A documentary is giving audiences a unique glimpse into life on Cape Clear by recording stories told by islanders using the latest technology
BY AISLING MEATH
AN INNOVATIVE virtual reality documentary which showcases the beauty of the journey to Cape Clear island in a way that has never been done before is captivating viewers throughout West Cork.
Ciara Buckley from Castletownshend, along with her partner Dave Slowo from Melbourne are the talented couple who run the the Cork based production company ‘Wombat Media’ and who were the successful recipients of a 2019 Creative Ireland grant scheme from Cork County Council which they used for this project.
Their documentary, ‘Island Ferry Tales – a Trip to Cape Clear,’ will be shown in the Cape Clear Island Museum on August 11th and at the library in Skibbereen between August 20th and 24th.
Ciara explained: ‘Audiences will put on a headset and be able to look around 360 degrees and see all around them, and really feel present in the scene. Viewers of virtual reality content are really immersed in the environment which enhances the storytelling experience.’
Dr. Eamon Lankford, author and director of Cape Clear Museum, recites ‘The Fastnet Lighthouse’ by islander John K. Cotter in the documentary and has welcomed the initiative.
‘We are delighted to host the launch of ‘Island Ferry Tales’. It is a documentary which beautifully presents aspects of the island’s landscapes, from archeological monuments and its ancient past, to breathtaking views of land sea and sky in a whole new way. The world famous Fastnet lighthouse is stunningly presented and members of the island community throw light on the richness of the island as they affectionately speak of their home place,’ he said
There will also be a headset made available to visitors on a permanent basis at the Cape Clear Museum.
Ciara and Dave are delighted to share this glimpse into island life and record the stories told by islanders using the latest technology.
The couple first met in 2012 when Ciara moved to Alice Springs and found herself working alongside Dave on ICTV, a channel producing content from indigenous communities. They got on from the beginning and soon their working relationship turned into a romance.
‘Eventually we moved back to Ireland in 2017 and set up Wombat Media in 2018,’ explained Ciara. Before Wombat came about Dave made a short film featuring Ed Harper and his goat farm on Cape Clear that won first place in the 2017 Taste of West Cork film competition.
‘It was the trip out to visit Ed and the goats for the first time that really hit a chord,’ said Ciara. ‘We were heading over to the storytelling festival and Dave and I were really overwhelmed with the unique beauty of the landscape and felt that it would be great to share that experience of what it’s really like to visit the island, including the ferry journey, the epic views and the lovely people that you meet along the way.
‘This really sparked our interest in producing stories from West Cork. We also recently worked on a production about the Baltimore Fiddle Fair, which we can’t wait to release. The atmosphere in Baltimore this year was fantastic.
‘Coming from Castlehaven where my family have lived for generations, I feel very lucky to be from such a beautiful place with such an amazing heritage and scenic landscapes. When I lived in the central desert of Australia it made me realise how lucky I am to be from West Cork with its proximity to the Atlantic coast, and with such a vibrant community.’
Dave is also enjoying the experience of life in Ireland: ‘People here have made me feel very welcome. Of course I miss my family, and the big open blue skies in the desert, but I have brought my dog of eight years, Ash, along. She’s from a remote indigenous community where I lived and worked for an indigenous media organisation for many years producing documentary and cultural content. Ash is probably a small part dingo and a huge presence in my life and I feel very lucky to have been able to bring a part of home along with me to Ireland.’
• Island Ferry Tales can be seen on August 11th, from 12 noon to 4pm in Cape Clear Museum on Cape Clear, and from August 20th to 24th, 12 noon to 5.30pm in Skibbereen Library.