How It’s Irish: The Kalem Company traveled to Queenstown, County Cork, in 1910 to make the first fiction film set in Ireland. It was the first ever to be filmed on location outside of the U.S. They fell in love with the country and its people, returning to visit many times. Eventually– they became knowsn as the O’Kalems.
A little-known fact is that the first fiction film to be made in Ireland, A Lad from Old Ireland, was written, produced and shot by the Kalem Company, a group of New York-based filmmakers who, in 1910, travelled east, to Queenstown (now Cobh), Co Cork, while the rest of the industry was headed west, to Hollywood.
Apparently, Peter Flynn was of the same mind. Referring to his grandparents during the Q&A that followed, he commented that, “Silent film was a way for me to understand them and their generation.”
It is an effort that comes across on screen.
Copyright 2011 New York Irish Arts