Northern Irish filmmaker Terry George, creator of the critically acclaimed film ‘Hotel Rwanda’, has made the newest cut for the Oscar’s list of nominees for live-action shorts for his project ‘The Shore.’ The film, shot very nearby his home outside of Belfast, tells the story of a man returning to the area for the first time in 25 years after he fled during The Troubles.
The LA Times reports that the film tells the tale of the lead character, played by Ciaran Hinds, who George directed in ‘Some Mother’s Son’, returning to Northern Ireland for the first time since he had left 25 years ago. He brings along with him his daughter, and the two go for a “bittersweet” visit to his old best friend.
“I really view it as a continuum of the work I’ve done on the Troubles,” said George of ‘The Shore.’ The short film joins other projects of his such as ‘The Boxer’ and ‘In the Name of the Father’ which take on themes dealing with The Troubles.
“But ‘The Shore” deals with “the reconciliation side of it,” said George of his newest project. “We’d never gotten to that in my other films.… So this little story, for me, has the sense that I have of Northern Ireland now, that people have moved on and want the communication to begin.”
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The film, which runs just short of 30 minutes, also allowed George to explore more of a comedic route than what he had done in other films. The basis of ‘The Shore’ comes from a humorous story his uncle told George and Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis while the duo were exploring Belfast for research on the movie ‘In the Name of the Father.’
His uncle’s story was that of a friend returning to Ireland after fleeing during The Troubles, which led his friends to mistakenly pin him for an unemployment inspector. George inserted the story into ‘The Shore’ in a scene in which George has said has received the most laughs at the film’s several screenings.
George welcomed the new gauge for the film: “Laughter’s the only barometer you can judge the audience with in a theater. Usually with the films [I make], there’s a deathly silence –- the intensity of the films kind of washes over people. So to go in there and have people laughing, it was quite magical.”
George kept the production a personal and family affair, employing many relatives in production roles and as extras. Free from studio involvement, George “had total control,” he said, “Other than my daughter bossing me around.” His daughter co-produced the film alongside him.
The LA Times reports that the film is in discussion with iTunes for distribution, and George hopes to see the short film run on British and Irish television.
Below, catch the trailer for ‘The Shore’:
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