A short film made in rural Cork for just 300 euros has been selected to screen at the biggest film festival in the country after a hugely successful tour of the international festival circuit.
Uisce Beatha (Gaelic for ‘Whiskey’ or ‘Water of Life’) will screen at 6.30 on February 14th in the Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield, as just one of eight Irish short films hand-picked for the ‘JDIFF Shorts’ programme of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.
The JDIFF screening marks a return home for the film after a very successful tour of international film festivals, including screenings at the Raindance Film Festival, Boston Film Festival, the Chicago Irish Film Festival and the San Francisco Irish Film Festival. The international highlight was winning the “Filmmakers’ Choice” Award at the DC Shorts Film Festival in Washington DC, the biggest short film festival on the East Coast of the US, where it was the only Irish film selected from over 150 international shorts.
Set in 1912, Uisce Beatha is the true story of Tom, a young man who leaves his home in rural Ireland to cross the ocean on the ill-fated ‘Titanic’. But a night of celebration beforehand results in a twist that will affect Tom’s fate drastically.
Writer and lead actor Tadhg Hickey came across the story while researching the dozens of Irish people who had purchased tickets for the Titanic but not actually boarded the ship. Fascinated by Tom’s story in particular, the filmmaking team immediately set about adapting it for a short film.
Production of the film took place in various picturesque locations around County Cork. Though the film was made without funding, friends and family helped out on set where possible and local actors also lent their talents.
Having a tiny budget on a period film meant that the filmmakers had to be very creative. Period costumes were borrowed from a local theatre production, and one scene was shot on an antique railway to achieve the look of an old train journey.
But the work paid off, as Uisce Beatha has proven to be an audience favourite at festivals, winning awards in Cork, Chicago and Washington DC.
‘My team and I are absolutely delighted at having been selected for the Jameson Dublin Film Festival. The film was a tiny production, made with people helping out for little or no payment, and it’s a great thrill for us to be screened alongside films of such a high caliber.’
Shaun has since directed a new short film, Rest My Bones, and will soon release a new music video for Cork band ‘Noir Noir’. Writer Tadhg and producer Aideen are both working on theatrical projects, while Shaun and Tadhg are developing their first feature film.
Tickets for the JDIFF Shorts program can be purchased from the Film Festival’s website at www.jdiff.com