Northern Ireland Screen

Industry: Northern Ireland Screen announces latest short film decisions

Northern Ireland Screen has anounced the decisions from its recent Short Film Call which opened on September 1st, 2015.

The short film calls are designed to encourage Northern Ireland resident producers to make a significant contribution to developing talent within the local industry and to develop Northern Ireland resident creative talent (writer, director, producer teams).

The nine projects detailed below have been awarded Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through Northern Ireland Screen.


  • Writer/Director: Michael Barwise
  • Producer: Pol Og Barwise
  • Executive Producer: Pearse Moore
  • Production Company: Transfusion Films

A man who pretends to be dead for a living copes with the impending death of his estranged father. For years Aidan has shared a house in a remote country town with his childhood friend Malcolm. His life is tilted off balance when his sister Claire reaches out to tell him his father is dying. He tries to continue his life as usual but he is eventually drawn back home.


  • Writer/Director: Shane Martin
  • Producer: Louise Martin
  • Production Company: Visual Narrative

A group of inexperienced animal rights activists from Belfast attempt to sabotage a local fox hunt but events take a turn for the worse when they are given the wrong directions. The fox hunt turns out to be a stag hunt and the group accidentally run over the stag which was escaping the hunt.


  • Writer: Jonathan Fulton
  • Director: Keith O‚ÄôGrady
  • Producer: Larry Cowan
  • Production Company: Brassneck Productions

Ruby Fair, a young girl dealing with the death of her mother, comes across a man drinking near her bus stop early in the morning and she is convinced it’s Santa Claus. Despite her father telling her to stay away from him, they start to talk and she decides she wants to help him. One night, whilst drunk, the man gets a beating from some people and ends up in hospital. Ruby steals a book from another child’s bag to give to him and demands her father takes her to the hospital to see him. Nine months later ‘Santa’ arrives at her door on Christmas day with a special gift to thank her.


  • Writer: John Morrison
  • Director: David Holmes
  • Producer: Brian J Falconer
  • Production Company: Canderblinks Film and Music/Out of Orbit

‘Buck’ Alec Robinson is a legend. People look up to him. He’s the man they go to to sort out problems. But Buck is getting old and there’s a new hard man in town. The younger, tough as nails, ‘Silver’ McKee challenges Buck to a bare knuckle fight on the street. It’s a brutal battle fought out in front of a huge crowd. Nobody wants to miss this fight and people come from all over the city to watch the fight of the century. Buck is victorious but only just and Silver demands a rematch. At their rematch the street is almost empty. In a surprising twist Buck discovers that the world is changing fast and the days of the hard man are numbered.


  • Writer/Director: Toto Ellis
  • Producer: David Kilpatrick
  • Production Company: Clean Slate

Based on an account of a true story written by James Ellis on the battle of James Ellis and Sam Thompson to stage the play Over the Bridge in the face of censorship in 1950s Belfast.


  • Writer/Director: Philip Henry

Claire and Xavier are two married vampires. During their nightly feed, they address a recurring source of friction in their 106 year marriage: Claire’s desire to be a mother. Claire is feeling broody again and when she learns the couple they have just killed were about to become parents, it just makes things worse. Claire talks things over with her best friend over a pint of blood, but Xavier has already taken matters into his own hands.


  • Writer/Director: Kevin McSorley

Johnny Davis struggles to attract customers to his empty village bar. With the threat of losing his livelihood looming large, Johnny locks himself away to become a Flair Bartending Cocktail King in an attempt to win his customers back and to inadvertently save the day for the village church.


  • Writer/Director: Marc Mulholland

House of Hopla is the story of brotherhood, basketball and belief in Belfast in the early 1980s. NBA shooting coach Dave Hopla spent three years in West Belfast and went on to have 3 successful years playing throughout Northern Ireland and Ireland as the small West Belfast club rose to fame and became one of the biggest teams throughout the country in the most difficult times.


  • Writer/Director Virginia Apicella

A family of three siblings play a game called Scare-a-thon, the object of which is to scare one of the participating members to get them to scream. Whoever can get someone else scared to tears, wins. When the kids grow up they meet for a long overdue family dinner. Unfortunately the eldest has some tragic news to share with her younger siblings. As the adults work on their grief, personalities clash and a blow up of tempers follows. It seems Scare-a-thon makes its way back, tenfold.

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