Monday, December 11, 2023

Millie Walsh doc to air at Midlands film festival

Millie’s Maxol Magic, a documentary on the life of local legend Millie Walsh, is set to air at the OFFline Film Festival in Birr on Thursday, 12 October.

Conor English and Ethan Scally’s documentary has been entered into the Made in the Midlands category, which will be the films first showing at a festival since its release earlier this year.

The pair will also take part in a Q&A session organised by the festival after the film is shown at Birr Theatre and Arts Centre.

Following a premiere in The Greville Arms Hotel on 29 March, a hugely positive reaction resulted in two more screenings, one of which took place in Omniplex Mullingar.

“We’re really looking forward to and we’re absolutely delighted that the film is getting picked up by festivals,” Mr English told Topic.

“This film is a strange one for film festivals which usually work around categories, but sometimes films don’t fit in categories!

“Millie’s Maxol Magic has a run time of 50 minutes and at these sorts of festivals they tend to go for shorter run times, in the region of ten minutes, so that more can be fitted in – but we’re delighted to have been picked.”

He said the quality of some of the other films entered in the Made in the Midlands category was very strong.

“One of the films is called Missing and it’s been made by the winner of the Offaly Film Award, which I won this year in Westmeath, so it will be interesting to see what they did with their money.

“Then there’s another film called Duffle Bag Boy created by a guy who was involved in the fantastic Lakelands film so it’s amazing to be associated with these other talented people,” said Mr English.

He added that he believes their documentary has mass appeal:”Obviously everyone around Mullingar knows that Millie is a legend but I think, no matter who you are, if you watch the documentary you get a feel for his character like you’ve known him all his life.

“I’ve sent it to friends living in Australia who watched it and had so much love for this guy afterward who they had never met,” said Mr English.

“He’s so genuine, a good human being, and everyone can resonate with that no matter where you are. We need more of his positivity and attitude in our lives.”

While Millie won’t be attending the festival himself, it’s understood some of his family will be in attendance.

Having won the Westmeath Film Award for 2023, a €10,000 bursary, the director of Millies Maxol Magic has his eyes set on a new project.

“We’re shooting a documentary on the Roma Cafe in Mullingar which is in the pre-production stage at the moment but we [myself and Ethan] are very excited about it,” said Mr English.

“It’s going to be wrapped up by the end of the year, so it’s getting close and we’re having a lot of fun with it right now.

“These sorts of stories are the best and the Midlands is full of them. They’re right in front of you, but we often take it for granted. If you take a closer look you’ll realise how mad some stories are.”

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