Tense drama grabs best short at Fleadh
The winner of the tightly contested Tiernan McBride Award for best short at Galway Film Fleadh last Sunday was the tense, violent drama Martin, written, directed and edited by National Film School graduate Seán Branigan.
It features Gary Lydon in a vivid portrayal of an aggressive, self-destructive wreck of a man. Renewed contact with his concerned daughter (Leanne Kearney) offers a glimmer of hope in this tight, uncompromising drama set over an eventful, astutely judged 15 minutes.
The runner-up prize went to Juanita Wilson’s The Door, a deeply moving drama set in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Shot in Kiev and Minsk, this accomplished film was achieved with a level of ambition matched by assurance. It was the outstanding new production from the Irish Film Board/RTÉ Short Cuts and Short Shorts initiatives.
Other notables included Brian Durnin’s stylish Of Best Intentions, Conor Ferguson’s affecting Atlantic with Liam Cunningham as a lonely farmer, and Lowland Fell, directed by Michael Kinirons, in which an encounter between a 17-year-old girl and two brothers builds to a ménage à trois.
Providing light relief were John Kennedy and Ruairí O’Brien’s engaging Hoor, in which three schoolboys visit a prostitute, and Hugh O’Conor’s entertaining Spacemen Three, with Peter McDonald, Michael McElhatton and Pat Shortt.
Gary Lydon in Seán Branigan’s winning short film Martin