‘Displaced’ film in final stages of post production

When film maker Declan Cassidy got news from the Coimisiún na Meán – then the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland – that funding was in place for the short film ‘Displaced’, it was the late summer of 2022 and he was in Italy. Now, over a year later, the script has become a 20 minute film that is in the final stages of edit.

“We’re just working on final colour-grading and sound,” explained Declan. “Our cast and crew screening is on October 7th, so it won’t be fully ‘locked down’ until after that, when I’m sure that everyone is happy with it, but I think they will be.”

This collaborative approach has underpinned the entire production of ‘Displaced’. From the very start, the production has been unusual.

“I’m a huge believer in community media and in helping groups and individuals to create content so that they have their own voices in what is a very busy media landscape,” Declan explained, “so I saw this project as an opportunity to reach out into the community and find the cast and crew there. I made an announcement on TikTok that I was making the film, and I invited people to get in touch if they were interested in getting involved in front of or behind the camera. I wasn’t expecting the response I got!”

Over 5,500 emails flooded in from people who wanted to act in the film or be involved in the crew. Some were professionals but most were not. Sifting through the sheer volume of people was a mammoth task, but, after many months and additions to the script to accommodate more actors, the film went into production at the beginning of August.

“I have to admit – I was a bit apprehensive,” said Declan. “There are tried and trusted ways of casting and crewing and this was a leap of faith, but it was a leap that landed me on very solid ground. The team has become very close. We have a Whatsapp group and are in constant touch with each other. There’s a lot of excitement ahead of the cast and crew screening, which is being facilitated as a result of the huge generosity of Florian Zapra, director of the Dublin International Short Film and Music Festival (DISFMF). The next step for me is to plan which festivals to enter the film into and then the next stage of the journey begins. My hope is that this film will be a platform to show what our crew and actors can do.”

The film is also providing a platform to showcase original music, as Declan explains:

“There are three scenes in a barber shop and it struck me that such places usually have music playing in the background. I could have used stock music or my own recordings, but I went back to TikTok and suggested that musicians might like to send music in that they’d like to have included in those scenes. The music will be low in the background but it’s nice to think that it’s a film credit for a musician. There’s a sense of collaboration about that.

Displaced tells two stories in parallel. The first is that of a Polish man who finds himself without a place to live and, with his family and friends back in Poland, without the social support that an Irish native might be able to fall back on. The second story is a ‘first world’ problem that is presented in stark contrast to the existential challenge of the Polish man. A celebrity barber’s favourite artist is playing a final ‘farewell’ gig and her girlfriend, who had promised to buy tickets, slept late and didn’t manage to get them before they were sold out.

The film has an active TikTok and Instagram account, for those who want to see what’s been happening behind the scenes.