Day Off, one of the Film Limerick Trilogy has been selected to screen at the 28th Galway Film Fleadh. The film is one of three short films that were made with the support of Limerick City of Culture in partnership with Behind the Scenes. The scheme also received assistance from Screen Training Ireland.
The idea behind the project in which Day Off was made was a way of providing training and experience for those seeking to break into the film industry. The ambitious scheme was the brainchild of Film Limerick Project Manager Ronan Cassidy and acclaimed Limerick writer and director Gerard Stembridge.
Starring Dawn Bradfield and Joe Mullins, the film tells the story of Laura, who struggles at first to come to terms with her husband’s life-changing affliction, her only distraction is her day off, where once a week she finds time to see her friends and socialise.
Speaking of his preparation for the part, Joe Mullins said, “Originally we had a meeting and I spoke to the writer (Peter McNamara), about the character and I felt it was about a person suffering from dementia. It is about the wife (Dawn Bradfield) of the character that I play having her day off. My own mother was young when she got alzheimers, so I knew the mannerisms and what it would be like, so I worked from there.”
The film was produced using local filmmakers mentored by industry professionals. Gerard Stembridge selected the writer, Peter McNamara from a group of first time writers and then worked with him to get the script ready for filming. Peter was given maximum freedom to tell whatever story he wanted to tell. The story had to be contemporary and preferably unfold within a limited time period and Limerick City itself was to be evident as the backdrop. The use of locations in the city is therefore at the heart of the film.
A team was put together with everyone who took part gaining invaluable experience from top industry professionals. In addition to having a first time writer and director, there were DOP’s, sound operators, set designers, wardrobe, make-up, hair etc., each being mentored by designated industry professionals.
Gerard Stembridge also worked with the director, Stephen Hall, on casting to secure the best available local talent for the film. He also oversaw the filming and mentored on set.
Producer, Ronan Cassidy said, “The project has been a massive success from start to finish and a huge achievement considering we used a first time writer and director. I am sure Peter McNamara and Stephen Hall are two names we will be hearing from in the future. I would like to thank Gerard Stembridge for his generosity with the time and dedication he gave, and also Mark Griffin and Simon McGuire of Behind the Scenes for facilitating me in completing this incredible project. The finished product demonstrates how this genuine community film project came together and it is a model I would like to see adapted by film communities in the future.”
Day Off will screen as part of the New Irish Shorts programme on Thursday 1st July at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway at 10.30am