Sundance Film Festival 2017

My younger brother Frankie Fenton directed a film called ‘It’s not yet dark’, which is a documentary about a friend of mine, Simon Fitzmaurice, who is an Irish writer and Director.  Simon was diagnosed with MND (or ALS)  8 years ago just after the short film he wrote and directed ‘The Sound of People’ was shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

‘It’s Not Yet Dark’ tells his story and that of his relationships with family and his amazing wife Ruth (who has been one of my best friends since we were 4), and also how he didn’t let this awful disease hold him back from writing a number of inspiring articles for the paper, a book and a feature film called ‘My Name is Emily’.  He then went on to Direct the film using only his eyes!  As heartbreaking as their story is, this documentary is also a wonderfully uplifting, life-affirming and funny film and it is so worth seeing.  It is narrated by well known Irish actor Colin Farrell, won Best Documentary and also Best Cinematography in the Galway Film Festival in 2016 and has already received fantastic reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.

Naturally, I was thrilled and super proud when Frankie called me to tell me ‘It’s not yet dark’ had been selected for Robert Redford’s ‘Sundance Film Festival’ which is based in Park City, Utah.   It is a real honour to be selected as it’s so well known and a highly respected festival in the film industry calendar and only 12 documentaries were chosen from thousands submitted worldwide to be featured!   Frankie invited me along to support him and take some photos documenting their time there!  I was delighted to accept and absolutely loved every minute of it. I didn’t really know what to expect and thought we would have lots of time in between meetings to wander around in the snowy town, drinking hot chocolate and perhaps even to go skiing, but it was non-stop the whole time.   Frankie and Kathryn have a wonderful publicist called Amy Mulcair who had set up lots of meetings, press shoots and interviews,  and a few parties (or networking events) in between, and myself and Ruth were able to go to everything with them which was really exciting and lots of fun. I was only able to stay for a few days so Frankie and Kathryn are still there, but I thought I’d be a good sister and get their photos edited and out to them asap, so I’m excited to share them with you here!

Also featured in these images are the lovely Lesley McKimm, who co-produced the film with my gorgeous Sister in Law to be, Kathryn Kennedy, and also Dermot Diskin (Editor) and Hector Minto who also featured as the person who set Simon up with his eye gaze computer, allowing him to communicate freely.

If you would like to find out more about this film, to see a trailer and read reviews, please click here: https://www.itsnotyetdark.com/ 

I hope you enjoy the photos!

 

Even during down time, Frankie and Kathryn were working hard on their film to make sure everyone had all the up to date info about the film on social media!

Frankie introduces ‘It’s Not Yet Dark’ to Sundance! 

Amy shows the team where they need to go next!

Off we go, it’s pretty cold here!

So much so that Ruth has grown a pair of ice horns!

Any Frankie looked pretty cool!

There were even upside down icicles!

On Saturday, we had the Premiere of ‘It’s Not Yet Dark’.

Above: The ‘It’s not yet dark’ Team at the Premiere including Hector Minto, Dermot Diskin, Lesley McKimm, Ruth Fitzmaurice, Frankie Fenton and Kathryn Kennedy.

Below: Frankie introduces the documentary and says a few thank you’s!

Afterwards, the team have a Q&A session with questions from Kim, the Sundance Representative and from the audience.

Emotions were high after the Premiere, the film got a standing ovation and lots of the audience were tearful when congratulating Frankie and the team.  Myself included!  We raised a glass afterwards to celebrate how well the film had gone down!

The ski slopes in Park City looked amazing but we were busy with photo shoots and interviews for TV and Podcasts!

 

Finally we found time to enjoy a glass of wine at the Irish Film Boards Reception!

Time for the documentaries second public screening, this time in Salt Lake City and Ruth is ready!

And they got ANOTHER standing ovation

It really was a fantastic few days and I was so thrilled to witness how much the film (and Ruth and Simon of course) inspired so many people.   If you get a chance to watch it, please do.  I would highly recommend it! You may cry a little but you will also laugh a lot and you will walk away with your heart overflowing with love and a real appreciation of life!

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