Watch Short Film: Swerve

Production stills from Mycrofilms' crime comedy Swerve. Credit: Photo by Ross Costigan Photography. Contact ross@rosscostiganphotography.ie or 353 86 7733391
ross@rosscostiganphotography.ie

The award winning short film Swerve has just been released online. Swerve is a crime comedy about a deadly game where it’s every man for himself as a group of ambitious criminals do battle for a mysterious bag. This game has been going on for as long as anyone in the criminal underworld can remember. If you play, you play to win. If you lose, you die. But the question is, what’s in the bag?

The film is directed by Ross Costigan and written by John Morton. It was produced by Alan Slattery for Mycrofilms. It won best Short Film at the 2015 Underground Cinema Film Festival and has just finished a festival run where it has screened all over the world.

The cast of the Swerve includes Ed Murphy, David Thompson, John Doran, Peter McGann, John Morton, Stephen Colfer, Niall Sheehy, Paul Young, James McHale, Brendan Corcoran, Ger Cody, Joe Cleere, Niall Morrissey, Ken McGuire, Niamh Moyles and Adrian Kavanagh.

Director Ross Costigan told Film Ireland that “About five years ago we were shooting an episode of webcom Vultures when John Morton said he had a script I should read. It might be good for me to direct and that it was basically inspired by the video game Streets Of Rage but set in Ireland. Then Mycrofilms and myself received a small collaboration bursary from Artlinks and thought we might just be able to make a film out of it. We managed to assemble a huge cast and crew of amazing talented people, all working for free and from there we spent six days turning the streets of Kilkenny into the most ridiculous, violent relay race imaginable”

Speaking to Film Ireland, writer John Morton explains that “The idea was inspired by the video game Streets Of Rage and the idea was to do a short about a game that moved in a scrolling beat ’em up fashion, with random players entering at different stages. I wanted to write something pulpy and kind of schlocky, which I hadn’t really done before so Swerve scratched that itch for a lot of us. Thematically, it’s about the nature of crime and how criminals once had a semi noble code but are now opportunists and cheaters and in that idea, it gave us the scope to do a ridiculous shoot ’em up and play with guns.’

 

 

The making of Swerve was supported by Artlinks. It was shot entirely on location in Kilkenny City

Previous short movies from Mycrofilms include John Morton’s Daffney Molloy and Other Catastrophes (Chicago Irish Film Festival/Indie Cork) Hot Water Bottle (Cork Film Festival) and Terrence White’s Baby Love which played numerous national and international film festivals.

 

For more on the film, please visit www.mycrofilms.com/swerve

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Watch Short Film: Let Those Blues In

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Let Those Blues In is a portrait of Paddy Smith, one of Ireland’s best blues harmonica players, who, after a stint in Chicago’s Cook County Prison, used his passion for music to conquer his demons.

Speaking to Film Ireland, director Paul Webster says, “The producer of the film, Shay Casserley, is a school friend of Paddy’s and they had been shooting together for about a year when they invited me to come on board as director. As a result, there was a fantastic resource of footage already built up. We spent a lot of time listening to Paddy’s stories about his life as a Blues musician, there were so many amazing stories, we couldn’t fit them all in. I was fascinated to hear how he ended up in Cook County Prison,which is one of the toughest jails in America. Paddy’s alcoholism took him to some pretty dark places and we follow him there in the film, but overall I think it’s a really positive and hopeful film. I think that’s why it has resonated with so many audiences, especially in immigrant communities in America and England.

“I have always been interested in the power of music and this film is a testament to that. It’s amazing to see how Paddy has used music to turn his life around and now he helps so many people who are in the same situation he was in. As he says himself, ‘If I could do it, anyone could.’ ”

 

 
Winner of Best Short Documentary in association with RTE at The Sky Road Film Festival, Clifden, Co. Galway – October 2015.

Galway Film Fleadh 2015
Sky Road Film Festival 2015
The Charlie Chaplin Film Festival, Kerry 2015
The London Irish Film Festival 2016
The Boston Irish Film Festival 2016
The Chicago Irish Film Festival 2016
Craic Fest Film Festival, New York 2016

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Watch Short Film: Adam

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Adam, a short film written by Caroline Farrell and directed by Denise Pattison, has just been released online. The film is a dramatic exploration of how a little boy struggles emotionally as he witnesses the violent arguments between his parents amid the constant tension and the spoken and the unspoken messages he is too young to comprehend.

Caroline Farrell told Film Ireland that “the story originated with a haunting image I imagined – a little boy cycling around his neighbourhood, filled with anxiety, disengaged from other children, and standing out as ‘odd’ because he had taken to wearing his father’s motorcycle helmet everywhere. His attempt to be ‘invisible’. His parents are so caught up in their own private miseries and the increasing cycle of arguments that have turned violent, they fail to see how their actions are affecting their children. The compelling theme of the story for me was how this little boy’s confusion and fear manifested into rage, bubbling away, unseen by anyone, until it bursts out of him, and he destroys his precious things. A turning point in his development that goes unseen, and perhaps changes the course of his life, his way of being, his way of seeing any challenge that will present in his future.” 

Also produced by Farrell and Pattison, this low-budget film was shot over two days, and stars Johnny Elliott, Sinead Monaghan, Aideen McLoughlin and Eric McGuirk as Adam.

 

ADAM-HD Short Film from Caroline Farrell on Vimeo.

 

Caroline Farrell has written several feature and short scripts.  Caroline blogs here… on writing and film… and on a few of her favourite things.

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Watch Short Film: ‘Heartburn’s A Killer’

Ross Browne

 

Heartburn’s A Killer, a one minute action-comedy directed by Fergal Costello has just been completed. The film stars comedian Ross Browne and Peter McGann, dealing with a devastating effects heartburn can have on a gunfight.

 

Costello wrote, directed, edited and created the visual effects for the piece, which was shot by Paddy Jordan [The Young Offenders, Pentecost] and produced by Claire Gormley [Mute, Trampoline].
 
The piece was funded by commercial company DBC. www.drivenbycreatives.com

 

 

More of Costello’s work can be seen here: www.fergalcostello.com
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Short Film: Watch ‘Stuama’

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Paul Webster’s Irish language short film Stuama was the winner of the Físín Pitching Award at The Dingle International Film Festival and went on to screen at a number of film festivals in Ireland and America.

The film tells the story of David, a young man who reluctantly travels to the mountains to spend time with Tadgh, a reclusive man he has never met before. Over the course of the story we discover why David has come here and what the two men have in common.

Writer/director Paul Webster told Film Ireland that” I wrote the script for The Físín Pitching Award, which is competition run by the Dingle International Film Festival. The fund was worth €5,000 plus a further €1,000 worth of equipment rental to make an Irish language short film. When coming up with the idea, it didn’t feel natural for me to write people speaking Irish in their everyday lives, I wanted to make the language a part of the story. Like many Irish people, I hadn’t really used my Irish since I left school, I wanted to have David, the main character in this same position. The character of Tadgh, the reclusive former prisoner, was inspired by a man who frequented a bar I worked in as a teenager. He had been in prison and told me stories about his time there, prison was also where he learned Gaeilge or as it was often referred to, ‘Jailge.’

 

“The story was partly inspired by the large amount of car accidents, often fatal, that occurred around the town where I grew up. It was the height of the Celtic Tiger and many teenagers could afford cars that previous generations couldn’t, lots of young people of my age were killed on the road at this time. So many lives were ruined on the road and it was something I felt hadn’t been explored in an Irish film to date. In writing the film, I wanted to explore what it would be like for someone facing a prison sentence for their involvement in a road death. Guilt and fear and how we deal with those feelings emerged as the main themes of the film.

 

“I enlisted the help of producer, Eamon de Staic to help with the pitch and we made our presentation in front of a panel of highly regarded  industry professionals at the festival in Dingle. It was quite nerve-wracking, but we prepared and practiced answering potential questions on the drive down from Galway and this really paid off as we were pretty comfortable fielding questions after the pitch. Hearing Stuama announced as the winner was one of my proudest moments, it was fantastic to get the money to make the film, but equally important was the confidence boost that winning such an award gives. The festival in Dingle is amazing, you get such a sense of warmth and encouragement from the organisers, they love film and Físín is their great way of nurturing new talent. “

 

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