THE NEW name to watch out for in Irish cinema could well be the Oughterard born actress, writer, director, and producer, Amy-Joyce Hastings.
Yesterday the Galway Film Fleadh hosted the world premiere of The Callback Queen, a new Irish rom-com, directed by Graham Cantwell, starring Amy-Joyce (The Tudors, The Guards ) in the lead role along with Mark Killeen (Game Of Thrones ).
Today, from 12 noon at the Town Hall Theatre, as part of the fleadh’s New Irish Shorts Programme, Nocturne Passage, a short film written, directed, and produced by Amy-Joyce, and starring the IFTA award-winning actress Susan Loughnane, best known for her role in Love/Hate, will be screened.
Nocturne Passage centres on a young artist’s fight to hold on to her sanity in the wake of devastating events. A character study and a psychological horror, the film takes place over one day and also features flashback sequences.
Amy-Joyce cites Requiem For A Dream and The Exorcism of Emily Rose as inspirations for the film. Initially though, it began life as a very different kind of film.
“It began with a commission to write a dramatic script to showcase a young actress whose career was taking off, which is why we deal with primarily one solo character on screen throughout,” says Amy-Joyce. “As the project developed it gradually evolved into material with a strong horror leaning.
“Rather than resist the direction this was taking, we were excited to explore the genre aspects of the film, and ran with it. Turning a dramatic story of extreme distress into a genre horror piece opened up so many more avenues creatively.”
The director says the film examines the repercussions of a reckless act, while loneliness and guilt manifest themselves as something supernatural. “It is never answered as to whether these supernatural elements are real or a mental phenomenon born out of anguish,” she says.
Amy-Joyce is currently rehearsing the role of Miranda in Wexford’s Travelling Light Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.