AT LEAST 60 local people are set to be involved in a major feature film, due to start shooting later this year.
Speaking to the Herald this week former US heavyweight champion boxer from Pennsylvania Zeke Wilson confirmed that the local audition held recently in Pat’s Bar for his upcoming film ‘The Eighth Round’ was a huge success, with Fermanagh set to feature heavily.
“It went very well. We have a lot of people who were interested and will have a lot of extras from it. We have a few who are going to have minor roles too. We got on paper about 60 people and each and everyone is going to be involved. There were some kids that read in front of me that sounded very good and they are going to do a minor role, at least six or seven of them for sure because I know I can put them in. When I did this in Pat’s Bar I was originally looking for extras rather than anything else, but I saw some people that can be put directly in the action.”
Mr Wilson said the film was “100% going ahead” and all going well hopes to begin filming in Ireland in August, with the film set to be released worldwide in March 2017. Before that happens he is on the look out for more acting talent, with a total of 400 extras required before filming begins. In the short term he hopes to hold another audition locally in Fermanagh as well as scope out acting talent in Dublin.
Asked about his time in Fermanagh so far the former Prizefighter champion and member of the Belfast Boxing Hall of Fame in New York said he was enjoying himself.
“I like it, I like the people, they’re very friendly, the pace is not as fast as at home, but I think people are jumping at the opportunity, a lot of people read the story on the Internet, a lot of people ordered the book and love the actual story so my reason for coming here is not in vain.”
The Eighth Round tells Wilson’s inspiring story of an ordinary man taking on an extraordinary challenge. Wilson was a fight promoter who went to Massachusetts to do a boxing event, but different bodies of the state cancelled him because of the colour of his skin. The state law at the time stated anyone who did boxing events had to pay $5,000 and Wilson was asked to pay $10,000, while white individuals didn’t have to pay. Doing his deposition and summary judgement himself the former champion won his case in front of a jury in federal court.