Irish Film maker based in Reigate, writer/director of over five feature films and six short films. Including the acclaimed short move The Bus Driver.
Category: Arts & Entertainment
Start Date: November 7, 2019
In order to build a new pro-life generation we have to build a new pro-life culture — a powerful, truthful and persuasive counter-culture to the immoral and destructive messaging of Hollywood and the mainstream media. Feature films are an important part of this counter culture, and the impact and success of recent independent films like Unplanned, Gosnell and God’s Not Dead demonstrate the growing appetite for films with a positive life-affirming message that are not afraid to stand up to the evils and injustices of our day.
In the UK we’ve seen how powerful well-made films with a social conscience have aroused public awareness and been instruments, in various ways, for change. For instance, take the example of Ken Loach’s film I Daniel Blake (2016) which addressed the severe difficulties some vulnerable people faced with an unsympathetic benefits system that was failing them at their greatest time of need. The film was so well received that it was actually discussed during a session of Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament and resulted in certain changes to Universal Credit.
Our own new feature film, Pulcinella, in a different but equally powerful way, tackles one of the overriding social and moral issues of our time — that is the issue of abortion and the right to life of unborn children. In our secular society where the Gospel of life has been firmly rejected by an increasingly oppressive political establishment, we need a film that portrays the value and purpose of both our human freedom and of human life itself.
Our film is set in Northern Ireland, where the UK Government recently forced through one of the most extreme liberal abortion laws in the whole of Europe, completely against the will of the people and the majority of their elected representatives. This down-to-earth comedy drama understands the pressures of modern life, especially for young people, but also shows the importance of the right guidance at the right time, and the true liberation of the human spirit which comes from making a choice for life.
Synopsis (without spoiler)
Aine (pronounced ‘Onya’) is an artistically-inclined 15 year-old school girl from the "wrong side of the tracks". She lives in Portrush, Northern Ireland, with her mother Margaret, who works as a cleaner for a local office, and her grandmother Agnes, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her best friend is a social misfit called Leo — a talented visionary young man from a broken impoverished home with aspirations to be a famous actor, a dream he hopes will be kickstarted through getting the lead role in the school play, Pulcinella. Unfortunately wise decision making is not one of his strong points — and his own choice to give in to peer pressure and follow the crowd will have tragic consequences.
When we meet Aine she has misguidedly pursued a much older boy Matt, who everyone calls the ‘King of Cool’ — because of his car, if not his persona. He is also the boyfriend of another one of Aine’s best friends, Corinna. After a night at a house party where she went further than she ever intended trying to impress Matt, she has found herself pregnant. Aine turns to the support of her sidekick Leo, who becomes her main confidante and moral support in her predicament, despite his often-naïve zest for adventure and willingness to take great risks in life.
Aine too longs for adventure and opportunity, as well as adult-sophistication, which leads her also to pursue the guidance of her liberal drama teacher Ellie. When Aine confides in Ellie about her pregnancy she encourages Aine to consider an abortion — a course of action which her mother, anxious about coping financially after losing her cleaning job, also encourages her to pursue. Aine, however, remains in two minds, and during the course of her dilemma begins to receive a different kind of guidance from another unexpected and more mysterious source. This dilemma comes to ahead on the ferry to England, the destination where she has arranged to have her abortion, and she now realises that she is faced with a decision which will not only determine her own fate, but also that of her unborn child.
Danny Patrick is an acclaimed up-and-coming cult film director from Northern Ireland, whose works include Requiem for a Fighter (2018), The Best Years (2014) and Moussaka & Chips (2005). All these films are currently available to view on Amazon Prime Video. Danny’s typical style is street-wise comedy-dramas, which can be quirky and gritty, and reminiscent of the style of popular directors such Guy Ritchie, but with his own inimitable touch.
Alison Fenton founded her Extras company in 2012 - where she first worked with Director Danny Patrick on his acclaimed movie The Best Years (2014). Since then she has moved onto producing with Day after Yesterday and Produced Requiem for a Fighter (2018) and the upcoming Maltese Connection (2021).