A Break in the Clouds

#Interview: Scannain Talks A Break in the Clouds with director Tristan Heanue

Scannain caught up with director Tristan Heanue to talk about his new short film A Break in the Clouds. The last time we spoke to him it was ahead of the film’s World Premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh. Now the film is set to feature at the IndieCork and Kerry Film Festivals in the next month.

A Break in the Clouds is contemporary drama tells the story of a young couple struggling to adjust to life following the birth of their first child. The film shines a light on the impact first time parenting can have on both a new Mother and Father.

The short stars Heanue, Gemma-Leah Devereux (Get Up & Go, Stitches) Marie Ruane (Foxes, Striking Out, The Clinic), and Linda Bhreathnach (Adulting, Ros na Rún). It is produced by Paddy Slattery, who also produced Heanue’s directorial debut, Today, winner of Best First Short Drama at the 27th Galway Film Fleadh.

What was the inspiration for the film?

It came from a few different places. A few friends of mine had babies in quick succession and I saw first hand the different types of strain that it had on them. It just stuck with me and I wanted to tell a story that showed what the pressures were like for both sides during this time. I guess it was me also putting myself in their position and wondering how I would cope with it.

Was it deliberately set in a rural environment?

Yes, I wanted Sarah to have that extra detachment of being away from friends and family at this time when she needs them most. And also for Jack to be surrounded by family and friends but to not really be communicating with them or telling them how he is feeling. And also the landscape can be perceived as either beautiful or barren depending on your mental state at any given time, so it’s always an interesting backdrop.

How was it working again with producer Paddy Slattery?

This is my 2nd time working with Paddy as a director, he produced Today too. It is always an absolute joy to work with Paddy, he is the most selfless and inspiring human I’ve ever met. He keeps confidence high and is always there with great advice or suggestions.

And what was it like for you to direct this as well as star in it?

It was surprisingly very enjoyable. Mainly because I was blessed with an absolutely amazing cast & crew who worked so hard and made it all happen. I also had one of the best cinematographers in the country shooting it, Narayan Van Maele. He was a dream to work with. We spent a day down in Connemara planning all our shots and also left things loose enough that we could change stuff up on the day if we felt it needed something different. When you surround yourself with very talented people it really does make your job a lot easier.

How do you feel about the film being screened at various film festivals?

Its always great to see your film screened at any festival. To get fresh eyes on it and to see how they react. We love IndieCork and they have always supported my work right from the start. Kerry we are really looking forward to as well, Maeve McGrath is doing an amazing job down there with that festival. The more people that can see it the better and we hope that it’s the beginning of a long festival run because we really believe in this film.

And finally, what are your future plans?

I am writing my feature at the moment which is on its 2nd draft. I feel It is quite strong already and is another drama similar to my three shorts. I also have two more shorts written so I will just go through the usual avenues now and try and get one of them made. Hopefully the three shorts I have made independently will serve as a good advertisement of what I can do.

A Break in the Clouds screens at IndieCork on Saturday, October 14th at the Gate Cinema from 4.30pm as part of the Irish Shorts 4 programme, and at the Kerry Film Festival on Saturday, October 21st at Cinema Killarney from 4.30pm as part of the Irish Narrative Shorts programme.

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