FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
IFTA AWARDS 2024
Val Barber, a private investigator, is hired by a wealthy widow to find her missing granddaughter. Barber's initial investigation into the disappearance quickly darkens. Secrets start surfacing in unexpected ways. Barber finds himself entangled with powerful men of shady morals determined to thwart his investigation. Has he bitten off more than he can chew?
Director: Fintan Connolly Writer: Fiona Bergin, Fintan Connolly Producers: Fiona Bergin
Q: What was the genesis of this film, and how did it evolve over the course of development to production and completion?
Fintan Connolly (Writer/Director): "Looking back, it all came together very quickly. We pitched the idea to Aidan and he liked it. He was the first person to get involved and that was significant in generating interest in the film and getting it financed."
Fiona Bergin (Writer/Producer): "Aidan is a friend of ours and we had been talking about doing something together for a while. In July 2020 we got the greenlight under the Screen Ireland micro budget scheme and by September we were shooting. It was shot in 18 days with a crew of 15 and within a three mile radius of O’Connell Bridge."
Q: What did you feel was the most fulfilling element of working on this film?
Fintan: "Working with the actors to bring the script to life. As a director, actors are your best friends on a set. Aidan was at the centre of the story from the beginning and he and the other actors were a pleasure to work with. We ended up with 24 speaking parts courtesy of casting director Maureen Hughes."
Fiona: "Shooting the film is most exciting and collaborative part of filmmaking. We had a great team including Owen McPolin on camera, Tracey O’Hanlon on design, Robert Flanagan on sound and Brian Willis on production."
Aidan Gillen (Actor): "It’s a really good mix of young actors and battle-hardened veterans. A lot of the film’s energy comes from us all buzzing to be back working again after lockdown. There was a tangible sense of freedom not being stuck in the house all the time. All the outdoor scenes were filmed on the street and that gives it a gritty, urban feel."
Q: To what extent was your on-screen talent vital to the success of the film?
Fiona: "Aidan’s involvement has been critical from the start. Not only in getting it funded but in attracting other actors to the project and most of all helping it to reach viewers."
Q: What’s the most interesting/inspiring piece of feedback you’ve received from people who have seen the film?
Fintan: "That people see a different, less villainous side to Aidan as Barber."
Fiona: "It has been picked up for the US market and more recently for the UK, so it’s beginning to find an audience outside Ireland which is great."
Q: Why is it important to see your work represented at the IFTAs and to be acknowledged by your peers in the Irish film community?
Fintan: "It helps build a sense of community and industry. Filmmaking can be quite singular. And it’s always a good night out…"