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Broken Law director Paddy Slattery talks with IFTN
28 Feb 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Tristan Heanue and Graham Earley in Broken Law.
We caught up with Irish writer/director Paddy Slattery ahead of the world premiere of his debut feature film Broken Law, which screens at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival this Friday, February 28th.

Written, directed and produced by Paddy Slattery under his production company True Line Films, Broken Law is also produced by Simon Doyle (HeyDay: The Mic Christopher Story) for FailSafe Films, cinematography by Narayan Van Maele (Gutland, Gridlock), editing by John Desay (Ladies of Science), sound by Nikki Moss (Patrick’s Day) and Rob Moore (Wave), while the score was composed by Michael Fleming (Katie).

IFTN: How did you find the experience of making your debut feature film?

Paddy: “Without doubt, getting this film made was one of the most difficult challenges I ever faced; physically, mentally and financially. The project was in development for over 4 years and came very close to production on two previous occasions, but for one reason or another, it never materialized. It was only when Simon (Producer at Failsafe) and I decided to produce together with my newly formed company True Line Films that things finally started moving in the right direction.

“So, we went back to the drawing board, re-worked the script, refined our ambitions and thankfully, third time lucky, we got the project off the ground and into the can. It has been an epic journey and I cannot wait to breathe a massive sigh of relief when we finally hand over a DCP to a projectionist at Cineworld.”

Broken Law features Irish actors Tristan Heanue (Cardboard Gangsters, In View), Graham Earley (Cardboard Gangsters, Red Rock), John Connors (LOVE/HATE, Cardboard Gangsters), Gemma Leah Devereux (Get Up & Go, Judy), Ryan Lincoln (Kissing Candice, Cardboard Gangsters), Gary Lydon (The Guard, Brooklyn), and Ally Ni Chiarain (Michael Inside, The Drummer & the Keeper).

The film follows Dave Connolly (Heanue), a respected member of the Garda Síochána whose loyalty to the law gets tested by his ex-convict brother Joe (Earley) following a botched robbery. Dave finds himself embroiled in a cover-up that somehow leads to a secret relationship with Amia (Devereux), an unhappily married woman who also happens to be the victim of his brother's crime.

IFTN: How significant is it to you, and your production team, to have the film selected to premiere at DIFF?

Paddy: “It’s a huge honour and testament to everyone’s tireless dedication to the project. The odds are always stacked against you when you’re making a film on a shoe-string budget so we’re proud to have our film selected to screen alongside some heavy hitters in the Irish film industry. But more than anything else, we just cannot wait to share our work with an audience.”

Slattery has also been nominated for the Aer Lingus Discovery Award at the 2020 VM Dublin International Film Festival alongside 12 other nominees, one of which is his films leading actor, Tristan Heanue. “I’m surprised and delighted with the nomination,” said Slattery when discussing the Discovery Award nomination.

“Surprised because there are hundreds of upcoming filmmakers across the country that are equally, if not more, deserving of the recognition; delighted because I share this nomination with some of my creative partners in crime, like Tristan Heanue, Gwen Jeffares Hourie and Cara Holmes. Does this mean we’re competitors now!?”

Broken Law makes its world premiere at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival on Friday, February 28th.

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