A SHORT film by a UCC film graduate, which was shot in various locations in West Cork, could be in line for an Oscar after it secured a place on the Academy Awards’ 2021 longlist.
Kerry-born Shaun O’Connor is behind ‘A White Horse’ which was filmed in Timoleague, Riverstick and Griffith College in Cork city and stars Cora Fenton (The Young Offenders) and newcomer Amber Deasy.
The film explores how mental hospitals were once used as ‘catchalls’ for people considered ‘troublesome’ or ‘abnormal’ and Shaun was inspired to explore this subject after discovering that gay conversion therapy was widespread in the British Isles in the 60s and 70s and incredibly is still legal in the UK and Ireland.
A graduate of the MA in Film Studies in UCC, Shaun said he and his team are thrilled with the success of the film
‘Even though it’s an Irish story, it’s been amazing to see how much audiences around the world have responded to it, ‘ said Shaun.
‘At Irish festival screenings we inevitably had people approach us afterwards to tell us how they related to the film, either in terms of their own past experiences or that that of family members.’
Head of the department of Film and Screen Media at UCC, Dan O’Connell said they couldn’t be happier for Shaun who he said is still a familiar face on campus as he had shared his expertise through masterclasses and is a keen attendee at their many conferences and workshops.
‘A White Horse’ won the award for Best Irish Short at the Foyle Film Festival in November 2019 – recognition that has led to a coveted place on the longlist for this year’s Oscars which will take place at the later date of April 25th.