Set in the heart of rural Ireland, in a sea-side town, Róise & Frank follows the story of recently widowed Róise Uí Mheadhra and the aftermath of her husband, Frank’s passing two years previous.
Grief-stricken, Róise has distanced herself from the world around her, and those dearest to her. A routine phone call to her late husband’s phone and lack of self care consume her during these long, lonely days.
Change is on the horizon for Róise when a stray dog follows her every move. Is it uncanny, the interest shown by the dog in Frank’s possessions, or is there a message behind it all? Róise decides to stop resisting the dog and is led to places of significance to her and her late husband. The reincarnation of her husband to this small pet is heart-warming to Róise, even if it is at the expense of her credibility in her small town.
Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy formed a creative partnership in college in 1990. After 5 successful short films they made their feature debut in 2015, TRADERS.
Their second film, RÓISE & FRANK, shows their desire to find lightness in the darker areas of the human experience, but with a resolutely positive approach. Their aim was to make a film about grief and what some consider “excessive grief”. They both personally knew people who had talked about “visits” from birds or other animals after the death of a loved one and that was the kernel that inspired this film. What if they weren’t fleeting visits? What if someone really came back? What then? Róise says it in the film – “none of us know what happens after we die.” Grief is universal but how we deal with it is individual, and this story is about a dog who helps a woman process her grief and embrace life again.
Rachael and Peter have recently secured production funding from Screen Ireland for their third feature, WHAT I KNOW ABOUT MEN, and both have successful independent careers as television directors working in Ireland.
Written and directed by Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy (Traders, 2015), award-winning Cine4 film Róise & Frank will be released in cinemas nationwide. From ifrn.ie:
Set and filmed in the Waterford Gaeltacht, Róise & Frank follows the recently widowed Róise (played by Bríd Ní Neachtain), who is struggling in the aftermath of her husband Frank’s passing in a small Irish seaside town. Grief-stricken and lonely, Róise has distanced herself from the world around her and those dearest to her. However, when a stray dog starts to follow her every move, a rejuvenated Róise starts to believe in the reincarnation of her husband and the power of enduring life in its next, hopeful steps.
The film has been a hit on the festival circuit in recent months, winning numerous awards including Best Ensemble at Dublin International Film Festival; Best Film, Director, and Actress at the Stockholm Film Festival, and scooping the Audience Award winner at both the Santa Barbara and Sonoma International Film Festivals.
“The reaction at festivals has been great, we’ve been delighted that it is winning awards and we are so excited that our home audience now gets to see it,” Moriarty tells IFTN. “A lot of people seem to be having a big emotional reaction to the story. Happily, people seem to feel quite uplifted and positive as they leave the cinema.”
“I think the reviewer that described the film as ‘strange as it sounds, a fun exploration of the various stages of grief’ really captured the odd, moving, and enjoyable quality of the film,” Murphy adds.
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