Ethan’s film goes viral

A SHORT film written and directed by a Strabane man, has clocked up almost a third of a million views on Youtube.

‘Lúbtha’ (Irish for queer) is a short film inspired by true events and follows the story of a teenager dealing with his sexuality whilst having to grow up in early ‘90s Northern Ireland.

“It’s definitely getting a lot of attention, which is great,” writer and director, Ethan McDowell remarked. “It’s 14 minutes long so for a short, that’s quite long. So it means people are going out of their way to watch it. I’m so happy with the response. Hopefully bigger people will take notice.”


In the film, Fintan is the teen coming to terms with his sexuality. However as physical and mental abuse become a daily struggle, he retreats into a world of anger and silence. With no solution on the horizon, he yearns to escape from the small town he’s been trapped in all his life, taking with him nothing but his younger brother. As he comes closer to planning his journey to freedom, one night he is shown the reality of acceptance and love.

‘Lúbtha’ was shot in the space of a week in Strabane and Newtownstewart last year.

“Everything I do for university I try and go above and beyond,” the London South Bank University student continued.

“At the minute I’m in talks with some people about making a feature film. That kind of project might have a budget of about £4million but it’s early days yet. Still, it’s shocking to think about. I’m still at uni, I’m 21 – what’s going on?”

Released through Vimeo and Youtube in February, ‘Lúbtha’ has amassed – at the time of going to press – some 275,608 views.


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