The late Tom Collins was best known for his work on Irish Language Feature Films such as Kings, An Bronntanas (The Gift), and Aithrí (Penance). He is also the only person to direct two films submitted by Ireland to the Best Foreign Language Film (now Best International Film) category at the Oscars, with his Irish-language titles Kings in 2007 and An Bronntanas (The Gift) in 2014.. Almost a year on from his passing, we talk to his daughter Eibh, pioneering film professional in her own right about continuing his legacy.
How has your Dad influenced your career and love of film?
Dad was always a filmmaker and creative, so growing up it never seemed cool or special, as it is not a glamorous vocation despite what many think. But equally it never seemed like an unusual world to be part of. My dad was a proud Irish man so without even knowing, Irish Cinema was a big part of my culture and personal identity but it actually took me some years to realise that this was a unique thing.
What is one of your earliest memories of seeing your Dad at work?
When I was little, he would put me in his films- not because I wanted to be an actress but because I was cheap labour and was usually already on set. So, I have some strong memories of being on set in 1995 or 1996.
What do you feel he was most proud of in his career?
I think he was most proud of himself! Sounds crass but he was self-taught, had a difficult upbring and then carved a career and left a legacy.
Can you tell us about your work with NTA/Screen Ireland?
I currently manage the National Talent Academy of Film & TV. The NTA is a Screen Ireland initiative and (NTA Film & TV) is run by Ardán out of Galway. There are five Academies, one Animation, one TV &Film and three Crew – one of which is based out of Galway -NTA Crew West.
Read More in the May/June issue of Galway Now, on shelves now.