FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
IFTA AWARDS 2024
A group of protesters film a period re-enactment in a dilapidated 18th century house in a last ditch effort to save the building from demolition. "Prospect House" blurs the lines between real life and dramatized events, while touching on a range of themes such as art, historical truth and conservation.
Director: Paul Mercier Writer: Paul Mercier Producers: Anne Gately
Q: What was the genesis of this film, and how did it evolve over the course of development to production and completion?
- Paul Mercier (Writer/Director): "It was a story that the producer of the film, Anne Gately, wanted to tell. And it provided the basis for a film-within-a-film project that would deal with how we treat the past, what we understand as heritage, how we create historical fiction and how the first casualty of storytelling is truth. Prospect House is a low-budget film done by our own independent film company An Pointe Productions. We shot most of it in North Mayo, but also filmed in Cork and in Connemara where we are based."
Q: To what extent was your on-screen talent vital to the success of the film?
- Paul: "It was an ensemble effort that included experienced actors, actors who were not so experienced and actors who were never on screen before. There was significant local participation from Mayo where most of the film was shot. And this ensemble collaboration, synergy and commitment saw the film through a challenging shoot."
Q: Can you speak to the growth in the Irish film industry in recent years and how it helped your film get off the ground?
- Paul: "Prospect House was funded by Coimisiún na Meán’s Sound & Vision scheme, along with the S481 Tax Credit. Without Coimisiún na Meán this film would not have got off the ground and we are grateful for their leap of faith. It is how our previous film We Ourselves was funded and how our first film Pursuit got started too. Prospect House also benefitted from the Regional Film Development Uplift. It is enabled us to provide training, opportunity and access to new and emerging talent in the Connaught region. And that talent left its mark on this film."
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?
- Paul: "Homegrown independent Irish film-making needs all the help that it can get. It is up against it both at home and internationally. So we value greatly what IFTA does as a facilitator for – as well as being a champion and celebrant of - this vital part of the industry in this country."