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Irish horror Fréwaka selected to world premiere at 77th Locarno Film Festival
10 Jul 2024 : Nathan Griffin
Clare Monnelly in Fréwaka.
Wildcard Distribution and DoubleBand Films has announced that Aislinn Clarke’s upcoming Irish horror Fréwaka has been selected to make its world premiere at the 77th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland next month.

Written and directed by Aislinn Clarke, the Irish language feature stars an all-female cast including Clare Monnelly (Doineann, Moone Boy), Bríd Ní Neachtain (The Banshees of Inisherin, Róise & Frank), and Ukrainian actress Aleksandra Bystrzhitskaya (F20). The film (released in Ireland as Fréamhacha) revolves around care worker Shoo (Monnelly), who is sent to a remote Irish-speaking village to care for an agoraphobic woman (Ní Neachtain), who fears both the neighbours and the Na Sídhe – sinister folkloric entities she believes abducted her decades before. As the pair develop a deep connection, Shoo becomes consumed by the old woman’s paranoia, rituals, and superstitions, eventually confronting the horrors from her own past.

Speaking about the film’s world premiere at Locarno, writer/director Aislinn Clarke said: “Locarno is not only a prestigious festival with an illustrious history, but one that showcases filmmaking at the very front line of new cinema. I’m truly honoured that Fréwaka is included in Locarno’s official selection this year.”

Clarke was awarded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Gold Fellowship in 2020. Her feature film The Devil’s Doorway, which was the first Irish horror to be directed by an Irish female filmmaker, played at many international horror festivals, sold worldwide including to IFC in the US and earned her a Screen International Rising Star Award nomination. Aislinn was included in Variety’s round-up of Ireland’s Rising Stars Behind the Camera earlier this year and currently has projects in development with Paramount and Studiocanal.

Produced by Dermot Lavery for DoubleBand Films (Doineann) and by Patrick O’Neill for Wildcard, Fréwaka was funded through the Cine4 scheme, supported by Screen Ireland, TG4, Coimisiún na Meán, and Section 481.

New Europe Film Sales is handling international sales for the film. Wildcard Distribution will release the film in Irish cinemas in 2025.

The 77th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place August 7th – 17th 2024.





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