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Alison Millar’s Documentary Lyra to air on TG4 tonight
10 May 2023 : News Desk
Lyra
Lyra is a documentary feature by Alison Millar, following the life and death of celebrated Northern Irish journalist and LBGTQ+ advocate Lyra McKee, who was shot dead by Irish Dissident Republicans in April 2019 aged 29.

Millar’s documentary is a story of present-day Northern Ireland from McKee’s perspective and reflects on its tormented past through the prism of the ground-breaking investigations the journalist wrote about.

The documentary makes use of personal archive assembled from McKee’s dictaphones, her family’s home movies, personal text messages and cell phone diaries collected from family, friends, her partner Sara Canning and Millar’s own archive to tell the journalist’s story.

The interviews with McKee's close family, including her mother Joan who died shortly after the documentary was finished and her sister Nicola, as well as her many friends, admirers and advocates of her work in journalism is insightful and illuminates her humanity amid the tragedy.

McKee's shocking death made global headlines and tributes flooded the digital world for days. Messages quoting lines from her work were retweeted by a staggering array of people from the Irish president to internationally renowned musician Patti Smith and former US president Bill Clinton.

US politician and speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who had been in Derry the day before McKee’s murder to highlight just how dangerous the threat was to the Good Friday agreement, held a press conference and a minute’s silence in memory of the journalist. Her funeral in Belfast was attended by British and Irish Heads of State.

McKee garnered international acclaim for her journalism and writing which included ground-breaking work detailed in Millar's documentary.

For her TEDx Talk in 2017, McKee delivered a speech about a recent trip to the USA. McKee met the families and survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, when 49 people had been killed in an anti-gay attack. The emergency response and support first came from a part of the Muslim community. McKee wanted her TED talk to encourage people to talk to those who oppose your view and promote tolerance and understanding.

McKee also conducted an investigation into the unsolved mystery of boys disappearing during the 1970s in Belfast. Her first book in a two-book deal with Faber & Faber was entitled The Lost Boys in which McKee examines the disappearance of the boys during the conflict at that time.

To date Lyra has played at Cork International Festival, Ireland, Sheffield Doc Festival, England, Giffoni in Italy and the Solidarity Festival Tel Aviv. In all four countries audiences have responded with standing ovations.

The film has won the Tim Hetherington Award at Sheffield Doc Festival, the Audience Award at CIFF, the GFX Best Documentary at Giffoni and Best Documentary at the Solidarity Festival Tel Aviv. LYRA has been shortlisted for the 2023 IDAs.

Lyra was directed and produced by Alison Millar. Jackie Doyle also produced. Siobhan Sinnerton, Edward Watts, Andrew Eaton, Greg Darby, Louisa Compton, Proinsias Ní Ghrainne, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton executive produced. The film was produced in association with TG4, Hidden Light Productions and Northern Ireland Screen. Lyra is a Erica Starling Productions company.

The film airs tonight, May 10th, on TG4 at 9.30pm.





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