what we found.

“It was hard to stomach seeing people living, if you could call it that, in such poverty and working in the most appalling and dangerous conditions imaginable for the equivalent of €6 a week. It was really hard to take and it had a profound effect on all the crew".

Mark Crosby has since raised thousands of euros for a children's charity in the Philippines.

Both shows were both produced by Jamie D'Alton of Motive TV in Dublin. Jamie has also close links with Ballyshannon.

"It was at our first meeting over a coffee that I discovered our shared Ballyshannon connection. While I'm a born and reared Dub, my mum Marian is from Ballyshannon.

“My Gran, Róisín Lee still lives in in Cluain Barron and we are regular visitors, as my two kids love to spend time with their 'Great Grammy'.”

'The Toughest Place to Be...' will be screened at the Allingham Festival in Ballyshannon on November 5th at 2 pm in the Abbey Arts Centre, and there will be a Q & A session with Garry and Jamie afterwards.

The IFTA award ceremony takes place on Friday night, with highlights from the gala to be show on TV3 on Saturday.

on TV3 on Saturday October 8th.