Film on Ar­mada cap­tain re­leased

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - By CIARA GALVIN

A film on the ad­ven­tures of a Span­ish Ar­mada sol­dier ship­wrecked on the Sligo coast in 1588 could present a huge op­por­tu­nity for Sligo, post lock­down.

The film, ti­tled Ar­mada 1588:Ship­wreck & Sur­vival was re­leased last Fri­day and is now avail­able for dig­i­tal down­load from Span­ishAr­madaIre­

It tells the story of how on Septem­ber 21st 1588, three Ar­mada ships were wrecked dur­ing storms at Streedagh Beach in Sligo, re­sult­ing in the deaths of over 1,000 Spa­niards.

In the re­sult­ing chaos, a small num­ber of Spa­niards man­aged to es­cape, and one of those, Cap­tain Fran­cisco de Cuél­lar, wrote a full ac­count both of the ship­wrecks and the sub­se­quent months he spent des­per­ately try­ing to avoid the English army sent to hunt him, be­fore his ul­ti­mate es­cape from Ire­land.

“It’s an in­cred­i­ble story,” says Ed­die O’Gor­man, Chair of Span­ish Ar­mada Ire­land, the lo­cal vol­un­tary group who were be­hind the idea for the film.

“The writ­ten record he left be­hind is a hugely sig­nif­i­cant part of the his­tory of the Span­ish Ar­mada, and was the ba­sis for the pro­duc­tion of this film.”

A Span­ish fleet of 26 ships en­coun­tered storms re­sult­ing in ship­wrecks off the north­ern and west­ern coasts, in­clud­ing the three at Streedagh.

“The film is a mix of live ac­tion, com­puter gen­er­ated im­agery and graph­i­cal an­i­ma­tions,” says di­rec­tor Al But­ler of pro­duc­tion com­pany, Me­di­a­coop.

“Pro­duc­ing a mar­itime film is a ma­jor chal­lenge in it­self, not to men­tion that we wanted to make the storm and beach scenes as re­al­is­tic as pos­si­ble. So we filmed in real West of Ire­land weather, with gales and hail, and ev­ery­one, from the ac­tors to the pro­duc­tion and tech­ni­cal teams, did an amaz­ing job.”

Lucky to have com­pleted film­ing be­fore the Covid-19 pan­demic shut down every­thing, in­clud­ing the film in­dus­try, Micheál Ó Domh­naill, one of the film’s pro­duc­ers, says the team work­ing on the film dou­bled their ef­forts to en­sure the film was pro­duced to the high­est stan­dards.

“We filmed the live ac­tion scenes two weeks be­fore lock­down and then the CGI work was done from peo­ple’s homes.”

One of the CGI team has worked on films in­clud­ing, Star Wars and Pi­rates of the Caribbean, giv­ing a sense of the type of qual­ity view­ers can ex­pect from the film.

The film stars Span­ish ac­tor Fer­nando Cor­ral in the role of Cap­tain Fran­cisco de Cuél­lar. He re-lives the Span­ish sol­dier’s ad­ven­tures through a con­stant series of life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions. Washed ashore in a for­eign land, un­able to speak the lan­guage, his life threat­ened both by the English and the lo­cals, De Cuél­lar man­ages some­how to make his way cross coun­try to find refuge.

The film was sup­ported by the Town & Vil­lage Re­newal Scheme of the Depart­ment of Ru­ral & Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment, and by Sligo County Coun­cil and cost €100,000 to pro­duce.

“This sup­port en­abled us to bring a story, while well known lo­cally, to a much wider au­di­ence,” says Ó Domh­naill.

“De Cuél­lar’s story has every­thing you would want in an ad­ven­ture film.

“The fi­nan­cial sup­port we re­ceived, and the en­thu­si­asm shown for the project lo­cally, means that we now have a film which has been pro­duced to the very high­est stan­dards.

“The film will help bring this unique story to many more peo­ple, and should also put Sligo firmly on the Wild At­lantic Way map for vis­i­tors who want to find out more about the county’s links with the Span­ish Ar­mada.”

He adds, “I hope when this [Covid-19] is all over the Span­ish will come.”

The film, 27 min­utes long, is now avail­able for dig­i­tal down­load at Span­ishAr­madaIre­ at a cost of €4.99. All pro­ceeds from the film will be in­vested in the devel­op­ment of the Span­ish Ar­mada Vis­i­tor Cen­tre in Grange.

Span­ish ac­tor Fer­nando Cor­ral in the role of Cap­tain Fran­cisco de Cuél­lar dur­ing film­ing at Streedagh last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.