Colm Meaney is presenting his new film in Palma at the Evolution International Mallorca Film Festival. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Award-winning Irish actor Colm Meaney, who has owned a property in Mallorca for nearly 20 years with his family, is back on the island for a flying visit to present his latest film There’s Always Hope at the Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival currently taking place in Palma.

It’s a departure from Meaney’s usual parts as the hard man, he is currently starring as the godfather in Gangs of London.

“It’s a cameo role, but yes, I’m the tough guy who kicks it all off,” he told the Bulletin on Friday night. Directed by Timothy Lewiston, who is planning on shooting his next feature on Mallorca, the film is family drama focusing on a successful author Jonathan Stack (Meaney).

So obsessed with trying to pen his magnum opus, he has let his marriage to Samantha (Kate Ashfield), who is also his agent and editor, break down to the point where she announces she is leaving him for her business partner.

Snapping him out of midlife malaise, Jonathan abandons the elegant family home in the affluent Stratford Upon Avon, revving up his ancient Jaguar XK150 to head to the family villa in Portugal.
Enter Hope (Hannah Chinn), his young daughter, who cannot make any sense of what is going on, so she abandons her studies to pursue her father for answers.

While in Portugal she finds the truth is more complicated, but one thing is clear, her parents still love each other, and she is determined to reunite them. This prosaic piece shines a light on the bind of family ties and how we often overlook the people and things that are most dear to us on the endless pathway to success.

And no sooner has he finished in Palma, he is off to Tennessee to start filming Savage Lands which is about Davy Crockett. “I guess it’s a frontier pre-western film and I’m looking forward to it.”

However, he will be missing Mallorca. His first house on the island was in Soller and the family now live in Santa Maria.

“I love the island, but I’m extremely busy and we still have a base in LA, so I’m constantly flitting back and forth but during lockdown I got to spend the longest period ever on the island and was able to get to know the place even better. I would love to spend more time here but, for the moment, I’m extremely busy and for an actor, that can only be good news. You’ve got to take the parts when they come, you never know when they are going to dry up.”

That, however, is highly unlikely for Meaney whose first television appearance was in Z-Cars on BBC 1, in 1978. He guest-starred on shows such as Remington Steele and Moonlighting before embarking on a successful film career; he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for his role in The Snapper and has starred in a host of major productions not to mention appearing on Broadway with the likes of Denzel Washington.

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“But the initial idea was to spend half the year in Mallorca. However, that has not quite happened yet and my daughter, who was born here is now at art school in the UK, so we’re all over the place for various reasons.

“But I’m so glad to be back on the island for a few days and featuring in the festival again. I think Sandra (director and founder of the festival) has done a wonderful job.I have to admit that when she contacted me for the first festival, which is now into it eleventh year, I was a bit sceptical. A film festival in Mallorca? But she has worked so hard and it is now on the global circuit of festivals.

“Everyone wants to be here and people are talking about it at other festivals. It’s gained international acclaim and recognition and it’s become a great event for making contacts and meeting fellow members of the film industry - especially the next generation and local filmmakers, writers and producers.

“The festival covers so many areas which others don’t, it’s extremely diverse and that is what makes it exciting, interesting and attractive to the industry which is great for Mallorca. I think her philosophy for the festival of ‘Bridging cultures - bridging people’ is a fantastic idea and it sends out the right message and she has made it happen and the festival is the perfect match for Mallorca.

“And I would love nothing more than film in Mallorca again. I have a few ideas on the boil and to be able to shoot and then go home to the family at the end of the day would be a rare luxury. So let’s wait and see, but I have a few ideas I’m working on because I think Mallorca has got a lot to offer the film industry.

“We’re already seeing it, more and more highly professional international productions are coming to the island, but I still think more could be done. A greater effort needs to be made to bring tourism and film together plus more incentives such as tax breaks.

“Just look at what Lord of The Rings has done for New Zealand or Game of Thrones for Ireland. Film has a massive influence on where people travel as well as where filmmakers want to shoot and work, so Mallorca still needs to get that synergy between tourism and film right and to attract good quality films.

“Sometimes I despair when I look at what’s screening at the cinema, it’s all Marvel or DC Comics, I thought all that stuff was for kids but now it’s not and it’s all the same.

“Look back at the 70s, for example with the likes of Martin Scorsese, where are they now? We need more directors and producers like him coming forward, we need more great epic serious films being made, especially now we’ve got all this streaming going on, although I’m not all that convinced about where it’s going.”

But in the meantime, he is off to Tennessee for his latest film, although there is one role he would love to play and that is a pirate. “That’s a part I would jump at, who knows, it may end up being here in Mallorca.”