The big event took place at the Amber Springs Hotel which saw a packed house enjoy the films created by people of the locality.
The seven films on the night were ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Sister Act’, Father Ted, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, ‘The Field’, ‘Waking Ned’ and ‘Derry Girls’.
Padraig O’Connor, who starred in ‘Forrest Gump’, said that things really came together perfectly on the night and all who came along got into the spirit of things.
‘It was a wonderful evening and people really enjoyed the night. They dressed in black tie and ball gowns, which added to the excitement.
‘Actors could enjoy themselves too as they were under no pressure as everything was pre-recorded. As a fundraiser, I would really encourage anyone to do this as it is a new and fresh way to raise money for an important cause,’ he said.
The aim of the Hollywood comes to Askamore event was to raise funds for Askamore Community Council, for the refurbishment of Ballyellis National School and the community centre.
‘Each film group had a target to raise €2,500 or more through events, ticket sales and the programme and every group hit that. Our Highest Grossing Film award, meaning which film group raised the most money, was my group, the Forrest Gump, and we raised over €15,600,’ he said.
Although raising money was key to the event being a success, Padraig explained that special community bonds have now been formed which are priceless.
‘It was really inclusive to everyone and it was the first time everyone had gotten involved in something like this together. People got to know each other by being paired together in a film group and some great friendships were formed.
‘It was especially good for people new to the area. You might see someone every week but not have a name to the face, but being involved in something like this it’s clear that there are now friendships formed for years to come,’ he said.
Padraig said that the audience on the night were blown away by the talent of the area, which was awarded during the awards ceremony aspect of the evening.
The Best Actor award went to Owen Doyle, who played Bull McCabe in ‘The Field’. Best Supporting Actor went to Jose Dowse (86) for his role as Michael in ‘Waking Ned’.
The award for Best Film went to ‘Derry Girls’, which was voted for on the night by the audience.
Michelle Devereux was awarded Best Female Actor for her role in ‘Derry Girls’, with Aoife Clauson getting Best Supporting Female Actor.
After the big event, the films were shown in the community hall in Askamore for children to enjoy, with goody bags included.
Organisers would like to thank all those who came along, all actors, as well as the hotel.
‘Mary O’Donohoe and her husband Davy were really instrumental in the whole event, as it was Mary’s brainchild. She orchestrated all the groups and deserves the credit,’ said Padraig.
With totals still being counted, organisers said that well over €40,000 was raised as a result of the event.