1 March 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
     
Aislinn Clarke to direct Hellish Nell for The Picture Company and Studiocanal
05 Dec 2023 : News Desk
Aislinn Clarke
Aislinn Clarke (The Devil’s Doorway, Frewaka) to direct Hellish Nell, the true story of the last UK citizen convicted and imprisoned for witchcraft.

Northern Irish filmmaker Aislinn Clarke is set to direct Hellish Nell, an upcoming thriller from The Picture Company and Studiocanal. Aislinn Clarke made her feature debut in 2018 with The Devil’s Doorway, an Irish found footage horror film, for which she received the Academy of Motion Picture and Science’s Gold Fellowship. Her sophomore feature Frewaka, described as the first Irish language horror, is currently in post-production.

The screenplay for Hellish Nell comes from Black List writer Chris Basler, who adapted the script from Malcolm Gaskill’s book Hellish Nell: Last of Britain’s Witches. The film follows the true story of medium Helen Duncan, the last UK citizen convicted and imprisoned for witchcraft. In 1933, Duncan was arrested during a seance under the Witchcraft Act 1735 for fraudulent claims. She was famous for producing ‘ectoplasm’, which was later proved to be made from cheesecloth. The screenplay centres on Duncan’s relationship with her husband and young children.

The Picture Company partners Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona will produce Hellish Nell under a deal with Studiocanal. Screenwriter Chris Brasler will executive produce.

Her upcoming film Frewaka is being produced by DoubleBand Films and Wildcard. A release date for the Irish language horror has not yet been announced.





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