New thriller from Donegal filmmaker to be shown in Buncrana Cinema

Spears, a new thriller from Donegal filmmaker Gerard Lough, is to be shown in Buncrana Cinema this weekend.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 5:09 pm
'Spears' director Gerard Lough at Buncrana Cinema.
'Spears' director Gerard Lough at Buncrana Cinema.

Spears is the new thriller from Donegal filmmaker Gerard Lough.

Packed with twists and turns, the plot kicks off when a Private Investigator is sent from Ireland to Florence, Italy to track down a woman who mysteriously vanished there. Meanwhile in London, a Dissident Republican does an arm’s deal with a new seller he does not trust. In Berlin, a scam artist spends a weekend with a married woman he tries to convince to leave with him. Each of the three men make a startling discovery which forces them to team up back in Ireland and take revenge on those who have wronged them. Fittingly, the film’s title is taken from the Emily Bronte quote; “Treachery and violence are spears pointed by both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.” Typical of the mystery / thriller genre, the film is a stylish looking affair with tension and fear in abundance but trust in short supply. Over half of the film was shot in Donegal. The production used striking locations such Slieve League, Beltany Stone Circle and Maghera waterfall. As well as Ireland, the film was also shot in Florence, Berlin and London.

Busy Donegal actor Aidan O’Sullivan (Night People) leads a cast of exciting new comers which also includes local actors Michael Leddy and Kieran Kelly. Lough: “The cast of Spears were are the best I have ever worked with. Each of the seven principal actors are potential break out stars and I have no doubt we are going to be seeing more of them on screen in the years to come. After a preview screening, their performances were one of the most talked about aspects of the film.”

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Another early talking point has been the film’s music which includes some of the best new Irish and British electronica from artists such as Shaefri, Sleep Thieves, Le Groupe Fantastique and Exit: Pursued by a Bear, who’s song Rabbit with Hat is featured on the new trailer released today. Lough rates the Cork group’s song “as one of the best pieces of electronic music ever released by an Irish band, no two ways about it.” The new trailer proved a challenge as it had to give audiences a clear idea what the film is about while not giving away its biggest plot twist. Lough: “It’s a common complaint of modern trailers that they give away far too much. With this trailer we have held back the film’s biggest surprises and retained the mystery while still giving an audience the essence of the story. It’s a tricky balance but I think we’ve nailed it.”

The film’s release date was held back so it could be released in cinemas at a time when audiences are returning in larger numbers. Lough: “There is nothing like seeing your work on the big screen, so we are all delighted that initial audiences will get to experience Spears that way. Having it shown at a cinema as distinctive and beautiful as Buncrana Cinema is the icing on the cake.”

So far nearly all reviews have been positive:

“Lough has written and directed a film that this reviewer feels will become a cult classic.” wrote June Butler in Film Ireland. She praised the “powerful actors among the cast of Spears” and the music, “the superb soundtrack for Spears is one of many aspects in which this film becomes so watchable.”

Ironically, its director would prefer you didn’t read any reviews before seeing the film. Lough: “Ideally, I would rather you go in cold so none of the film’s surprises are spoiled. One of the things that people have enjoyed about the film is how the story’s mystery is gradually revealed and everything clicks into place at the midway point.”

Either way, audiences can judge for themselves when Spears is shown at Buncrana Cinema from April 15th to 17th.