The true story of a South American pilot who crashed his plane in rural Ireland in 1983. Against all odds, the local people came together to build a runway to get him home.


This is the story of Paco, an illegitimate nine year old who, thanks to his imaginative mother Grace, is convinced that his absent father is a Spanish astronaut who works for N.A.S.A. They live in the depressed town of Kipadder, Co. Cork. Once the double-glazing capital of Ireland, it is now crippled by factory closures. As his mother struggles with her busy job as a waitress, Paco is left to deal with the harsh reality of being an illegitimate child in a small Irish town. When Ernesto Sanchez, a charismatic South-American pilot, crashes his cargo plane in the field, Paco confuses the wingless plane wreck for a N.A.S.A. rocket and contrives to keep the pilot secret. But it is not long before the Ernesto and his plane are discovered and, having learned some Spanish for his father's return, Paco is the only person in the town who can translate.




"Demian Bichir delivers a soulful turn as a Colombian pilot stranded in a remote Irish village in Ian Power's comedy."
"Searching for the perfect summer family movie? Look no further than The Runway."
Oliver Lyttleton, INDIEWIRE
"There's an appealing sweetness to the film's tone, and some genuinely funny moments. Kierans is excellent as the indomitable Paco, and a strong supporting cast includes Pat Laffan, David Pearse and the invariably excellent Condon."
"This is a shameless shaggy dog story, but it is impossible to resist."


  • 4 Award Nominations
  • 5 Award Wins