00:00 Saturday 19 July 2008  Written by Jackie Keogh

Colin and Neil making a big 'Splash' in Castletownbere!

Film star, Colin Farrell, and movie director, Neil Jordan, are making something of a "Splash" in Castletownbere. Their new independent movie, Ondine, is about a girl who gets caught up in a fishermen's net with surprising results.

Ondine, played by Polish actress Alicja Bachleda-Curus, is a mermaid but when she falls in love with Farrell she has to decide if she wants a mortal life.

Shooting of the movie began last week and will continue for another seven weeks, the film producer, James Flynn, confirmed to The Southern Star, last Friday.

He said, "The movie - which was written by Neil Jordan and will be directed by him - will be a classic Jordan film, like many of the films he has done in the past, such as The Crying Game, Mona Lisa, and The Miracle."

Having Colin Farrell and a movie crew in the town has caused something of a stir in Castletownbere, especially on Friday afternoon when they were casting for extras at The Skipper's Bar.

James Flynn said extras would be needed when they are filming the local regatta, as well as a variety of other scenes that are to be shot in and around Castletownbere.

Local people are used to seeing Neil Jordan around town because he has a house at Waterfall and is a regular visitor to McCarthy's Bar - a public house made famous by Pete McCarthy's book of the same name.

Ondine represents a different kind of return to Beara for Colin Farrell who got his first big break when he starred in Falling for a Dancer - a movie based on the book written by Deirdre Purcell. A lot of the movie was filmed near her home at Kilcatherine.

The chairman of Beara Tourism, John Murphy said, "Neil Jordan has a feeling and an affinity for the area. People, like him, like their privacy and they are afforded that here. But when Colin Farrell is around you know something is happening, and it lends an air of excitement to the place."

He maintains Beara is an ideal place for filming. He said the Irish language movie, The Dentist's Daughter, was filmed locally, as was The Purple Taxi, and just recently two episodes of The Royal were filmed in the village of Eyeries.

"From our point of view," the tourism association chairman said: "It is very good for the Beara: There is bound to be a spin-off because people will come to visit the place where the movie was shot.

"In a year when tourism numbers are down," he said, "It will help to extend our season and compensate for the slump in tourism figures."

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