Bitter sweet Ifta win for story on Fergus’ life

July 16th, 2021 5:50 PM

By Emma Connolly

fta award-winning director of Breaking Out, Michael McCormack, celebrating at Levis’ Ballydehob with members of the O’Farrell family Maureen, Sharon, Lydia and Vincent. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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WINNING an Ifta (Irish film award) for his documentary on the life of Schull musician Fergus O’Farrell will mean Ferg’s story and music will reach more people.

That’s according to its director Michael McCormack who was in West Cork to see Breaking Out announced as the winner of the George Morrison Feature Documentary award.

Michael described the win as ‘pretty special,’ but also bitter sweet: ‘Every time the film comes back into people’s consciousness it’s a reminder to the family of what they’ve lost. Fergus was such a massive part of so many people’s lives.’

The film charts the life of Fergus who was the voice of Interference, one of the most compelling bands to emerge from the Irish music scene in the 1990s.

The incredibly moving, and also very humorous documentary, was made over 10 years and charts the career of Fergus and his battle which muscular dystrophy, up to his death at the age of 48.

And just as Fergus had difficulty getting the platform he deserved, said Michael, so did the film due to the pandemic. It was meant to be in cinemas last autumn, but will only hit screens this autumn.

‘It’s a bit like art imitating life,’ he said. ‘It had a touch of  what we call “Fergundipity” to it though because just when we thought all was lost, something great happened.

‘Winning the Ifta will help the film find its voice and it’s given not just me a boost, but all our supporters.’

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