Film tells life story of talented musician

February 23rd, 2017 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

Fergus and his wife Li in a scene from Breaking Out, filmed over 10 years.

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A NEW movie on the life of the late Schull-based singer songwriter Fergus O’Farrell is currently seeking funding.

Breaking Out is the story of influential Irish musician O’Farrell, who died early last year.

‘Every element of the story is like a modern fairytale,’ filmmaker Michael McCormack told The Southern Star, ‘and at the heart of it is the story of Ferg and his wife Li. It’s about love, family and friendship and how that sustained somebody who, at the age of eight, was told that he’d be dead by the time he was 20.’

Indeed, the trailer for the movie has already garnered over 22,000 views on the Southern Star Facebook page.

O’Farrell proved the medics wrong in his battle with muscular dystrophy and lived to the age of 48. ‘He didn’t let it define his life, and while over time it denied him the ability to play guitar, piano and ultimately the ability to sing, he kept moving on with a different way of dealing with those demons,’ McCormack explained. ‘He had a way of making you realise what mattered. That’s the message of this film. Sometimes you can dwell on all the bad stuff that happens, but you can find a way of working beyond that to what does matter, which for Ferg was people. He managed to make people – particularly musicians – realise that just because something is difficult, that they shouldn’t give up.’

At recent concerts held in O’Farrell’s honour in Cork Opera House and Vicar Street in Dublin, McCormack presented the trailer for Breaking Out to mark the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for the completion of the film, which features over 10 years of footage. ‘The response across the board has been fantastic,’ McCormack said. ‘My plan is to have this finished for the end of this year and to have it ready for the 2018 festivals.’

‘I brought up the idea of doing a crowdfunding campaign with Ferg about a year before he died. I explained to him that it would be a great way of bringing people along on the journey. No matter what, this campaign is an important part of the process – those who knew and loved him deserve to be involved because his story is everybody’s story.’

To support the campaign, search for Breaking Out on

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