HOLLYWOOD HERE I COME: Killarney teen Olamide Ojegbenro has his eyes firmly set on Hollywood. Photo: Michelle Crean
By Michelle Crean
Filmmaking has become a huge passion for one local teen – so much so that he is planning a Hollywood career.
Leaving Cert student Olamide Ojegbenro (18), known as Ollie, is keeping his eyes close to his books in the coming months – but he tells the Killarney Advertiser this week how setting up a local young filmmakers group is all about helping young people battle common issues such as bullying and mental health.
Killarney Young Filmmakers was formed in September and so far over 20 young people have been hard at work filming different scenes for their self-written films around the town.
“I love making films because I consider myself a storyteller,” Ollie, whose mom is Nigerian born, said.
“I try to tell a story in a way through young people. I went through bullying myself and it affected my mental health which is one reason I set up the group.”
However, filmmaking was never something he considered seriously before as he saw himself working as something totally different.
“I never wanted to become a filmmaker, I wanted to be a pilot – but I had this passion for storytelling. Three years ago I started a YouTube channel and also set up a podcast.
Ollie, who is inspired by Hollywood star and Killarney man Michael Fassbender, wrote a script in Irish about a broken home called ‘Briseadh’ and is hoping it’ll be featured in the Kerry and Galway film festivals, ‘Fresh’ in Limerick and ‘First Cut’ in Cork.
He also won an award for ‘Vantage’, a documentary filmed in Killarney about reusable clothes.
So it came as no surprise when Ollie won the Young Irish Film Bursary at the National Youth Film School in August.
“It was cool. I met the top 10 Irish filmmakers in Ireland. I want to go to Hollywood but why not make our own industry in Killarney. There’s a buzz taking a film from concept to the final film – to see it on the big screen gives me goose bumps.”
He added that the group receives good support from Killarney Library, but as they’re a self-funded group he’s hoping that Kerry County Council would help with future projects.
“We’ve no-where to go really. Killarney Library have been good to us. We’re working off no budget mostly. We’d like to get people from the industry to hold workshops and for that we need funding.”