One in ten applicants now on the short list for short film

When the news arrived, by email, that Declan’s hybrid short film and documentary project had been selected for funding by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the film maker was on the balcony of a medieval building on an Umbrian hilltop. He was trying to shoot a TikTok with his smartphone for his new profile as he tried to get to grips with the social media platform. Instead of the view that he had been going to post, he made a short clip inviting actors – experienced or simply enthusiastic – to put themselves forward for the available roles in the film.  A week, and 4,500 emails later, he realised that he had bitten of more than he had bargained for.

Three months have passed, and the thousands have been whittled down to hundreds ahead of physical auditions.

“There are 14 speaking roles and, because the film is just 15 minutes long, they are all crucial,” explained Declan. “Most people applying for the roles have been from Ireland and the UK, but some have applied from as far as New Zealand, Chile and Kenya.”

The film sees two stories run parallel until they come together at the end. The first is that of a high-flying lesbian couple who are grappling with a first world problem that has put a strain on their relationship. The second story is more existential. A Polish man, living and working in Dublin, finds himself out of his accommodation when the kindly landlady dies, and he is at his wits end trying to find a new home.

“The film raises a number of social issues,” explained Declan, “and we’ll then have a half-hour documentary where people working in the area of those topics can inform audiences about the realities facing real people in the situations brought up in the short.