Cuilcagh man's film shot in Cavan is a 'must-see' DVD

Story by Tom Kelly

Thursday, 17th December, 2009 10:00am

The Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominated feature film, Anton, will be available to buy on DVD from Friday, December 18, nationwide. The film was written and produced by Cavan actor, Anthony Fox, who also took the lead role. Fox told The Anglo-Celt he felt proud and privileged to have had his film shot in his home county.

Cavan County Council Arts Office has congratulated Anthony Fox on the release of the DVD.

"It is a must-see for anyone interested in Cavan, its people and history," said a spokesperson for the council.

A native of Cuilcagh, Anthony lives between Dublin and Cavan, but hopes to move back to Cavan next year with his wife, Leanne ("who's been my biggest supporter and who I've driven nuts"), and their three daughters.

"The film is very Cavan, even the language," said Anthony. "It means an awful lot to me because I'm from Cuilcagh."

He spoke of the talent in the county and in Cuilcagh, which is near Virginia: "This is the place where Gulliver's Travels was written; it has a very strong sense of culture. Cavan has produced an incredible number of very talented people and I've managed to come into contact with them through what I do, people like Oscar nominees Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan, who has roots in Mullagh."

Anthony told of his pride in his homeplace.

"Anton wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of Cavan people - especially my family at home in Cavan - and their genuine willingness to help in any way they could. I'm intensely proud to have made this film where I'm from. So many people have been involved and we've made history."

Anthony also noted that without the investors this film would never have happened. "Those investors most of whom are from Cavan made the film possible," he said. "They are farmers, builders, developers and people who have a keen interest in Cavan and her people."

According to Anthony, Jim Sheridan commented that the film, which was shot for about €180,000, looked like it cost between €2m and €6m. He also said it created division among the critics, yielding a huge reaction.

It was premiered on the big screen at Storm Cinema, Cavan last year. Directed by Graham Cantwell, Anton is a thriller inspired by true events. After time spent at sea, Anton O'Neill returns to find that 1970's Ireland is a radically different place to the one he left behind. Northern Ireland is in flames, and civil unrest has spilled south of the border to his beloved home in County Cavan. Blinded by hatred and misguided patriotism Anton is led into an illicit world of violence and is forced to choose between his family and his country.

Hunted and on the run, he is drawn into a battle of wills with the law and his former accomplices, ending in an explosive showdown in which he must risk everything to protect the woman he loves.

The film stars Gerard McSorley (also in Veronica Guerin), Anthony Fox (The General) and Laura Way (Trapped) and was produced by Patrick Clarke (Trapped) and Anthony Fox, who also wrote the film's screenplay.

The film was nominated for three IFTA awards including Best Supporting Actor for Gerard McSorley, Best Original Score for Anna Rice and Best Cinematography for Fergal O'Hanlon. The DVD's special features include The Making of Anton, deleted scenes, out-takes and One music video.

• Anton is available on DVD in Cavan and nationwide. For a full list of retailers visit www.antonthemovie.com

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