The set in Petitswood Manor, Mullingar.

Filming underway at Petitswood Manor

Actors Graham Earley (Cardboard Gangsters, Broken Law, Monged) and John Connors (Cardboard Gangsters, Monged, Love/Hate) are shooting in Mullingar today for a new short film, Barry versus The Binman.

The recipients of the inaugural Westmeath Film bursary, writer and director, Craig Moore from Killucan, and filmakers Brian and Emer Durcan of Western Front Studios based in Mayo, were on location at Petitswood Manor, where the action was taking place.

The film centres around a down on his luck thirty-something, who becomes fixated on a feud with his bin collectors when they begin leaving his wheelie-bin in other people's driveways

A grant of €10,000 was awarded for the production of the original 10-12 minute short film.

Actors John Connors and Graham Earley, with writer director Craig Moore, Killucan.

The award comes at a time of significant development for filmmaking in Westmeath.

Film studio, Hammerlake Studios, which got the green light for building in Mullingar's Lough Sheever Business Park, will employ in the region of 1,000 production staff and will generate €50m per annum for the local economy, including €19m in wages alone, once operational.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, Barry versus The Binman's writer and director, Craig Moore said filming will wrap tomorrow, concluding two and a half days of solid work on behalf of the cast and crew.

“The aim is to take it on the festival circuit, and have it ready for the Galway Film Fleadh in July. It's the biggest one in the country, and we’re hoping to have Barry versus The Binman's first screening there as well," said Craig, maker of powerful drama Three Brothers Two.

Moore has worked in film and television production for the last ten years and his last short film, Three Brothers Two, was screened in two dozen festivals across 14 countries winning numerous awards including Best Irish Film at the Underground Cinema Awards in 2021. It was shot in Mullingar, Killucan, Collinstown and Lough Lene on a micro-budget of €1,000.

“I'm honoured to be directing the first project to be selected for the Westmeath Film Award. The county has incredible untapped potential for filmmakers and I, along with my incredible production team from on Western Front Studios and my cast and crew, are massively excited for this shoot.

"My hope is that this leads to further great things not just for us, but for the scheme itself; paving the way for many other filmmakers to gain access to real support for their ideas and make them a reality. I want to extend a huge thank you to the Westmeath Arts Office for selecting our project."

Westmeath Arts Officer Miriam Mulrennan said;

“The Arts Office in Westmeath is delighted to present local filmmaker Craig Moore with the inaugural Westmeath Film Award. Craig’s highly original comedy script made him a standout applicant, and a deserving recipient of the grant.

"This is an opportune moment for filmmaking in the county, and we are hopeful that this award will empower local filmmakers to advance in their craft and career. Westmeath as a location also boasts rich landscapes, we are excited to see the county brought to life onscreen.”

Emer Durcan, Criag Moore, and Brian Durcan.

Brian (cinematography) and Emer Durcan (producer) of Western Front Studios, added:

"Western Front Studios are honoured to be chosen to produce the first ever Westmeath Film Bursary short film. Craig's talent is really worth supporting and we were looking forward, and have very much enjoyed working with him and the local Mullingar community "

The cast and crew of 'Barry versus the Binman' on set in Petitswood Manor: Graham Earley, John Connors, Óisin Gallagher, Rossa O’Dowd, Brian Durcan, Saoirse Connelly, Emer Durcan, Niall Flynn, Craig Moore, John Anderson, Stephen Kelly, Saoirse O’Shea, and David Toolan.

"The whole community got involved," continued producer Emer Durcan.

"O’Mearas Garden Centre provided the set dressing outside, Mulleadys Bins provided the bin lorry and local lorry driver Joe Conway was also involved.

"We'd like to thank Robert Donnelly, chair of Petitswood Manor Residents Association for facilitating us, and homeowner John Shaw and his neighbour, where the filming took place.

"We had plenty of local people rowing in to help, George Birminham Motors who gave us our parking space, Michael Leonard came and volunteered as traffic controller, Stepehen Kelly, another local from Killucan, was involved in the crew. And of course, Miriam Mulreannan in Westmeath Arts Office has been fantastic. It's been an amazing couple of days."