Ann’s Pub, a 26-minute documentary about one of Athlone’s most distinctive pubs, Flannery’s, has won the award in Switzerland for Best Short Film.
Directed by Thabea Furrer, and produced by Soap Factory Basel, Ann’s Pub won the Short Film Award at the Basel Film and Media Art Awards earlier this week.
More than 80 hours of footage for it was shot at the Sean Costello Street pub over a three-year period, starting in late 2017.
The owner of the pub, Ann Flannery, told Westmeath Independent he was glad it was now the subject of the film.
“I’m usually not at a loss for words, but it was very humbling. This (the pub) was my Dad’s sitting room, and now it’s on the big screen,” he said.
When asked how the film came about, Ann said the filmmaker, Ms Furrer, had traveled in a camper van and came to Flannery during one of the Monday night encounters with live blues.
“He came with a friend and they happened to be there for the Monday Blues. Then he came back and said are you interested (to make the film)? I didn’t know what to do – we thought he was crazy.
“But, I have to say, it was an honor to see what he did with us. We want to thank him, because he is brilliant.”
Although the film has not yet been officially released, Ann has watched it and is delighted with it.
“The only thing that was difficult for me was that he interviewed so many people but then he interviewed me, in the kitchen, and he used me as a voice actor. So my voice was flowing through him, and it was kind of scary to hear.
“But I’m very, very proud. Of all the pubs around the world, we now have the least bit of fame. It’s classy.”
Because it was filmed before the pandemic, this film captures people socializing in a crowded pub environment that would not be seen today.
“There were no barriers, nothing. People were on top of each other. It was a different time,” he said.
Several people seen in the film have died, including Martin O’Hara, who appeared on Monday Blues night, and to whom the film is dedicated.
“Martin has been dead since then and (the film) is kind of a tribute to him,” Ann said.
A premiere Ann’s Pub will be playing in Basel in January, and Ann said she and several others from Athlone are planning to travel to Switzerland for it.
“I have to get a new skirt!” he quipped.
Here is the trailer for Ann’s Pub (Note: Contains strong language):
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