Simon Fitzmaurice shoots My Name is Emily
by Naman Ramachandran
- Director braves Motor Neuron Disease to commence debut feature
Simon Fitzmaurice has commenced principal photography on his debut feature My Name is Emily. Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in 2008 just after his short film The Sound Of People screened at the Sundance Film festival. Though completely paralysed, he typed the script for the film, as well as his bestselling book It’s Not Yet Dark by using his eyes and iris recognition software.
The film follows a 16-year-old girl who escapes from her foster home and, with the help of the boy who loves her, sets out to find her father, a writer who is confined to a psychiatric institution. Evanna Lynch (the Harry Potter films), Michael Smiley (Kill List [+see also:
interview: Ben Wheatley
film profile]) and newcomer George Webster star.
Irish companies Newgrange Pictures and Kennedy Films are producing with financing from the Irish Film Board, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, TV3 and the Irish tax incentive, with co-production finance expected from Sweden and Norway. The Irish producers also ran a crowd-funding campaign that netted more than €100,000.
Fitzmaurice said, “Making this film is the realization of a serious amount of work and love from my wonderful producers. For me, it is worth every effort just to be there on set in the calm at the centre of the hurricane.”
Lynch said, “Simon is an incredible person and he is embracing challenges the like that no director has had to contend with before and it is awe-inspiring simply to be in the midst of that.”