21 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
“It is a seminal moment in Irish culture;” Ciaran Creagh discusses Tallinn-bound feature film Ann
10 Nov 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Zara Devlin in Ann.
Ann, Ciaran Creagh’s new Irish feature film, has been selected to make its world premiere at the “A” category FIAPF accredited Tallinn Black Nights International Film festival in November 2022 where it has been selected for the main competition.

This news was quickly followed by two further selections at fellow “A” category FIAPF accredited festivals, Cairo International Film Festival and the International Film Festival of India, which will also take place this November.

We are so delighted to be accepted by three such prodigious festivals all in the one month. It is the dream start for Ann as she starts her journey,” writer/director Ciaran Creagh tells IFTN. “There are so many great Irish films being made right now and with this festival run, we hope that this might give Ann a chance to be part of this new wave of Irish cinema that seems to be everywhere.”

An observational narrative drama, Ann is set over one day, the 31st January 1984, and is based on the true story of the then 15-year-old Ann Lovett, who was full-term pregnant and subsequently gave birth in the grotto in Granard. This story will shine a light into the last day of her life, a girl alone, abandoned by society, by its prejudices, taboos, and traditions.

This was a very difficult film to fund and it took four years to get it from script to screen. We were blessed with the cast and crew who all bought into what we were trying to achieve and the importance of bringing this film to the big screen,” Creagh explains.

“We shot in during covid, in Boyle Co. Roscommon, where we were so welcomed by the townspeople and especially the film office of the county council. It was our aim from the very start to put the story in front of the audience, in a simple and straightforward way, almost narrative documentary style and bring the audience on the journey with the story.”

The film stars Eileen Walsh, Ian Beattie, Zara Devlin, Senna O’Hara, Frank O’Sullivan, Joe Mullins, and Sean T. O’Meallaigh and filmed in Boyle, Co. Roscommon, in the summer of 2021, with the assistance of the Film Office in Roscommon County Council.

When Creagh decided to pursue writing a screenplay about Ann’s story, he was surprise to find that one had not been written before this. “I think most people would feel what happened to Ann Lovett is shocking and as any writer would do, we react to stories and situations,” Creagh tells IFTN. “It is a seminal moment in Irish culture, which is constantly referenced, and knowing the story as I do and how I felt about it, I was compelled to make this film as best as I could.”

Ann was made in association with RTE and produced by Hill Sixteen Features by Ferdia Doherty, Niall Flynn, and Ciaran Creagh. David Grennan shot the film with Tony Cranstoun editing. Original music was composed by Roger Taylor, production design was by Gerard Wallace, and costume by Amy O’Hara. Culture Ireland, together with the Embassy of Ireland, are facilitating the filmmakers attendance at Tallinn Black Nights International Film Festival.

Ciaran Creagh is a screenwriter, director & producer whose credits include In View, a feature he wrote and directed, which won Best Screenplay at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Newcomer Award at the Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival. Creagh also wrote the feature Parked, starring Colm Meaney.

Parked was nominated in four categories at the Irish Film and Television Awards, won Best First Feature at the Galway Film Festival, and Best Screenplay at the 2012 Foggia Film Festival. Creagh also wrote and directed the short The Note, starring Aidan Gillen. Cry from the Sea, a feature he wrote is to be shot in March 2023.

Click here for more information about the films work premiere at Tallinn Black Nights International Film.

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