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Festival Round-Up: ’Mother’s Little Helper’ at Berlinale & Irish Films in Byron
10 Mar 2010 :
Three Irish projects have been selected for competition at the Byron Bay International Film Festival and Michael Lavelle’s short film screenplay ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ has been chosen to compete for the 2011 Berlinale Today Award.

Byron Bay International Film Festival

Three Irish projects - Louis McCullagh’s ‘Call Me Son’; Michael Kiniron’s ‘Lowland Fell’ and Rory Breslin’s ‘The Man Inside’ - have been chosen to screen at the Byron Bay International Film Festival held near Brisbane in Australia.

‘Call Me Son’, from My Neighbour Films, recently screened at Filmstock in England and the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival and tells the story of a boy (played by ‘Robin Hood’s Ciaran Flynn) in foster care who is continually being moved form home to home until, finally, he can take no more.

Michael Kinirons’ ‘Lowland Fell’ is a sensual teenage drama that follows the exploits of three youngsters who discover a bog body during the summer. The short stars Jane McGrath (The Clinic), Robert Sheehan (Cherrybomb), and Michael Winder (The Tudors). The short won the Best Cinematography Award for Suzie Lavelle at the Novara Film Festival in Italy and previously won the Seattle film festival special jury prize.  

Finally ‘The Man Inside’, directed by Rory Breslin, deals with the case of Lisandro whose key breaks in the lock one morning, trapping him in his tenth floor apartment. Lisandro first of all sees the fact that he may be late for work as his biggest problem but soon comes to realise the real extent of his predicament. The project was awarded the title of Best Short Film at the 2009 Kerry Film Festival.

The festival will be screening over 200 films from more than 24 countries. For more information about the festival see www.bbff.com.

Mother’s Little Helper’ at Berlinale

A short screenplay by Michael Lavelle entitled ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ has been selected to compete for the Berlinale Today Award at the 2011 festival. Funded by the Berlinale and produced by Germany’s Macchiato Pictures, the film will be shot on location in Berlin with Lavelle directing.

Michael works as both a cinematographer (His & Hers, Undressing My Mother) and as a writer and director (Out of the Blue, I Hate Musicals! – The Musical). He describes ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ for IFTN as “A dark psychological horror about how insecurities can devour us from the inside.” The film deals with Sandra who, at 40, is attractive but is painfully insecure about her pear shaped body. She discovers a novel way to lose weight – namely, by swallowing a long, thin tapeworm. The short charts her consequent downward spiral.

“I’m delighted for this incredible opportunity to have the Berlinale back my idea – especially when it’s a horror”, Michael tells IFTN, “But for me horror is in the imagination, the unseen, the suggested. The film will not have wild special effects, it will be shot in a raw almost documentary style. It is not a gore fest, it is a slowly growing unease, an insecurity made real and tangible.”

The Berlinale Today Award offers five young directing talents the chance to produce a short film in cooperation with a Berlin / Brandenburg based production company. The nominated films celebrate their world premiere during the Opening Ceremony of the Berlinale Talent Campus. The winning film, chosen by a jury, will receive the Berlinale Today Award during a gala ceremony.

‘Mother’s Little Helper’ will receive its World Premiere at the Berlinale next February, where it is set to compete with four other films from around the world for the coveted award. The four other projects are ‘Hackney Lullabies’, a co-production from Japan and the UK, directed by Kyoko Miyake (Mrs Birk’s Sunday Roast); ‘Little Red’ from Romania’s Eva Pervolovici; British director Toby Robert’s ‘Spoilt Broth’ and ‘The Day We Danced on the Moon’ from the UK’s Tristan Daws.
For more information about the Berlinale film festival visit www.berlinale.de.

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