Film made in conjunction with Mayo Women's Refuge Service and other agencies to premier

Bruise, a short film highlighting the issue of domestic abuse and sexual assault. It will world premiere at Galway Film Fleadh on July 6 at 10am.

Chris Watt the script writer of Bruise said: "I wrote Bruise to contribute to what I see as an important conversation. It’s about a woman regaining control: over her body, over her voice, a journey from brutality to rebirth, and as such, it always felt like it needed to be told in an unusual, unorthodox way, to tell a story about speaking up and reaching out, but to approach it symbolically, through movement and gesture, free of dialogue, and to allow the audience to simply consider the subject matter."

The story is told through drama,movement and dance. With music composed especially for the film by the award winning composer Natasa Paulberg.

It is the story of Heather, the lead character who is stunningly performed by Emily Kilkenny Roddy in her debut lead acting role. Her husband is played by dancer Ryan O’Neill also in his debut acting role.

Their story is unique yet reflective of so many stories that are happening to people all over Ireland and the world. It features the debut performance from young aspiring actor Jade Lawless who plays the role of Grace O’Malley, the Pirate queen.

Heather finds herself in a candlelight vigil with women who have experienced similar situations to her and these women represent the support services that are available for people going through these issues.

Developed in response to multiple recent (and past ) events and true stories, Bruise is a visually driven film that explores the many facets of domestic and sexual abuse against women. Following the journey of Heather, a woman trapped in an abusive relationship, who manages to escape her domestic prison, only to find herself vulnerable to the many threats that wait just beyond her front door, Bruise is a story about finding your voice and reclaiming your body and a film that attempts to find hope in the midst of brutality.

On the Western Front Studios is a production company based in Westport, is run by producer / cinematographer team Emer and Brian Durcan. Brian Durcan (cinematographer ) was awarded a leader grant for a new camera, lenses and equipment. Emer Durcan (producer ) is just finishing her MA at NUIG and wanted to sink her teeth into a project that was important to the community.

She was the driving force behind Bruise and worked closely with Safe Ireland, The Mayo Womens Support Services and Adapt Kerry to incorporate survivors stories into the characterisation of Heather and John. She also worked closely with the Rape Crises Center who in turn came and acted in the film.

It is important to her that domestic abuse, coercive control and sexual assault is openly discussed and wishes Bruise to act as a promotion for the services available to help people escape situations like this. Bruise is Directed by the well accredited and renowned Director Mo O’Connell. Her previous endeavors include the BAFTA nominated HUM, Girls, Lambing (2022 ), Haven (2022 ), Eve (2021 ) and Mask (2022 ).

Bruise is interesting because of its collaboration with services that offer support to people who have been affected by situations of domestic abuse, coercive control and sexual assault.

The Mayo Women's Refuge relayed real life stories from women who have experienced domestic abuse. These stories were used to build the main characters. The Mayo Rape Crises Centre also got onboard and there are actual women who work for these organisations presenting in the vigil scene as extras. Bruise is also supported by Adapt Kerry, Safe Ireland and CYPSC.

Mayo Women's Support Services are delighted to be involved in this important project that carries a very important message about Domestic Violence.

MWSS is the lead specialist agency in the county offering a free confidential service and a range of support to all women and their children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence and coercive control. They offer the following services; One-to-one support and listening, information on legal options, financial rights and entitlements, accommodation and housing, advocacy, accompaniment and helpline, Supports for children -offering group and individual programmes.

Mayo Rape Crisis Centre is a safe place where our expertise and dedication meets each survivors unlimited potential for healing and recovery, as we accompany them on their individual and unique journey.

Nicci Carroll who works in the center and acted as an extra in Bruise said: "This was such a creative way to work and to able to give a very loud voice and an expression to the reality of sexual violence was very powerful. I know that I screamed for all the survivors who have come through the doors of the Mayo Rape Crisis Centre in the last 28 years and louder for all those who have not. We see the bruises and we see the unseen bruises on all survivors."

 

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