11 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Principal photography wraps on Irish language feature film Fanacht
02 Nov 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Catherine Clinch as Cáit in Fanacht.
Filming has wrapped on the Cine 4 feature film, Fanacht; an adaptation of Irish author, Claire Keegan's celebrated story, Foster.

Produced by Cleona Ní Chrualaoi and written and directed by Colm Bairéad for Inscéal, Fanacht was commissioned as part of the Cine4 scheme, funded by TG4, Screen Ireland, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Set in 1981, Fanacht (Waiting) tells the story of a young girl, Cáit, who is sent away for the summer from her dysfunctional family to live with “her mother's people”. These are Seán and Eibhlín Cinnsealach; a middle-aged couple she has never met. Slowly, in the care of this couple, Cáit blossoms and discovers a new way of living, but in this house where affection grows and there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one.

The film stars 11 year-old Catherine Clinch from Dublin in her first screen performance, playing the lead role of Cáit. The principal cast also includes Carrie Crowley (Vikings, Extra Ordinary) and Andrew Bennett (The Stag, Angela’s Ashes) in the roles of Eibhlín and Seán Cinnsealach. Michael Patric (Becoming Jane, Frontier) and Kate Nic Chonaonaigh (Grace Harte, Shadow Dancer) also star as Cáit’s father and mother.

Commenting on the adaptation of Claire Keegan’s work to the screen, Writer-Director, Colm Bairéad said:

"Adapting Foster was, first off, an extraordinary privilege as I believe Claire Keegan to be one of the finest practitioners of the short story form currently working in the English language. Expanding her work to fit the canvas of the feature film form was a daunting, yet hugely rewarding creative challenge. As the story is told completely through the eyes of the young girl at its centre, everything hinged on the young actor we would cast as Cáit.

“I believe Catherine Clinch, in her first screen role, has delivered a performance of extraordinary subtlety and depth, which belies her young years,” Bairéad continued. “We're so excited to piece together her character's journey over the coming months".

Principal photography on Fanacht began on September 14th. The film was lensed by Emmy-nominated Director of Photography, Kate McCullough (Normal People, Blood, Arracht).

Production Designer was Emma Lowney (Dating Amber, Michael Inside) with costume design by Louise Stanton (Rosie, Song of Granite). Sound recordist was John ‘Bob‘ Brennan (Silence, Finky).

The film was shot in various locations around Curraghtown, Summerhill, Moynalvey, and Batterstown, Co. Meath over five weeks. Scenes were also filmed in the historic Meath town of Trim and South Beach, Rush, Co. Dublin.

Commenting on wrap, producer, Cleona Ní Chrualaoi added:

“We feel so relieved to have reached this point, given the worsening situation with Covid. It was a very challenging time to be shooting a feature, but with clear protocols, a superb cast and crew - and a little bit of luck - we were able to see it through.”

The film is currently in post-production and is being edited by John Murphy (Standby, King of the Travellers, Mattress Men).

Fanacht is set for delivery in 2021.

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