Private Project


Fear and superstition take hold of a young family during a time of great hunger in 1879 Ireland.

“..Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand…”

Ireland-1879. Margaret and Tomas have just begun their lives together with their infant son Oisin, as the threat of a second famine looms heavy over the land.

Margaret is left isolated and alone with the inconsolable Oisin as Tomas sets off to sell his Poitín.
On his Journey Tomas gets a glimpse into the harrowing realities beyond their doorstep while Margaret’s mental state deteriorates at home.
Things are not what they seem when Tomas arrives back. The family must fight to overcome their fears and superstitions.

  • Marie Clare Cushinan
    Monkeys in the garden
  • Ryan O’Neill
  • Marie Clare Cushinan
    Monkeys in the Garden
  • Ryan O’Neill
    Discontent, monkeys in the garden
  • Marie Clare Cushinan
    Monkeys in the garden
  • Marie Clare Cushinan
    Key Cast
    "Margaret "
  • Ryan O’Neill
    Key Cast
  • John Ryan
    Key Cast
    "Singing man"
  • Niall D Heron
    Key Cast
    "Drinking man"
  • Michael Mormecha
    Key Cast
    "Starving man"
  • Michael Mormecha
    Original Score
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Horror, folklore, folk horror, drama, period, Irish language
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 31, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Irish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Kerry International Film Festival
    October 14, 2021
    World premiere
    Official selection
  • HorrOrigins film festival
    Tucson AZ
    United States
    October 16, 2021
    North American premiere
    Best original score
  • Ethereal horror film festival
    Austin TX
    United States
    October 24, 2021
    Texas premiere
    Best cinematography
  • Romford Horror Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    February 25, 2022
    England premiere
    Best folk horror special award
  • Belfast film festival
    November 7, 2021
    Northern Ireland
  • Mayo international film festival
    February 27, 2022
    Nominated best Irish Short
  • Midwest Weirdfest
    Eau claire
    March 6, 2022
Director Biography - Marie Clare Cushinan, Ryan O’Neill

Marie Clare and Ryan, collectively known as Je Suis Le Cat productions have been making self funded projects since 2013. We are Belfast, Northern Ireland based.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

We began writing the script for Changeling in 2018 and had almost everything in place to shoot the film in March 2020, then the pandemic hit.
We had two great actors attached and had very positive rehearsals with them. After months of uncertainty and a haemorrhaging bank balance we decided it was do or die. At the risk of losing our set-build we decided the safest way to go ahead would be to don the costumes ourselves and shoot what we can and 9 months later we shot our final scene.
Changeling was fully self funded with a few favours thrown in completed with a crew of two - a true passion project. It couldn't have been made with the help of our County Tyrone friends and family.

- - -

“Are you a witch, or are you a fairy/Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?”

This rhyme is about Bridget Cleary, an Irish woman who was killed by her husband in 1895. Her husband, Michael Cleary, (said he did it because he) believed she was abducted by fairies and replaced by a changeling. He claims to have killed the changeling, not his wife.

We first heard about this harrowing true story on an Irish Folklore podcast and it set us on our path towards making an Irish Folk Horror Film.

As filmmakers and writers we are drawn to the human element of stories like this, The psychology of it. So We asked ourselves “what would it take to for someone to get to the point where they fully believe in this?” Because as we learned this isn’t a fairy tale. This happened and people died.

We were interested in looking at the “Changeling” mythology from a different perspective and grounding it in reality by seeing it through the lens of postpartum psychosis as well as examining the role of Trauma in Belief.

The changeling mythology is very much in the zeitgeist in cinema at the minute with Films like
Jordan Peele’s “Us” and the Lee Cronin’s “A Hole in the Ground”.

What makes our story different is, despite a few brief hallucinations, we never see ‘the monster’ so to speak. There is no physical manifestation

Through our dual narrative we explore two different belief systems which coexisted in Ireland during one of it’s darkest periods in Irish history.

Aesthetically we wear our influences on our sleeves. We made a series of informed decisions about the look of Changeling early in the production process. Opting for a 1.33 aspect ratio shot on a original Black Magic pocket cinema camera to emulate a filmic feel reminiscent of Russian cinema of the late 20th century. Films such as Elem Klimov’s Come and See directly influenced our choices in portraying the films personal journeys through one of the darkest episodes of Irish history.
This aspect ratio also helped in creating a feeling of claustrophobia. We re-iterated this feeling with the use of costume and set design to make the characters almost blend in to the their surroundings, with Margarets grey tones set against the stone walls of the house and Tomas in his earthy browns matching the landscape.
We set out to capture a feeling of unease that hopefully grips the viewer for the films duration ending with a melancholy which resonates after the credits roll.

Original Score by Michael Mormecha
Credits song courtesy of TRú