The IMC Cinema Dundalk recently hosted a film premiere with a difference the first screening of The Dream Machine, a feature film by 50 actors with disabilities.
Programme facilitator Paudie Breen and service user Anita Guest also made an appearance on RTE 1 show the Morning Edition to promote the new movie.
The Encore Productions group, who all attend RehabCare resource centre in Carroll Village, Dundalk, spent ten months working on the film, writing the script, designing costumes and props.
Over 300 people walked the red carpet at the sold out premiere and a standing ovation as the credits rolled was the highlight of the evening.
“We came up with the idea back in February”, said programme facilitator Paudie Breen. “We all went to see the new Die Hard film directed by Dundalk native John Moore whose brother attends our service and arranged complimentary tickets for us.
“While we were sitting watching the film we thought how great it would be to have our own film screened in the cinema and it went from there.”
Wanting the see their own names in lights the group set to work. The all action family film allowed the cast to play whatever character they dreamed of portraying including rappers, superheroes and brave time with locations ranging from a medieval castle to the surface of the moon.
The group converted a disused space in the old National Learning Network facility on the Coe’s Road into a technicolor sound stage and also designed and painted all of the 20 sets used.
Jason Kelly, who acted in the film said, “I loved making the film, it was so different to being on stage, we practised every day for months and spent lots of time making the props.”
Director Sandy Sneddon said, “We are very proud of this film. Many of the actors involved have performed in our drama’s in the town hall over the last few years and for some of the cast it is the first time they have done any acting at all and it is sure that the experience, confidence and self-esteem gained in the process will better equip them for the many challenges that life on and off the camera can present.
A DVD of the film is available to purchase from RehabCare Resource Centre, Carroll Village priced €10.
Encore Productions and RehabCare would like to thank the following people without whom this film would not have been made: Film maker James Mullholland, documentary film maker and editor Cara Holmes, Dennis Darcy (Arts Office), Conor Hughes (Cross Cause Charity, Blackrock), An Garda Síochana, Outcomers Centre Dundalk, MASF School of Martial Arts, Aine Lawrence (make-up artist), ,IMC Cinema Dundalk and Reelgood. Particular thanks must be given to the Jonesborough Charity Walk/Cycle and families of the people who use RehabCare’s services who sponsored the walk/cycle and also made generous financial donations to the film.