Heritage had our first short film “UNHINGED’’ premiere to a sold-out audience at Dublin International Film Festival in February as part of Virgin Media Discover’s Award with Fís Eireann/Screen Ireland. Virgin Media Discovers was launched in 2020 and now in its third year has helped showcase new and established filmmakers in Ireland. The comedy short went through a lengthy pitching process in front of industry stallworths including Lenny Abrahamson and Clare Dunne and was awarded the top prize of €30,000 to bring the script to life on screen.
Written by Mary Kirwan and directed by our very own Zoë Brennan-Whitmore, Unhinged follows the story of Sadhbh, a 20-something-year-old woman living in a larger body who has just seen the love of her life and long-time office crush Darragh, on a dating app on the eve of his leaving party. Sadhbh must now battle her own insecurities in order to finally tell Darragh her feelings before it’s too late but in a society awash with fatphobia, this quest is a bit harder than you might think.
“I’ve always been interested in the messaging women receive about beauty. Our understanding of what is beautiful, I firmly believe, is strongly influenced by what we’re told is beautiful. You just need to look at one set of eyebrows from 2005 to know this is true. While I 100% believe this, I very often don’t feel this. As a person in a larger body, sometimes the messaging can just be too overwhelming to ‘positive-think’ your way out of. ” shares writer Mary Kirwan. “When writing Unhinged, I wanted to explore the effects this messaging has on people. How might this constant, subtle signalling from society manifest itself in someone? Unhinged was written with the belief that what inhibits our protagonist Sadhbh, is not her body but instead how society makes her feel about her body.”
Director Zoë Brennan-Whitmore and Mary Kirwan have an established relationship from their work on Kinsale Shark winning short film ‘Soulmate Wanted’. So when the pair saw the opportunity to work together again, they jumped at the chance. “Mary has an incredible way of creating characters that feel so tangible and relatable, they jump off the page. When I read Unhinged of course I was instantly hooked by her ease in comedy writing but also the powerful message it holds beyond that. I could see myself in Sadhbh and her struggles, whether it be with body image or finding romance in the digital dating era. I knew we had to come up with a unique visual language to go with it and it was a real joy to develop this. Seeing a story like Unhinged on our screens is vital. There is a severe lack of body diversity in Irish TV & film and I hope seeing Unhinged will show audiences a different perspective on the experiences of people in larger bodies and how the language we use, even in the smallest exchanges, can affect people and the course of their lives.”
Unhinged is available to watch on the Virgin Media Player.