28 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Kerry Bursary film Ship of Souls in consideration for BAFTA & Academy Awards following Best Irish Short Film win at Foyle Film Festival
09 Dec 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Ship of Souls
Ship of Souls, winner of the Kerry Short Film Bursary in 2020, has been awarded the Best Irish Short Film award at the Foyle Film Festival in Derry.

As Foyle Film Festival is a BAFTA & Academy Award recognised festival, this award puts the film in consideration for the Best Short Film award at next year’s BAFTAs & Academy Awards.

Kerry County Council and the Arts Council of Ireland fund this Bursary of €10,000 and were delighted to see the film achieve this success. Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Jimmy Moloney, congratulated the team and wished them further success saying that “this Bursary was put in place in 2018 to support and encourage filmmaking in the county and we are delighted to see films of this calibre coming through.

Siobhan O’Sullivan, Kerry ETB Film Development Officer, further congratulated the team adding that “it’s great to see such a beautifully crafted film getting the exposure it deserves. We were delighted to support the team filming in Kerry.”

Ship of Souls tells the story of a young Japanese woman, recently widowed, who arrives in Ireland to mourn her husband’s tragic death with his family. Their different approaches to grieving a loved one become clear and a clash of cultures ensues.

Writer/director Jean Pasley lived in Japan for a number of years and while there witnessed Obon, the annual Festival of the Dead. She was deeply moved by the festival, inspiring her to write Ship of Souls. She explains that “essentially it is a film about different ways of dealing with loss and grief. It is also about the way different cultures think about the dead. Ship of Souls offers hope to anyone who has suffered loss.”

Producer Greg Burrowes was delighted to work with Jean on the film: “I was immediately struck by how heartbreaking but elegant the story was. The funding that Kerry County Council provided us to make the film allowed Jean to craft a powerful story about loss, grief and the search for redemption, themes that have universal appeal.”

The film was shot in Castlegregory, Co.Kerry, a place Jean spends a lot of time in, and the production team found “the stunning landscape elevated the emotion of the piece”. The Ship of Souls team are thrilled to have won Best Irish Short at the Foyle Film Festival and, as Greg explained, are “excited to have the opportunity to present the film to wider audiences all over the world’.

Click here for more information about the Foyle Film Festival.

Click here for more information about the Kerry Short Film Bursary.

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