Watch: The Eagerly Anticipated Irish Short Film About The Italia 90 Penalty Shootout

Watch: The Eagerly Anticipated Irish Short Film About The Italia 90 Penalty Shootout

The eagerly anticipated short film 'A Nation Holds Its Breath' has just gone public and it's one of the greatest nostalgic trips back to 1990 we've seen.

The film is based on soon-to-be father Gainead and his struggle as he is forced to choose between witnessing the miracle of childbirth or the miracle of Ireland's famous penalty shoot-out win against Romania.

Created by Kev Cahill (who also worked recently on Star Wars Episode VIII), the picture is a throwback to one of the nation's greatest days that will instantly entice you to either rewatch the game, or, even better, rewatch 'The Van' with Colm Meaney.

Speaking to Cahill said that the idea born when entering the Lexus Short Film Competition with the theme being 'anticipation'.

The thrill of anticipation is always there in sport. Then I thought of THE biggest moment of sporting anticipation in my life the Romania game. A lot of my friends are having babies at the moment which is probably the greatest moment of anticipation that anyone can go through in life so I thought it would be fun to put the two things together.

The film was chosen from over 5,000 global entrants as part of a competition by the Weinstein Company and it has been winning tons of awards including Audience Choice Awards in Dublin, Chicago, Montreal and the Best Director award at LA Indie Festival.


Despite the story and characters embodying 1990s Ireland, the film was a huge hit internationally as the scenario of being torn between a sporting moment and a bigger obligation was one that people related to on a worldwide level according to Cahill.

It seems to resonate with people from lots of countries. We won an Audience Award at a film festival in Chicago and someone who watched the film got in contact saying that they had a very similar story from last year when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. They rushed to the hospital and had the game playing on his phone over terrible hospital wifi as they had their first child. That's been a big surprise watching how many people relate to it who have nothing to do with Ireland or no memory of that game.

I've had loads of people come and tell me their stories - an English lawyer told me about his wife going into labour during an ashes game but he said the difference was they went to the hospital, had the baby and he was back in the pub before the game had finished. Another Wexford fella told me he took a chance on their famous victory of the hurling all ireland in '96. Apparently she was already overdue but he had got a ticket and they were like hens teeth so he went to Dublin for the day. As luck would have it she went into labour on the Monday the only problem was he didn't make it home 'til the Tuesday.

The full movie can be found here:

The film has gone up today Thursday 1st June on the Lexus website and has been eagerly anticipated since it started the festival circuit. Cahill has now moved on to writing another film titled 'Slammer' which he promises will embody a lot of the same charisma as 'A Nation Holds Its Breath' but "a lot bigger".

Gavin O'Callaghan

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