The fittingly named Postcards series offers short film snapshots of the pursuits and passions of the inhabitants of under the radar communities, ranging from a century old rocket-launching tradition on a Greek island to the next generation of Japan’s martial artists.
In Five Stone of Lead, we are transported to Glenbeigh, rural southwestern Ireland, where boys as young as twelve are already deeply focused on their chosen life path – to excel as professional jockeys.
“Rocky IV – I know it’s a movie, but it makes you want to never give up”
Dylan is driven, self-possessed, articulate and an unassuming charmer. He cites Rocky IV as the inspiration for his perseverance and resilience, and even seems to have borrowed his intensive training routine from the Italian Stallion. He’s currently so light that he must carry the titular five stone (70lb) of lead in his saddle to be heavy enough to control his horse. As we watch him try to buff up and rise to the top of his game, it’s impossible not to be won over by his determination and dedication. The boys face additional hardship as the grip of recession in Ireland means horses are scarcer, but Dylan remains optimistic and cheerful, grinning from ear to ear.
Gorgeous footage of the young aspiring jockeys racing by the sea is interwoven with shots of domestic details, such as the extensive horse themed décor in Dylan’s home, building a loving portrait of a tightly knit community devoted to all things equestrian. Despite just a six minute run time, we become entirely invested in young Dylan, his ambitions, and his world.
Other films from the Postcards series can be found on their dedicated website, which also provides information for those interested in submitting to the series. Postcards is a collaboration between the film agency Just So and Sheffield Doc/Fest, and provides grants of up to £5000 for selected projects.