The Galway Film Fleadh has announced that boxing documentary Rocky Ros Muc will be the fifth Irish film to be shown at next month’s festival.
It follows the life and career of Sean Mannion – a fighter who left his small Gaeltacht village of Ros Muc and headed to Boston.
The film examines his fortunes in and out of the ring and the ups and downs of both.
Winner of ‘Most Inspiring Documentary’ at the 2017 Irish Film Festival Boston, the film gives in an insight into the highs and lows of emigrating to a new country.
Viewers see Sean’s rise through the boxing ranks culminating in a WBA world title shot at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
They also see the other side of the coin – the gangs, drugs and criminality that seemed to follow members of the Irish community in 1980s South Boston.
Director Michael Fanning explained how as soon as he read about Sean’s life, he wanted to find out more with the hope of being involved in a film.
“I first came across Sean Mannion through Rónán Mac Con Iomaire’s book, Rocky Ros Muc,” he said.
“I was totally gripped. I’d never heard of him and the fact that Mannion’s name wasn’t a household one made me want to tell it all the more.
“Throw in the Irish of Dorchester and South Boston and the criminal underworld of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and it was clear this was a story that would resonate beyond boxing.
“Mannion is a humble man. This is his story. But it’s so much more.”
The Fleadh – now in its 29th year – will feature at least four more Irish films, which were announced last month.
The first is Brendan Muldowney’s Pilgrimage; the tale of a small band of monks who set off on a journey across the wild and dangerous Ireland of the early 13th century.
Next is Maze by Stephen Burke, which based on the true story of the largest prison escape in UK history, when 38 Irish Republican prisoners broke out of the Maze prison in Northern Ireland in 1983.
Pat Collins’ Song of Granite is a biopic of Irish singer Joe Heaney, who is played by Seosamh Ó hÉanaí, while Maurice Fitzpatrick’s Name of Peace: John Hume in America is a documentary following the legendary Northern Irish politician after which it is named – Liam Neeson provides narration.
The Galway Film Fleadh runs from 11 July to 16 July. For more information, visit www.galwayfilmfleadh.com