‘Lights, camera and action’ for the homeless

atticstudiobannerFollowing the tragic death of John Corrie on a Dublin street recently, film industry members have rallied to raise funds for the homeless charity Focus Ireland. An Oscar© qualified short film “Whatever Turns You On” will be made available online for the first time. As well as carrying a text number through which people can donate to the charity the film seeks to humanise the plight of homeless people.

“The central character in the film is a homeless guy who simply wants to belong,” explained the film maker Declan Cassidy. “That point seems to get through to audiences no matter where the film is shown so I felt that working with Focus Ireland would be the way to go. Their work is so very important as tragically demonstrated by the death of Mr Corrie.

“When we shot the film in Dublin City centre the actor, Luke Cameron, had to sit still for a long time in the freezing cold of winter and he was in a bad way by the time we’d finished. It struck us at the time how terrible it must be for homeless people who can’t take off their costumes and go home to a hot shower and a warm bed.”

The launch of the film is being facilitated by The Attic Studio – a community of actors, writers and directors which has been running for over 12 years www.theatticstudio.net

“For the past five years The Attic Studio has fund-raised for Focus Ireland at Christmas-time,” explained chairperson Camille Donegan. “so this was an obvious fit for us.”

It’s just four-minutes long but the film has charmed audiences all around the world, screening at over 100 festivals and scooping a host of awards. It qualified for Oscar© consideration in 2010 after winning the prestigious Aspen Shortsfest. It has had cinema releases in Ireland and Germany, has featured on the inflight services of airlines and has been snapped up by many tv stations around the globe including RTE, Channel 4 and national channels in France, Poland and Australia.

John Carney, director of the Oscar© winning Glen Hansard film Once said of Whatever Turns You On: “It’s a wonderfully sweet film, brilliantly acted and the ending left me with a lump in my throat. Great cast and fantastically directed.”

The film will be available to view for free online from 9pm on December 17 at www.tiny.cc/homeless