Declan Flynn, a man struggling for self-acceptance, is preyed upon by a gang of self-described ‘Queer-bashers’ in Dublin, 1982. Based on the true story seen as a major catalyst for Ireland’s gay rights movement.
Declan Flynn was a 31-year-old man from Dublin who was chased and killed by a gang of teenagers in Fairview park, 1982, on the assumption that he was gay. The teenagers were arrested and taken to trial but were given suspended sentences and walked free, with the judge on the case stating that:
‘this could never be regarded as murder... there is no element of correction required. All of you come from good homes and experienced care and affection.’
The injustice of not only the murder but the outcome of the trial, is seen as the catalyst that sparked Ireland’s biggest gay rights movement.
As a team of filmmakers, we are proposing to narrate Declan Flynn’s tragic story by combining fictional, traditionally narrative sequences with documentary and archival footage. The film will follow the last day of Declan Flynn and his personal struggle of identity and self-acceptance in 1980s Dublin before his brutal murder that very night.
As well as the systemic and blatant homophobia that occurred during and after Declan’s murder, the thing that is most deeply disturbing is the utter thoughtlessness that went into the attack itself. Declan’s killers destroyed his life in a matter of minutes, with no regard of who he might have been or who they might be affecting.
Declan was someone who was just trying to get through life despite the obstacles and setbacks he faced as a gay, introverted man. He was a brother, a son and a friend. He had a life. It’s very hard to grasp the unfairness of Declan’s death, which is why we felt the urge to make this film, with the intention of showing people who Declan was during his life, and in turn, emphasising the cruelty of his sudden death.
We want people to watch this film and know that homophobia and intolerance ruins lives. This may be a story from the 80s, but discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is still rife and dangerous. You don’t have to look too far to find recent stories with stark similarities to Declan’s murder, and we want people to understand that LGBTQ+ prejudice and discrimination is still something we need to be fighting against.
We have done it. We have a film. Our creative team worked soo incredibly hard and we really feel we have nailed 1982 Dublin but most importantly have handled Declan's story respectfully.
Authenticity was incredibly important to us throughout this entire process. Our cast was made up majority of individuals of Irish/Irish heritage and for our LGBTQ+ roles, LGBTQ+ actors as we believe that lived experience of being Queer adds to the authenticity that much more. Our crew also includes individuals from the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals of Irish Heritage across the board.
When deciding our approach to Declan, we knew how important it was to show respect to his character and to who he was in life, rather than just in death. We shot this film solely from Declan’s perspective, rather than by including several perspectives, which may be more appropriate for a future feature length film.
Declan’s story has only ever been told through news formats and mentioned in historical documentary style pieces of work. We chose to tell this story through a narrative lens in order to recreate Declan’s world in a much more visual way, which will hopefully build a more meaningful and emotional connection to the story for our audience.
For some people, it’s easy to ignore the prejudice and discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people both throughout history and still today, and through this film, we hope to evoke real conversations, elicit change and recognize the life of Declan Flynn and the systemic injustices of his murder. Declan was someone who was trying his best to navigate life despite the realities and setbacks that stood in his way, which we believe is something that we can all relate to.
Some of you may be thinking wait, didn't they raise money last time and why do they need to raise money again? Well, let us explain...
Due to the nature of the production, it turned out to be a much harder task to shoot our film than we first anticipated. We encountered many problems whilst shooting the film:
Security risks - Whilst shooting we sadly encountered major security risks posed to our production from a gang of individuals (shall not be named). The gang continually tried to break into our unit base and because of this we had to hire 24hr security on site and on location with us at all times to keep cast and crew safe. For a short film this is a big expense.
We had to add an extra day of shooting - Impossible scheduling conflicts and locations issues resulted in us having to add an extra day to shooting. This is often a costly endeavour but it was a necessity to tell this story with the level of thought and care we needed. I can honestly say, we would not have the quality of film we do now without making that very decision.
Bad Weather - Due to conditions on the day we dropped an important scene. Should we be able to re-shoot this, it would be invaluable to the story.
With this campaign our team is now asking for finishing funds for post-production so we can complete this film and make it worthy for the big screen. We are asking for £6000 to be exact. The funds will contribute to our marketing, distribution, and help aid our post-production process. Also, we hope to use the money to re-shoot our lost scene.
Last but not least we will be donating 100% of anything over our funding goal to the Dublin Pride Fund - The money raised is distributed to various LGBTQ+ charities & not for profits, including other Irish Prides; helplines, support & advocacy organisations; and LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers.
Our team have put in over three years of hard work to make this a viable project for the big screen. To complete this film and help it reach the level it deserves, we ask for your donations because we recognise more than ever this story has needs to be told.
Ellie Hodgetts (Writer/co-director) is an award-winning filmmaker based in the UK. She is particularly motivated to make films centering around women and the LGBTQ+ community. Most notably, her film 'We Are Here' received distribution from Mattioli Productions, official selection at Leeds Queer film festival, and many more.
Aymeric Nicolet (Co-director) is a writer/director from Geneva, Switzerland, based in the UK. His main focus is to tell the stories of the outsiders, misfits, and persecuted of normative societies. Most notably, his film 'Reading Gaol' was a nominee for the prestigious student etudes awards at the 2019 Camerimage Film Festival and has screened at the British Museum.
Joe Tapp (Producer) is an award-winning producer based in the UK. He is most interested in films that change audience perception, particularly within minority communities.
Daljinder Johal (Producer) works across production, marketing, journalism and curation, in addition to being a writer, to create joyful and thoughtful work that shares nuanced perspectives from voices often underrepresented in the arts and film industry.
Tuli Litvak (Producer) has just produced two BFI NETWORK commissioned shorts together with a BAFTA-nominated crew ‘Bingo Queens’ & ‘Nails & Beauty’. Before returning to freelance, Tuli Litvak worked as a Producer for Core London TV where she oversaw the production of all video content which was distributed across various networks, including Sky News, Al Jazeera, and Mail Online.
Ronnie McQuillian (Director of Photography) I am deeply passionate about the search for unique visual languages for stories that deserve to be told. In my role I collaborate with directors to discover the boundaries and rules around how best to express the narrative and enjoy finding creative solutions to visual challenges. Finalist for BSC Short Film Competition (2021) and nominated as one of ten BSC / IMAGO New Talent for 2022.
Isabel Alsina-Reynolds (Production Design) is a Venezeulan-British set designer + maker based in London, UK. Her work spans across music, commercials and short films. Her most notable works includes BBC/BFI funded Chuck Chuck Baby by Janis Pugh and popular indie music artist Pale Waves Video 'Clean' directed by Vasalisa Forbes.
Kathryn Poon (Costume Designer) based in London, UK. Kathryn trained at the London College of Fashion in costume design, and has been working in costume departments for film and TV for the past 7 years. Her most notable works as a designer include BBC/BFI funded Frank’s Joke by Ed Bulmer and multi award-winning Dusk by Jake Graf.
Sarah Hollins (Editor) Sarah is a highly passionate editor who puts her heart into her projects. She uses her intuition to shape the raw materials of a film into a well paced and intriguing story. Her aim is to edit films that people can identify with, feel deeply about and which challenge their set opinions. She has worked as part of the Editorial Department on films for Sky and Warner Brothers, edited numerous of award winning short films.
Katie Phillips (Composer) is a composer specialising in music for the moving image. Katie has produced a wide range of styles for a variety of different media. Her music has been featured in award-winning films, popular social media content and on BBC Sounds. Classically trained from a young age, she often merges the timeless sound of the orchestra with electronic elements to evoke a powerful and compelling atmosphere.