Linda Bhreathnach: How We Made ‘Native’


Director Linda Bhreathnach tells Film Ireland how the idea for her latest film just wouldn’t leave her alone and how she set about making the idea a reality. Native is a story about a migrant worker returning home after many years abroad. A film about immigration and homecoming and a film which is ultimately about rising above the suffering inherent in life. Native will be screened at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

The idea for this film wouldn’t leave me alone so, in the end, I went about seeing if I could make the idea a reality. Native was inspired by a short story written by my sister (Bridget Bhreathnach). The story was so beautifully written and told the story of an immigrant (played by Patrick Bergin) in such a sensitive and insightful way, it conjured up so many clear images in my imagination of how the film might look.

I wanted the film to be beautiful but not pretty, to have a ruggedness to it, a wildness. Connemara, where it’s set, is such a unique and interesting landscape and I wanted to show the darkness and barrenness and to show that these things can be incredibly beautiful. In the same way that sadness can be beautiful.

I don’t like when things are too perfect, so I didn’t set out with rigid expectations. Although I had a very clear image in my head of what I wanted the film to look like, I wanted to create a film in an organic way. I think this helped a lot because we had very limited time and a limited budget.

Seán T. Ó Meallaigh (Director of Photography) and I have been very good friends for years and he has the most beautiful eye for photography and is a poetic editor. I cast him in my last film, Adulting, and during that we decided that we would make something together in the future. Seán was really into the concept and brought so much to the film. We used the natural light in Connemara, which is naturally dramatic because of the cloud coverage and strong winds and I think this translates to the screen.

When I met Patrick Bergin I told him about the story and he loved the idea. We decided to shoot it in March when the weather got a little better, although it still did rain for much of the shoot! One of our filming days was on an island, which was quite difficult as we had to cross this stony old causeway to get out there. The causeway is covered by the sea when the tide is in so we had to race against the clock to get it shot in time in order to be able to walk back off the island again.

I was very lucky to have met an amazing producer and writer from California, Marina Donahue, at last year’s Galway Film Fleadh, she was so supportive and hugely important to the film. We are currently developing a feature film written by Marina, about the travelling community in the 1970s and how the ‘cruelty men’, as they were called, would often take children from the camps and then put them up for adoption. It’s a very powerful and important story and I’m proud to be a part of it.

The music was composed, created and produced by this gifted Catalan musician who is based in Galway, Moisés Mas Garcia. The music was so important because the film has no dialogue and the composer really needed to understand the story. Moises has a deep understanding of the theme of the film and this helped him to create a musical story to match the images on screen.

We also had Foley Artists in Russia work on helping to create a wonderfully rich ambient sound to go with the film. It was pretty amazing to see footage of these artists working on Native all the way over in Russia and watching the images of Patrick in Connemara and trying to recreate the sounds of the water and of his footsteps. There was something remarkably beautiful about that to me and the work they did really helped add another layer to the film.

There are hints of Irish music, but only hints. It’s subtle and you can hear beautiful Irish elements like the bodhrán. It was really really important to me that we had the bodhrán because of its primal sound and how linked it is to Ireland. The music overall creates a landscape of its own to match the Connemara landscape and the landscape of Patrick’s character’s journey.

I think the elements of story, place and sound all combine to create a story that can be understood by anyone anywhere. At least, I hope they do.


Native screens at the 29th Galway Film Fleadh as part of New Irish Shorts 4 on Friday, 14th July at the Town Hall Theatre at 10:00.

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The 29th Galway Film Fleadh runs 11 – 16 July 2017




‘Adulting’ Wins Best Short Film Award @ Irish Film London


 Linda Bhreathnach


Irish Film London have named the short film Adulting as the winner of this year’s prestigious Best Short Film Award. Adulting premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year. The award was presented to the writer and co-director Linda Bhreathnach by Irish Film London’s founder and director Kelly O’Connor at a ceremony in the Irish Embassy London on Monday, 14th November.


Adulting will be screened during the Irish Film Festival London on Wednesday, 23rd November at 7.00 p.m. in Regent Street Cinema, London as part of the festival’s Best of Irish Short Films Programme.


Irish audiences will have the opportunity to see the film during the Cork Film Festival on Friday, 18th November as part of the ‘Irish Shorts 4: A Sense of Who We Are’ collection of short films in The Gate Cinema at 12.00 noon.


Speaking about the film writer Linda Bhreathnach says, “I wanted to do write something that was contemporary and that represented modern Irish women in a way that felt realistic and authentic to me.”


Adulting touches on the pressures of social media and modern life; the pressure to travel, have the ‘Perfect’ life and be ‘Happy’. It examines the anxiety that vast amounts of choice can sometimes create in contemporary life.

Galway Filmmaker Linda Bhreathnach Wins Irish Screen America’s Rising Star Award

Adulting actress and writer, Linda Bhreathnach, out in Connemara, which features in the film short written by Linda Bhreathnach. The short will screen as part of the 28th Galway Film Fleadh.

Adulting written and co-directed by Linda Bhreathnach has been selected to screen at the Irish Screen America Film Festivals in New York and Los Angeles and The San Francisco Irish Film Festival.

Galway filmmaker Linda Bhreathnach as the winner of this year’s prestigious Rising Star Award for a short filmmaker for her film Adulting which premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year. The award will be presented at a ceremony during the Irish Screen America Film Festival in Los Angeles which runs from September 22 to 25.

Adulting will also be screened during the Irish Screen America Festival in New York (Sep 30 – Oct 02) and during the San Francisco Irish Film Festival (Sep 22 – 24).

“After carefully watching everything we screen for the festival we’ve selected six Irish talents we are proud to showcase in our programme, talents we want to support, thank and promote for their hard work in their field,” said Eibh Collins, Manager of Irish Screen America, on behalf of the judging committee. “Linda was selected for the clearly vital roles she had in making Adulting the fantastic short that it is,” she continued.

Written and produced by Linda Bhreathnach and co-directed with Justin Davey, Adulting has been very well-received.  Ferdia Mac Anna (Last of the High Kings, BAFTA winner) says the film is ‘quirky, insightful and unique’. Writing in The Irish Times, Pól Ó Muirí described it as ‘a poem of a film.’

“I wanted to write something that was contemporary and that represented modern Irish women in a way that felt realistic and authentic to me,” says Linda.

Adulting explores the pressures of social media and modern life; the pressure to travel, have the ‘Perfect’ life and be ‘Happy’. It examines the anxiety that vast amounts of choice can create in contemporary life.

The cast includes Linda Bhreathnach (Ros na Rún, Corp agus Anam), Carrie Crowley (Vikings, Fair City), Paraic Breathnach (Jack Taylor, Breakfast on Pluto), Emma Eliza Regan (Jack Taylor, Darkness on the Edge of Town), Sean T. Ó Meallaigh (Vikings, Klondike), and James Riordan (Lipsinkers), amongst many other fine actors.

Adulting was shot in Galway City and Connemara and mixes the old traditions such as working the bog with new cultural activities like Facebook, Tinder and the all-encompassing presence of social media.

Cinematography is by Justin Davey. Director of photography, Lakshike Serasinhe. The music for the film was kindly given by Alana Henderson (Saturday Night Live, Coachella).

Irish Screen America Festivals 2016


Los Angeles Sep. 22 – 25

Adulting will screen during the Irish Shorts Program: ‘New Irish Short Films from Ireland’, at 4.00 p.m. (PST), Sunday, September 25.

Venue: Laemmle NOHO Theater, 5240 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

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New York Sep. 30 – Oct. 2

Adulting will screen during the Irish Shorts Program from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

Venue: NYU’s Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Film Center – 36 East 8th Street New York, New York 10003.

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San Francisco Irish Film Festival


Adulting will screen during the Short Stories Tall Tales program at the 13th Annual San Francisco Irish Film Festival which runs from 6.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (PST) on Friday, September 22, 2016.

Venue: Delancy St. Screening Rooms, 600 The Embarcadero, San Francisco 94107

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