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Award is ‘icing on wedding cake' for director Carmel

September 26th, 2018 10:05 PM

By Brian Moore

Ballydehob's Carmel Winters, right, and her wife Toma McCollim who got married at the Toronto Film Festival last week.

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BALLYDEHOB filmmaker and director Carmel Winters said winning a prestigious award for her movie Float like a Butterfly, was the ‘icing’ on her wedding cake.

Carmel, along with her fellow cast members and crew, were honoured last week at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada. 

And in further celebrations, she married her partner and the film’s production designer Toma McCullim at Toronto City Hall, just two days before the award ceremony.

‘If you want to make your marriage even more special, or terrifying, do it at a world premiere,’ Carmel said as she accepted the FIPRESCI Prize for the Discovery programme in Toronto.

‘When we premiered our film, Float like a Butterfly, the next day I couldn’t have wished for an audience more capable and able to witness and open their hearts to our film that day,’ said Carmel.

Filmed at numerous locations in West Cork including Ballyrisobe beach, Skibbereen, Ballydehob and Goleen, the film tells the story of a young traveller girl, Frances, (played by Hazel Doupe) who idolises her hero, Muhammad Ali, and dreams of becoming a boxer just like him.

It’s set in 1972, the year Muhammad Ali came to Ireland, and the same year that Frances’ father returns after a seven-year prison sentence.

Speaking to The Southern Star as she cleared passport control at Cork Airport on route from Toronto, Carmel said she was ecstatic and proud of everyone who had made the film such a success.

‘I couldn’t be prouder of the people who made this film what it is, nor could I be prouder of West Cork,’ the director said. 

‘The celebrations are already underway in Schull and Ballydehob. It will be almost like when the O’Donovan brothers returned with their medals! I have to say a ‘thank you’ to everyone who made this film possible and of course to the people in West Cork,’ she added.

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