Wicklow native stars in new Irish bobsleigh documentary

Having wowed audiences at the Chicago Irish Film Festival earlier this year, Breaking Ice, has been officially selected to feature as part of the 2020 edition of the Galway Film Fleadh. 

The feature length sports documentary charts the story of Ireland’s first Winter Olympian’s, the Irish Bobsleigh team, from their inception through to the physical, emotional and political challenges that they faced as they fought to become Ireland’s first representatives at a Winter Games. 

Produced by Jason Branagan and Karin Larkin for Liberty Video and Kamal Ibrahim for Giant Studios, Breaking Ice marks the first documentary feature from director Jason Branagan and the first release for newly formed Dublin based production company Liberty Video. 

The documentary features Greystones native Cormac Smith. Cormac was an elite track and field athlete when he joined the bob team. He played a pivotal role in revolutionising the team and driving them toward their 1992 success. His explosive power and prowess meant the English bob team then poached him. Cormac is one of the only men to have competed for two countries at World Championship level in bobsleigh.

“Breaking Ice is a project that I was drawn to not just because of its niche, but because I had a great affinity for the athletes. I found parallels in what they had to go through to make it to the Olympics and what indie filmmakers go through when trying to make films… It took us two years to make this film off our own bat,” said director Jason Branagan. 

“The fact we get to show this as part of the Galway Film Fleadh, in a year when there will a reduced, more focused programme is phenomenal and a real testament not just to the team involved in making it, but the contributors and what they achieved 30+ years ago. We can’t wait to introduce Irish audiences to Breaking Ice.”

Breaking Ice was shot in Ireland, the UK and Monaco. Key crew include director of photography Noel Greene, animation director Rachel Fitzgerald and editor, John Michael Philips, with a score by Ken Baker. 

The Galway Film Fleadh takes place online from July 7th – July 12th 2020. Breaking Ice screens on Sunday, July 12th at 1.00pm. For more information or to book tickets visit galwayfilmfleadh.com. 

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