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Graham Cantwell’s ‘Lily’ to Screen at Santa Fe Film Festival
05 Dec 2016 : Katie McNeice
Clara Harte as Lily
The project received The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Short Drama at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh this year and will screen at the Santa Fe Film Festival, running from December 7th-11th 2016.

The LGBT drama premiered at the prestigious Savannah Film Festival in October, since going on to screen at the Clones Film Festival and Cork Film Festival, with a nomination for the Festival Prize for Best Irish Narrative at the Kerry Film Festival.

Gaiety graduate Clara Harte leads as Lily, a young girl with a secret. Her fiercely loyal and flamboyant best friend Simon, played my Dean Quinn, supports her as she tries to navigate school life.

A misunderstanding with popular girl Violet (Leah McNamara) results in a vicious attack which causes Lily to face the greatest challenge of her young life. Paul Ronan (Veronica Guerin), Aisling O’Neill (Fair City), and Lynette Callaghan (The Yank) feature as supporting cast, with newcomer Hallie Ridgeway.

The cast also includes Amy-Joyce Hastings as Oonagh, who also starred in Cantwell’s 2013 feature ‘The Callback Queen’. This film earned two IFTA nominations in 2016 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Film (Seán T. Ó Meallaigh) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Film (Ger Ryan).

Cantwell’s short film ‘Anton’ was additionally nominated for three IFTAs in 2009 Nominated, with Gerard McSorley for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Film, Fergal O’Hanlon for Best Director of Photography and Anna Rice for Best Original Score.

Clara Harte, Lead Actress:
“It was very important for me to pitch Lily right because of the subject matter. We wanted to show hope to people, a light at the end of the tunnel for anyone who has been bullied or abused. People shouldn’t be made to live in fear no matter their sexuality, race or gender. It’s so common for people to suffer in silence but hopefully we’re opening a discussion and encouraging people, especially young people, to talk about these problems. I knew straight away that I had an obligation to give a voice to the marginalised. Lily’s experience almost breaks her but in the end makes her so much stronger. I hope people see that strength and it helps them find their own.”

Graham Cantwell, Writer/Director:
“This film is really important to me, dealing as it does with the very sensitive issue of bullying. Some of our especially vulnerable young people are members of the LGBT community and it is important that we do everything we can to highlight the issue of bullying and get young people talking about it, whether they've been a victim, a perpetrator or a witness to it. It's an incredible opportunity having the film screen at such a prestigious festival, in a city that means a lot to me, having previously had The Callback Queen's North American premiere at The Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.”

Sharon Cronin, Indah Pietersz, Emma Carlsson and Ciaran Byrne produced, with cinematography completed by Eimear Ennis Graham and production design by Tom North. Two-time Emmy nominated Joseph Conlan (The Callback Queen) completed the score.

‘Lily’ was executive produced by Film Venture, Filmbase and Powerscourt Pictures and was shot on location in Dublin.

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