Film set in Donegal Gaeltacht to be screened at film festival

A FILM set and filmed in the Donegal Gaeltacht featuring local Irish-speaking talent is to be screened as part of the Dublin International Film Festival tomorrow.

Local director Daniel Butler and producer Maggie Ryan are nominated for ‘Discovery Awards’ at the festival.

Bean Feasa is an Irish-language supernatural drama inspired by Donegal folktales about the sceptical daughter of a traditional healer who has her certainties challenged when she encounters one of ‘the Good People’.


Daniel told the Donegal News that he was inspired by the book Fairy Legends from Donegal by Seán Ó hEochaidh who lived just down the road from them in Gortahork.

“There is such rich fairy folklore in Donegal and I thought it would be great to try and bring that to life in a contemporary drama,” he said.

The use of Irish language adds richness to the superstitious tale and amplifies the authenticity, making it even more eerie.

Daniel explained that a lack of film infrastructure is one of the main challenges facing filmmakers in Donegal.

But this is outweighed by the abundance of talented cast, the rich story telling tradition and the beautiful scenery.

The small budget production was made possible because of the huge team effort in terms of cast and crew.

It stars Bernie Ní Dhuibhir of Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair alongside Máirín De Buitléir and Máire Bheag Breathnach of Ros na Rún and talented first-time actor Fiachra McConway Branch.


Daniel thanked his family, friends and neighbours for their unwavering passion and support. His sister Maureen and wee cousin Fiachra both star in the production.

Four year old Fiachra’s acting was phenomenal. His big blue eyes are filled with convincing terror throughout the film, but behind the scenes he was messing with his big cousins, Daniel revealed.

Bean Feasa recently premiered at Screamfest, America’s largest and longest running horror festival, before winning ‘Best Irish Short Film’ at the Foyle Film Festival in November.

Daniel has also won awards for his work in both Irish and English and made several films in his locality including the RTÉ funded Leave The Road Behind You.

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