In veteran actor-director John Shea's competing picture Southie, Donnie Wahlberg portrays a young man who tests his recovery from alcholism by returning to the neighbourhood where all his troubles began. The community is Irish- American South Boston, or "Southie," a tough, proud world onto itself, "a city within a city," as
While the dynamics of Southie's world include Irish Wiseguys who exert an influence on it, Wahlberg emphasizes that the film, in which he plays his first lead role, is not a mob picture.
"It's really about one man's struggle to find himself within his family, and himself. The problems that arise are so huge, he either turns his back on his family to save himself,, or he tries to save them. And he has to do it within a very private world where he has the temptations of fast money and illegal options."...
*source "Donnie Wahlberg's Southie" written by Maurie Alloff for the Quotidien Officiel / Official Daily Ciné Festival. August 29th, 1998
SOUTHIE draws a lot of attention everywhere it screens. After winning the Jury Prize award for "Best American Independant Feature" at the SEATTLE FILM FESTIVAL, SOUTHIE drew the largest crowd ever at the NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL (five additional screeningd had to be scheduled). Following Nantucket, SOUTHIE was selected by the IFP/WEST as one of six films per year to be screened in their "NEW VISIONS" series. At the WGA Theater in Los Angeles over 1,300 people showed up for a 500 seat theater forcing the IFP/West to immediately schedule another screening afterwards (a first ever for the "New Visions" screenings). SOUTHIE was selected as the ONLY American film to participate in the OFFICIAL COMPETITION at this year's MONTREAL FILM FESTIVAL. SOUTHIE has also been selected for this year's AFI/LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL and the MANNHEIM-HEIDELBERG FILM FESTIVAL.
*source PROPHECY PICTURES LTD. Press release by Bill McCutchen