Westport town is just one of Mayo's beautiful locations which will feature in Heart's Desire which is currently being filmed in Mayo by the German television company FFP New Media GmbH, according to Cllr Keith Martin, the Irish Film Board's Mayo liaison officer.
The film will be shown on TV in Germany in November and will be seen by over eight million people domestically, as well as being shown in other countries throughout the world. The project is supported by Fáilte Ireland and is being assisted by Westport Town Council and Mayo County Council.
“This is great news for Mayo as filming for this project stretches from Foxford to Silver Strand and from Delphi to Achill Island and Clew Bay. Also featuring in the film are highlights of Mayo such as Turlough House, Westport House and Westport town. This feature film is a huge boost for Mayo's tourism as it will reach an audience of millions and show the real beauty of our county.
“The film is built on the success of the earlier production, Return to the River, which was also filmed in Mayo. Like all productions coming to Westport and Mayo there has been huge support from Westport Town Council and Mayo County Council. These productions would not be possible were it not for the support of the Westport Film Office and Director of Services Peter Hynes and his staff who have bent over backwards to assist the filmmakers," said Cllr Martin.
Cllr Martin heads up Westport Town Council's Film Office in addition to working with the Irish Film Board in promoting filming in Mayo and assisting productions on location here. According to Cllr Martin: “Westport is the most film friendly town in Ireland as we are the only town or borough council in Ireland that has its own film office.”
Cllr Martin Keane, Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, said: “The film is a great asset to our town and I welcome it for the employment it will provide in tourism and for the investment it makes in Westport and Mayo from supporting and accommodating the film crew. I am proud that Westport will feature greatly in the film as we have a beautiful tidy town and it will be great to see it showcased all over the world and attract those people to come and visit us in Westport.”
The film is based on a story by Rosamund Pilcher, a British author of romance novels and mainstream women's fiction. Her books are especially popular in Germany and the national TV station ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen ) has produced more than 70 of her stories for TV. These TV films are some of the most popular programmes on ZDF. Both Pilcher and ZDF programme director Dr Claus Beling were awarded the British Tourism Award in 2002 for the positive effect the books and the TV versions had on tourism.