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‘My Name is Emily’ to open Galway Film Fleadh
02 Jun 2015 : Seán Brosnan
The Galway screening will be the world premiere of Simon Fitzmaurice’s film
‘My Name is Emily’, the debut film from award-winning writer/director Simon Fitzmaurice, has been selected to open this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

The film stars Evanna Lynch (‘Harry Potter’), Michael Smiley (‘The Lobster’, ‘Glassland’) and newcomer George Webster (‘City of Dreamers’, ‘Blood Moon’) and has a soundtrack which includes James Vincent McMorrow - who composed a song specially for the film - Lisa Hannigan, Cat Dowling, Liza Flume, Hudson Taylor, Lisa Mitchell, Printer Clips and Jake Bugg.

It’s Emily’s 16th birthday and for the first time in her life, doesn’t receive a birthday card from her Dad. After meeting a fellow outsider at her new school, Emily and her ally, Arden, decide to embark on a road trip adventure across Ireland to find her missing father. They are an odd couple, this pale girl and the boy in the velvet suit, and along the way, they find love as well as some hard and unexpected truths.

Managing Director of Galway Miriam Allen says “we’re honoured to screen ‘My Name is Emily’ as the opening film for our 2015 Festival. After watching the film we were moved to tears, not only due to powerful film-making but also by Simon Fitzmaurice’s own inspirational story.”

Shortly after his second short film ‘The Sound of People’ premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, director Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with MND, the debilitating disease for which the viral ice-bucket challenge raised awareness last September. Now completely paralysed, Fitzmaurice typed the script for the film, as well as his best-selling book ‘It’s Not Yet Dark’ through the movement of his eyes and iris recognition software. This is also how he communicated to direct the film during a six week shoot last year.

Simon said: “I'm deeply honoured that The Galway Film Fleadh has invited My Name is Emily to open the festival. Everyone involved with the making of this film has worked so hard and I cannot think of a better reward and a better place for our film's world premiere.”

On being offered the role of Emily, Lynch said: “After I read the script, it was all I could think about for weeks; it is so different to anything I've read and so real and dynamic.”

Michael Smiley commented: “It’s one of the most beautiful scripts I’ve read in a long time”.

The film also features Simon’s long-time collaborator Martin McCann (’71, ‘Clash of the Titans’).

Crew members include cinematographer Seamus Deasy, composer Stephen McKeon (who recently won an IFTA Award for ‘Queen and Country’) and editor Emer Reynolds (who also recently won an IFTA for ‘One Million Dubliners’).

'My Name Is Emily' will be distributed by Eclipse Pictures and was produced by Newgrange Pictures and Kennedy Films, alongside Scandinavian co-production partners Garage Film and Paradox. The film was financed by IFB, BAI, Section 481 and TV3 with co-production finance from Film i Väst and SVT in Sweden. Production funding was completed via a crowd-sourcing campaign; vocal proponents of which included Jim Sheridan, Lenny Abrahamson, Colin Farrell, Sam Neill and Alan Rickman.

The 2015 edition of the Galway Film Fleadh and it’s associated conference and marketplace, the Galway Film Fair, will take place from 7th – 12th July. Last year the festival topped Moviemaker Magazine’s poll of the Top 25 Film Festivals in the World and Galway has recently been designated a UNESCO City of Film.

More information can be found on the Galway Film Fleadh website: www.galwayfilmfleadh.com.

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