Interview with Megan K. Fox and Máiread Kiernan

November 10, 2019 10:48 pm

How did you find your experience with iffy?
Megan K. Fox: The programmers were great with communication from the get go and the event was run really well, such a nice intimate way to share the film! We were absolutely delighted to win the ‘little iffy’, it was great exposure for our lead actress too who was there to accept the award and had a ball on the night.
Máiread Kiernan: It was such an honor to have our film shared and of course to get our lovely award! I really admire the goal of the festival, it creates an arena for short films and really celebrates the genre. Long may it continue!

How is The Shift doing on the festival run?
Megan K. Fox: It’s doing pretty well, thanks! Getting great traction at the Irish film festivals abroad and along with the Little Iffy, it’s picked up the Best Cork Short award at Cork Film Festival and most recently the XX Award at BAFTA qualifying Underwire Festival in London. We’ll be screening at Kerry Film Festival next, and the Galway Junior Film Fleadh in November.
Máiread Kiernan: At iffy some folks were squirming in their seats watching your film. It was really a universal response, whether they had attended the Gaeltacht or not.

How have audiences reacted to the film?
Máiread Kiernan: It’s been really enjoyable to watch it with audiences and talk to people afterwards. Yes, the Gaeltacht experience is very specific but everyone seems to empathise very keenly with Denise’s noble mission to get the shift! Most people who watch the film start telling me their own similar stories from their teenage years. I think we all feel like that hopeful teenager inside, so it really strikes a chord with people from all backgrounds.

Will The Shift be made available online?
Megan K. Fox: It will eventually, after it’s finished the festival run. Probably Spring 2020! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for a link 😉

What advice would you give to yourself from two years ago?
Megan K. Fox: Take your time and enjoy the journey a bit more. I’ve always been very impatient, which can be a good thing because it spurs you on to work hard and achieve your goals, but there’s plenty of time and at the end of the day we’re doing this because we love it, and should be enjoying every moment that we’re privileged enough to get to create and realise our work.
Máiread Kiernan: Trust yourself. There are a lot of amazing people in this industry and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what other people are doing. As a writer, I feel like every time I put pen to paper I battle self doubt. Two years ago, I was sure that no one would want to make or see my little story but I stuck with it. And when Megan came on board and we started collaborating, it all started to come together.. I’m glad I didn’t listen to the voice in my head that said I should be writing about something infinitely more profound than kissing youngsters!

What are you currently working on?
Megan K. Fox: We’ve just finished up post on my latest short ‘Cailin Alainn’, a tender coming of age drama that was funded by the Kerry Short Film Bursary last year. It premieres at Kerry Film Festival in a couple of weeks, so I’m looking forward to watching it with audiences! I’m also directing on Fair City at the moment, working on my credits to break in to more TV directing.
Máiread Kiernan: I have a few writing projects that I’m working on but I don’t want to jinx it!

Where to from here?
Megan K. Fox: I’m in the process of developing a new feature script that I’m really excited about, but knowing what a long road it can be to the first feature I’m looking to TV directing in the mean time to keep honing my skills, working with actors and gaining credits. It’s kind of all about air miles in this industry, so I never feel like I can afford to stop moving! A debut feature is definitely the goal within the next five years.
Máiread Kiernan: I’m not sure. This is my second short film so I’m looking to branch out into longer projects, hopefully into features.

What’s the best short you’ve ever seen?
Megan K. Fox: There are so many great shorts out there! A friend of mine, Charlotte Regan, directed a really great short comedy called ‘Standby’ that’s just brilliant – super simple and heartfelt, under five minutes long but perfectly executed and hilariously funny. There was a short doc called ‘Black Sheep’ on the festival circuit last year that was a real stand out, striking story about a young black man trying to fit in in a working class, predominantly white English neighbourhood and the struggles of finding himself in a racist group of peers. It’s quite painful to watch but so artfully told and shot. And then there was ‘Wave’ by Benjamin Cleary which I’m sure most of your readers have seen, which just made me cry for all the best reasons. Gorgeous film..
Máiread Kiernan: It’s so difficult to choose because when you go to film festivals, you see a lot of short films back to back so it can be hard to stand out. One that stood out to me was Gridlock. I saw it a few years ago at the Galway Film Fleadh and I thought it was incredibly tense and well paced.

Your favourite cinema snack?
Megan K. Fox: Can’t beat popcorn and a Coke slushie. I pine for the days when cinemas were still allowed to drench the popcorn in butter… But you know, probably for the best.
Máiread Kiernan: I want bottomless popcorn and a can of coke. I don’t like cinema coke and I feel very strongly about it. It’s also great if you’re in a boozy cinema, I like a glass of wine

iffy 4 is coming up soon on this November 23rd. See the selection of films here. Tickets are available now!