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Friday 9 December 2016

Panti's documentary set for silver screen as People of Year is launched

Rory O'Neill aka Panti Bliss (left) with Daraine Mulvihill, Fiona Doyle and Tommy Reichental (right), former recipients of the People of the Year Award pictured launching the 2015 Nominations for the People of the Year Awards 2015 which will be broadcast o
Rory O'Neill aka Panti Bliss (left) with Daraine Mulvihill, Fiona Doyle and Tommy Reichental (right), former recipients of the People of the Year Award pictured launching the 2015 Nominations for the People of the Year Awards 2015 which will be broadcast o
Joanne O'Riordan, a former recipient of the People of the Year Award pictured launching the 2015 Nominations for the People of the Year Awards 2015 which will be broadcast on RTE December 5th

Lights, camera, action. A feature documentary about top drag performer Panti Bliss will hit silver screens this September.

Directed by Conor Horgan, The Queen of Ireland charts the tumultuous past 18 months of Panti's life - from the infamous appearance on Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show to her rousing call to arms on the Abbey stage.

Despite starring in the film Rory O'Neill, aka Panti, only viewed the footage last week.

"The first time I ever saw anything was last week.

"Obviously he didn't want me to be horrified at the last minute," Rory joked.

According to O'Neill, director Horgan was over the moon when 'Pantigate' kicked off.

"When the whole Pantigate kerfuffle happened, Conor was thrilled," he told the Herald.

"It's what every documentary filmmaker wants, for something to happen while filming."

ceremony

The Queen of Ireland will have a limited release in Irish cinemas come September and will then be shown on RTE the following year.

O'Neill was speaking at the launch of the nominations for this year's People of the Year Awards at Sir John Rogerson Quay yesterday.

The 41st annual award ceremony honours the extraordinary and inspiring achievements of ordinary people.

"What I love about this event is that it is totally un-cynical and there's not that many of those events around," Rory said.

Rory, who was last year's overall winner, was joined at the launch by previous winners Fiona Doyle, Joanne O'Riordan, concentration camp survivor Tomi Reichental and Daraine Mulvihill.

Abuse survivor Fiona Doyle, who won the award in 2013, said: "Everybody has a story to tell and everyone has gone through extraordinary circumstances but to be public about it and to help others through it is just amazing."

Fiona is in the process of launching her charity organisation called Tears. The charity will offer respite to victims of sexual abuse.

"For most abuse victims it's only when you speak to another abuse victim do you actually feel you are on the same level as someone," Fiona explained.

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