Leading ladies... Elly and Una Murray in ‘Good Chips’

Dunsany film star sisters ready for the red carpet

Two young Dunsany sisters are starring in an award-winning short film which will be screened later this month at the Dublin International Film Festival.

Elly and Una Murray star in ‘Good Chips’ by Copper Alley Productions. The Gala Premiere takes place on Saturday 25th February at 6.30pm at the Light House Cinema, where Una and Elly will grace the red carpet along with their family, the cast and crew.

It will later be broadcast on Virgin Media and appear on the Virgin Media player online, before travelling to many festivals around the world for screenings.

Elly and Una are daughters of Mary and Des Murray of Dunsany. Elly (14), is a pupil of Loreto, St Michael’s in Navan, while seven-year-old Una attends Dunsany National School.

Their proud Mum, Mary, says Elly was always interested in the arts, has attended drama classes and plays the violin. “Now that they have been involved in this production, they are both very interested in acting. They really loved the experience and we are a very excited about the attending the premiere.”

The girls, who were both adopted from Vietnam, were approached to see if they would audition for the film as the writer, Brigid Leahy works with her husband and thought of them.

‘Good Chips’ was produced as part of a prestigious scheme and award for upcoming new talent for screen, called 'Discovers', run jointly by Virgin Media Television and Screen Ireland. They chose three teams to make three short films for an award of €30,000 each sponsored by Virgin Media.

Produced by Lara Hickey of Copper Alley Productions, it was written by Brigid Leahy and Nell Hensey and Nell is also the director.

"The film tells the story of a family of Vietnamese immigrants making their home in Ireland in the 1980s.

"The most important thing was to find the right actor to play our lead character of Tam and we were overjoyed when we found Elly Murray. She stood out in her auditions and meetings with us because of her intelligence, her enthusiasm and the spark and passion she has for acting," says producer, Lara Hickey.

"We knew we had found not only the right actor for the role, but a great artist and collaborator for the project as it was such a big collective effort, Elly fit right into the team and made such a huge contribution to the role, we couldn't have done it without her. As an extra special bonus, we got to meet and cast her real life little sister, Una, as her on screen sister, which gave the film such an authentic feeling, full of emotion and connection and we found a great performer in Una too."

"We shot it last year in Dublin and Wicklow in November over four days."

In 1979, over two hundred Vietnamese refugees were taken in by the Irish government and brought to live in housing estates in North Dublin. Few of them could speak English and many had never had a formal education. Overtime, they adapted to Irish culture and many of them ran successful Chinese takeaway trucks.

Good Chips takes place in 1989, ten years after the Vietnamese refugees came to Ireland, in a housing estate in North County Dublin. Elly plays Tam Nguyen (12), who helps out with the family business, a take away food truck. Here, she meets an Irish boy named Callum (11). As Callum becomes a regular customer, the pair strike up an unlikely friendship. Two young people, who couldn't be more different, come to realise they have more in common than they initially thought.

Tam is a strong-willed protagonist, with a thick North Dublin accent. She is never afraid to speak her mind and she is a hard-working young woman for her family; manning the cash register of her father Duong's takeaway, helping her mother Lien make dinner and babysitting her little sister Mai. Tam also has a mischievous, fun loving side which friend Callum helps bring out.