A SHORT film made by a West Belfast writer/director will get its first screening at a special event held at Movie House Cityside on March 25.

Fra McCartney wrote and directed Fishing Poles, a 16-minute film set in Ardglass in the 1960s when two children get into trouble with the owner of the local fish shop.

This is the first film for Fra who wanted to share his memories of what life was like when he was a child growing up in a family of 11 children before the Troubles.

“I am passionate about our past, when it seemed that everyone got on with life and maybe how it should be now that our turbulent years seem to be over,” he said. 


“The film gave me a chance to relive my childhood in a way that I could share with the children of today to let their imagination run wild just as I did as a child.”

The film stars Bláthnaid Doran from Lurgan and Belfast boy Rylee Neilly-Large as two children enjoying a summer holiday, fishing and roaming the Co Down fishing village during the long warm days. 

Rylee’s acting career is taking off having played the young version of Hugh Grant in the upcoming Dungeons and Dragon’s Honor Among Thieves, as well as being in the forthcoming film The Sniper’s Daughter by acclaimed filmmaker Oorlagh George.

Rylee’s aspiration for life is to be a successful actor, travel the world while studying and hopefully star in, write and direct a few films around the world.

Fishing Poles is the first film in front of the camera for Bláthnaid who is heavily involved in speech, drama and dance. She attends The Shelley Lowry School of Speech and Drama and is also in the local drama group MADS where she has played many roles including Tinker Bell in ‘Peter Pan’ and most recently the lead role in Matilda.

The cast also include actors Ricky Crawford, Shane McCaffrey, Jennifer Marshall and Cathal J. Ferris. Patrick Hughes was the director of photography. Fishing Poles was produced by Thomas Pollock and Larry Cowan. Lamb Films was the production company and will be distributing the short film.

Movie House Managing Director Michael McAdam said: “We are delighted to host the first screening of Fishing Poles to a specially invited audience.

"We feel strongly about supporting local filmmakers and helping talented people from Northern Ireland continue to develop their craft.”