Breaking Out

Ireland, 2020

Director: Michael McCormack; screenplay: Michael McCormack; cinematography: Nick O’Neill, Richard Kendrick, Cormac Downes, Damien Drake, Ross O’Callaghan, Michael McCormack; editing: Mick Mahon; music: Maurice Seezer; producers: Michael McCormack, Aideen O’Sullivan; production company: Silver Moonbeam Film. Irish location: West Cork

Running time: 84’

With Fergus O’Farrell, Meng Li O’Farrell, Glen Hansard, Jeremy Irons, Vincent O’Farrell, Maureen O’Farrell, Steve Wall, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Liam Ó Maonlaí

Galway Film Fleadh – Best Feature Documentary 2019
IFTA – Best Feature Documentary 2021


Filmed over ten years, Breaking Out is the remarkable story of Cork born singer-songwriter Fergus O’Farrell, the charismatic voice of Interference, one of the most compelling and influential bands to emerge from the Irish music scene in the 1990’s. He was best known for his timeless song “Gold” which featured in the soundtrack to Once, the Oscar winning film and multi-Tony-award-winning musical. Despite being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at a young age, through it all, Fergus had to keep singing. His unique talent and love for life inspired a generation of songwriters even as his own was slipping away. Close friend Glen Hansard was one of those songwriters and never forgot that voice.


Michael McCormack is a broadcast Producer/Director of RTÉ, where he learnt to be a storyteller from the very beginning and over the years. Breaking Out, winner of the Best Feature Documentary at the Galway Film Fleadh 2019 and of IFTA Best Feature Documentary Award 2021, is his first film.