Austin Kenny is an Irish filmmaker/archivist who is working on an extended version of "Tape Me Away From Home," a short documentary he created ten years ago based on audio cassette tapes he discovered at his parents’ house.

“My parents had kept them [casettes] from the time that they had emigrated to Australia in the late 1970s,” Kenny, a native of Dublin, recently told IrishCentral.

“The concept of the cassettes came from the fact that my parents’ families back in rural Ireland had no access to a nearby telephone, so the only way to hear a loved one’s voice was to record them into the stereo speaker and post the tapes back.

“What resulted was a treasure trove of lost memories covering topics from newborn babies to new potatoes, and from GAA commentaries to live sessions and storytelling.”

Austin Kenny’s short documentary "Tape Me Away From Home" can be seen here:

Kenny's original documentary only features his parents, aunt, and uncle, because, as he says, resources, equipment, and time "were tight."

"I didn't get to drum up the emotion factor as much as I could have hoped," Kenny acknowledged, "because there were some emotive aspects that could have been delved into deeper."

Kenny is now embarking on that deeper dive for a bigger documentary that he's pitched to Midas Productions, and he's searching for potential contributors who "have a similar collection of forgotten gems of either audio or video cassette tape who would like to share the stories behind them.”

He says: “The footage (audio or video) will be the driver of this documentary, but emotion and nostalgia will be the fuel. 

“It aims to be a wistful look back at how things were - stoking up curiosity, laughter, and maybe a few tears along the way.”

Do you or your family have audio or video cassettes you'd like to share for the new emigration documentary? You can connect with Austin Kenny via email or on Facebook.