The Irish film industry is going from strength-to-strength and since the success of short film, ‘Stutterer’, at the Academy Awards in 2016, more talent is emerging, with Limerick natives at the heart.
‘Narcan’ is very much an Irish affair, despite being set and shot in New York. At only 18 minutes long, it is a powerful and emotive viewing.
Directed and written by award-winning writer/director Peter McNamara, the film also features Limerick actors Malachy McCourt , Laura O’Shea and Peter Halpin, who recently chatted to Limerick Voice about the film’s success.
“Narcan’ is a film about the life of an Irish paramedic navigating the mean and unforgiving streets of New York City, while desperately trying to find time and balance for his family life. We see the struggle that these heroes endure on a daily basis, which leaves their minds and psyches in disarray.”
In the past year ‘Narcan’ has won countless awards at home and abroad before they scored another major triumph last week by having the film screened on RTE2.
Art imitates life for Halpin, as like his character, he has been living and working in New York for the last three years. Halpin admits that he is similar to his character, Sean Ryan.
“I moved to the US because I wanted to broaden my horizons and give America a real shot before I got too old to do it.”
“My partner Peter McNamara came to me with the idea. Once I heard it, I was immediately interested and we began to flesh it out there and then. He wrote a killer script and also directed it. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of hard work. However, all these awards make it very much worthwhile.”
Halpin began his acting career in the Spotlight Stage School in Limerick. He offers and offers some advice to young budding Limerick actors.
“Get into class, work as hard as you can. Get to every audition you hear of. Read plays, watch movies, frequent the theatre and write down your ideas. If you want it bad enough and you’re willing to do the work, it will happen.”
The role of a mentally and emotionally drained paramedic is a tough one to portray but Halpin really enjoys getting into the mindset of his characters.
In preparation for the role, Halpin shadowed paramedics in New York, witnessing some harrowing scenes in the process.
Halpin credits the film’s success to the team spirit.
“I knew we had a very special story on our hands and a wonderful vision, but what has made it the success it is today are the people we were so blessed to attach to the project. Everyone bought into the vision we had for it and it became a force of its own and grew and grew and has not stopped growing, thank God.”