‘Flicker’ is a character portrait of Danny (Peter Newington), a typical twenty-something, who finds himself struggling to accept the full extent of his injuries after an unprovoked assault.
Moving through the house-parties, nightclubs and bars of today’s Dublin, ‘Flicker’ explores the subtle pressures of contemporary Irish masculinity. It's a raw, visceral and intimate exploration of contemporary Irish youth culture, masculinity and trauma.
The film features a number of Ireland's most exciting up-and-coming actors: Peter Newington, Sean Doyle, Caoimhe Coburn Gray, Megan Bea-Tiernan, Tony Doyle and Robbie Dunne. Directed by award-winning filmmakers Luke Daly and Nathan Fagan. Produced by Aaron McEnaney, for Bold Puppy.
In the aftermath of a violent assault, twenty-something Danny struggles to accept the full extent of his injuries.
‘Flicker’ is a portrait of Danny (Peter Newington), a typical twenty-something Dubliner, who gets assaulted one night in a city centre nightclub. Escaping the incident with only minor injuries, Danny throws himself back into his old routine: early-morning classes, five-a-side football, late nights on the sesh with the lads.
Pretty soon, however, Danny begins to realise that the assault has affected him in more ways than one.
Set in contemporary Dublin, ‘Flicker’ tells the story of Danny, a typical twenty-something, who becomes the victim of an unprovoked assault in a downtown nightclub. Walking away with only minor physical injuries, Danny launches himself back into his busy social life and his regular routine. As time goes on, however, the true impact of the assault begins to become clear.
Attempting to ignore the warning signs and to simply return to the party-hopping life he led before the assault, Danny begins to gradually unravel. Finally, at a hectic underground rave on the outskirts of Dublin, Danny’s internal crisis reaches its crescendo - and he finds himself acting in ways that will surprise even himself.
The film explores the ways in which young Irish men navigate and discuss trauma, mental health and emotional vulnerability. At its core, however, ‘Flicker’ is a portrait of a young man whose own internalized image of masculinity prevents him from acknowledging that he’s been hurt.
Nathan FaganDirectorThrough the Cracks, Hum
Luke DalyDirectorThrough the Cracks
Peter NewingtonKey Cast"Danny"
Sean DoyleKey Cast"Karl"
Tony DoyleKey Cast"Stevo"
Megan Bea-TiernanKey Cast"Ruth"
Caoimhe Coburn GrayKey Cast"Vicky"
Robbie DunneKey Cast"Shane"
Runtime:20 minutes 29 seconds
Completion Date:January 15, 2020
Country of Origin:Ireland
Country of Filming:Ireland
Winner - Cork International Film FestivalCork
November 5, 2020
Grand Prix Best Irish Short Prize (Oscar-qualifying / Oscar longlist)
Winner - Emerging Director Awards - Ireland - 2020Dublin
March 4, 2020
Best Irish Short Film - Runner Up - Emerging Director Awards (EDA) 2020
Virgin Media Dublin International Film FestivalDublin
March 3, 2020
Odense International Film FestivalOdense
August 24, 2020
Tirana International Film FestivalTirana
September 21, 2020
Aesthetica Short Film FestivalYork
November 5, 2020
United Kingdom Premiere
(Alcine) Festival de Cine de Alcalá de Henares
November 6, 2020
Luna is the directing duo of award-winning Irish filmmakers Luke
Daly and Nathan Fagan.
Whether directing short films, commercials, or music videos, our goal remains the same. We want to tell arresting stories, grounded in realism, with a focus on under-explored themes and characters.
Since beginning our collaboration, we’ve worked with some of the country’s most recognisable names, brands and artists.
You can view some of our work here: lunadirectorduo.com
Previous projects include:
Through the Cracks:
‘Through the Cracks’ is a short documentary exploring the challenges faced by Irish families living in emergency accommodation. Featured in the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Irish Examiner, and a variety of other national publications. Excerpts featured on RTE 2 radio, RTE Primetime, and Virgin Media news. We were also invited to screen for members of government in the Dail (the Irish national parliament) . You can find out more here: throughthecracks.ie
An Post - TVC - https://vimeo.com/376175124
Liberty Insurance - TVC - https://vimeo.com/272564919
Kitt Phillipa - Grace
What My Mamma Gave Me - Aimee
Walking on Cars - Monster
Awards & Nominations:
Best Short Film - Runner Up - Emerging Director Awards 2020
Best Short Documentary - IFI Stranger than Fiction Festival 2015
Best Irish Short Film, Runner Up, Cork Film Festival - 2016
Best Short Documentary - Short Lens Competition - Guth Gafa Documentary Festival - 2017
Best Short Documentary - Scottish Mental Health & the Arts Festival - 2017
Best Short Documentary - Barcelona Short Film Festival - 2017
Nominated - Best Irish Short Film - Kinsale Shark Awards 2018
Nominated - Best Irish Music Video - Kinsale Shark Awards 2019
It’s a phrase that nearly every young man has heard uttered at some point in his life. Although the exact wording may differ between cultures and geographical location, the sentiment remains the same: ‘act like a man’. And how does a man act, exactly? A man acts with assertiveness, with strength, with stoic determination. Unaffected by emotion. Never weak, never vulnerable, never in need of help.
It’s staggering to reflect on the impact that this short, seemingly innocuous phrase has had on my life. And on the life of so many of the boys and men I’ve grown up with. Like some insidious seed or embyro, it seems to take root deep in our psyches. It burrows itself into our minds and our bodies. And when it does finally flower, it tends to express itself in loud, self-destructive and often violent ways.
There’s no denying it. Irish culture and society has changed massively in a relatively short space of time. In just six short years, we’ve seen the passing of the Marriage Equality Act and, the Repeal of the 8th Amendment banning abortions . The past 40 years has seen an undeniable revolution in social attitudes that has turned Ireland from a conservative Catholic community into an open-minded, incredibly liberal nation.
And yet, despite all this positive change, there appears to be a silent crisis amongst young Irish males. According to a 2018 OECD report, some 18.5 per cent of the Irish population was recorded as having a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, or alcohol or drug use. This means Ireland has one of the highest rates of mental health illness in Europe.
The suicide rate in Ireland among young people remains relatively high for the European Union. Not only that, but 80 percent of these suicides among young people are males.
These problems are only compounded by the fact that, according to experts, young Irish men are often reluctant to seek help with their struggles with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
It’s against this backdrop and this on-going conversation about Irish masculinity that ‘Flicker’ was born. For our first short drama, my co-director Luke Daly and I wanted to find a way to explore - in a subtle, realistic and non-moralising way - the damaging impact of this particular conception of ‘masculinity’ on a young man. In other words, we wanted to explore the damage done by that innocuous little phrase: ‘man up’.
Based partly on our own personal experiences, Luke and myself decided to dramatise the experiences of Danny, a typical twenty-something college student, who becomes the victim of an unprovoked assault in a nightclub toilet. We wanted to explore how Danny and his circle of friends react to this extremely common but psychologically traumatic event. We wanted to explore the ways in which Danny’s own internalised conception of masculinity prevents him from acknowledging the impact of this trauma. In the end, as Danny’s internal crisis reaches its crescendo, he finds himself acting out in an uncharacteristically violent way.
Alongside this, we also wanted to create a realistic portrait of twenty-something Dublin: the way young people dress, the way they speak, the way they relate to and interact with each other. Realism and naturalism were essential to us. We wanted young Irish twenty-somethings - young Irish men in particular - to watch our film and see themselves reflected back in it.
Of course, there’s nothing new about trauma narratives in cinema. We’re all familiar with cinematic portrayals of traumatised veterans returning from war, of grizzled war reporters battling PTSD, and other well-trodden tropes.
Unusually, however, it’s the more common, everyday traumas that are rarely explored in cinema. What about the woman who’s catcalled on the way home from work? The boy who gets a ‘few little digs’ on the way home from school? The young man who gets assaulted on a night out with friends?
The psychological impact of trauma is wide-ranging and can occur in all sorts of situations. In many ways, in fact, the traditional cinematic portrayal of the ‘traumatised war survivor’ might be part of the problem. By focusing all representations of trauma to individuals who have survived these extreme forms of trauma, it downplays the experiences of those living with the consequences of more every-day traumas.
In many ways, this is the point we wanted to get across with Flicker. That all suffering is legitimate and worthy of acknowledgement.
Although our film is set in Ireland - and is exploring Irish masculinity - we believe this story is universal. We sincerely hope our short film resonates with audiences, from many different backgrounds and walks of life.