Thursday, November 15, 2018

A ZOMBIE movie made in Laois has won two awards at an international film festival, including best short horror film.

Multi-tasking film-maker Micheál Fleming from The Swan, who wrote, directed acted in and co-produced the short film Vegetable, was honoured at the ninth Underground Cinema Short Film Festival awards on Saturday 3 November.

The unusual movie, shot in the Slieve Bloom mountains and several other locations in Laois, received five nominations in the highly-regarded awards, taking home the titles for best short horror film and best make-up.

The festival focuses on indie films from around the world, with more than 100 films screened over the three-day event in Dun Laoghaire in September.

The Laois film saw an unlikely gathering of walking dead wandering around the Glendine Woods area of the Slieve Blooms in summer 2017, as the film explored a post-epidemic world where a desperate zombie must fend off his hunger and his hunters to stay alive.

Up to 25 crew members and actors were involved in the movie, which is described as “not your normal zombie film. Our zombies eat vegetables instead of flesh.”

The startling appearance of the deathly creatures took many hours to achieve and deservedly won best make-up award for Michael Browne. The film also received nominations in the best supporting actor (Micheál Fleming), best sound (Carl Cullen) and rising star (Micheál Fleming) categories.

Micheál and his girlfriend Chloe Cullen, who co-produced Vegetable, are delighted with the success of the film, which is set to be screened again later this month at the Prisma Film Awards in Rome. The couple appeared on stage together at the Underground awards ceremony in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire.

Micheál has worked on Game of Thrones and Vikings and also penned the script for the highly-successful 1916 film Summon her Children, which was shot in several locations around Laois including Wolfhill, Stradbally and Abbeyleix. The film has been shown all over the world, in countries ranging from New Zealand and Nigeria, to India and Spain, bringing invaluable international exposure for the county. It is hoped that the success of Vegetable will bring similar international publicity for the beautiful Slieve Blooms area.

A son of Jim Fleming and nephew of Seán Fleming, TD and cllr Pádraig Fleming, Micheál studied biosciences in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), where he discovered the drama society and subsequently his love for the arts.

He went on to study ‘acting for camera’ with Kathleen Warner-Yeates and graduated with distinction from Bull Alley Theatre Training School, where he studied advanced acting.

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By Carmel Hayes
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