#IrishAbroad: Graham Cantwell’s LILY to screen at the prestigious Savannah Film Festival

Following its Oscar qualifying success winning the Tiernan McBride Best Short Drama Award at the 28th Galway Film Fleadh, LILY, a new LGBT drama written and directed by Graham Cantwell will continue its journey on the film festival circuit at the Savannah Film Festival this coming October as part of the Global Short’s Forum.

The film will also screen at the Kerry Film Festival in October and the Cork Film Festival in November .

The film tells the story of Lily, a girl with a secret, on the cusp of becoming a young woman. With her best friend, the fiercely loyal and flamboyant Simon, she navigates the treacherous waters of school life. When a misunderstanding with the beautiful and popular Violet leads to a vicious attack, Lily is faced with the greatest challenge of her young life.

LILY stars Gaiety graduate Clara Harte and introduces Dean Quinn in the leading roles of Lily and Simon respectively. Amy-Joyce Hastings (The Callback Queen), Paul Ronan (Veronica Guerin), Aisling O’Neill (Fair City), and Lynette Callaghan (The Yank) come together as the supporting cast, alongside newcomers Leah McNamara and Hallie Ridgeway.

LILY will be internationally distributed by Network Ireland Television. Sadhbh Murphy of NITV says,

We are very proud to be representing Lily, which has already seen great success in Ireland, winning the top award at the Galway Film Festival, and now about to screen in competition at the Cork and Kerry Film Festivals. We anticipate it will have similar success in the international shorts’ scene.

Writer and director, Cantwell is known for directing feature film Anton which was nominated for three Irish Film and Television Awards in 2009. His directorial debut A Dublin Story was shortlisted for Academy Award Nomination in 2004 having picked up several film festival awards. In 2014 he co-authored the screenplay for Filmbase feature Poison Pen along with Eoin Colfer. Most recently he wrote and directed a romantic comedy set in the London film industry, The Callback Queen, which was released in the UK and Ireland in 2015 and picked up two IFTA nominations at the 2016 Awards in April.

Speaking about his short, director Cantwell said:

This film is really important to me, dealing as it does with the very sensitive issue of bullying. Some of our especially vulnerable young people are members of the LGBT community. It’s an incredible opportunity having the film screen at such a prestigious festival, hopefully it will help build even greater awareness of the issue.

Sharon Cronin, Indah Pietersz, Emma Carlsson and Ciaran Byrne produced, with Eimear Ennis Graham as Director of Photography, Sonja Mohlich as Costume Designer, Tom North as production designer, Marina Granville as Key Makeup and Hair Artist and Keith Ward as Stunt Coordinator. The score was created by two time Emmy nominated composer Joseph Conlan. The film also features music tracks by JD Kelleher, Peter M Smith and Hello Monroe.

Sharon Cronin, producer said:

We are really proud to be playing the film at the Savannah Film Festival, the festival has such a rich history of screening the very best of films from all over the world. I think we found a really great home for our US premiere.

LILY was executive produced by Film Venture, Filmbase and Powerscourt Pictures and was shot on several locations in and around Dublin.

For more information on the film follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

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