Niamh reaches out to her Auntie Liz when she notices her not long deceased mother's ashes are missing. Can they overcome their differences and take comfort from each other, or will Maureen continue to drive them apart?

  • Shiona McCubbin
    How High The Castle Walls, Goodbye Happy Ending
  • Amy Hawes
    Falling for Fitzgerald
  • Penny Davies
    Consumed, Voicemale, Photoshopping
  • Blythe Duff
    Key Cast
    Taggart, Hula, Sarajevo
  • Sally Reid
    Key Cast
    Scot Squad, Group, River City, Two Doors Down
  • Kirstin McMahon
    Director of Photography
  • Therese Lynch
  • Claire Asenova
    Sound Design
  • Michelle Cort
  • Ursula Cleary
    Production Designer
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy Drama
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 3, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Phoenix Shorts

    Award Winner January 2022 - Best Female Director
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    August 13, 2022
    World Premiere
  • Cinefem 10
    Punta del Este
    September 21, 2022
    South American Premiere
  • Women Over 50 Film Festival
    Lewes, East Sussex
    United Kingdom
    September 10, 2022
    Commended - Drama Category and 2nd Place - Audience Choice Award
  • 2022 Great Lakes International Film Festival
    Erie, PA
    United States
    September 22, 2022
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    October 6, 2022
  • HB Film Festival
    Paisley, Scotland
    United Kingdom
    October 7, 2022
    Nominee: Best Edit
  • LA Femme Short Film Festival
    October 7, 2022
    European Premiere
    Winner: Best Film in the English Language
  • Topaz Film Festival by Women in Film Dallas
    Dallas, TX
    United States
    October 20, 2022
    Winner: Best Writer
  • Syracuse International Film Festival
    Syracuse, NY
    United States
    October 12, 2022
Director Biography - Shiona McCubbin

Shiona first became a filmmaker whilst studying for a Fine Art degree in Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art & the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, then gaining a Post Graduate diploma in Electronic Imaging at DJCA in Dundee. After graduation she began working in the film, TV & theatre industries receiving a Screenworks commission from GFVW, a First Reels commission from Scottish Television & exhibitions including a solo show at the CCA.

Her short film “How High the Castle Walls” was BAFTA nominated and screened at festivals across the USA, Canada & Europe, winning Best Short at Cinequest in California. Her next short “Goodbye Happy Ending” was selected for Best of the Fest at the Edinburgh Film Festival, as well as other international screenings.
Shiona began directing TV at Scottish Television & has amassed numerous directing credits over the last 20 plus years, working for the BBC, STV & many indies; including 64 episodes of the BAFTA winning children’s series “Balamory”, Julia Donaldson’s “Princess Mirrorbelle”, Logan High, River City, Woolly & Tig, Junk Rescue, No 1 Newton Avenue, Artworks Scotland, & the BAFTA nominated “The Insider’s Guide to the Menopause”.

Her work has often had a particular Scottish voice & she is passionate about working with and for young people.

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Director Statement

The initial impetus for “Maureen” was as a specific reaction to being the only woman on a particular set. Again. I have often been the only woman on an otherwise all male shoot, and could only count two days in my entire career when I worked with both female camera & sound. I wanted to know what it would feel like for a set to only have women present. Would it feel different? And how? Having put together the team of producer Penny Davies & writer Amy Hawes, I decided we should make a short film, a two hander for female actors that we could shoot somewhere outside in Glasgow during a global pandemic.

Amy had initial ideas about writing a comedy about scattering ashes, so I relayed the story about my own mother’s ashes which subsequently inspired some of “Maureen”. I cast the wonderful Blythe Duff and Sally Reid before the script was fully complete & Amy wrote with these actors in mind. Blythe & Sally are good friends but have never before acted on screen together. I wanted us to explore the relationship between a younger and older woman and Amy’s script delves deep into family dynamics. The film explores the ownership of the deceased, their memory but also their physical remains. What relationship “wins”? The spouse? The child? The sibling? Is it a competition based on years of shared life, or who grieves the best or most?

Bringing together an all female identifying team would be challenging at the best of times, but during the Covid pandemic it was even harder. But we did it. Two days in perfect weather in Maryhill in Glasgow with an amazing group of professionals. And it did feel different. Surprisingly different. And it was felt by everybody. It was quiet, calm, polite and supportive. DOP Kirstin McMahon did a spectacular job of realising my storyboard & the cast were outstanding. I wanted the performances to be front and centre of the piece and the measured, cool photography & editing captured them beautifully.

A lot of people have told me about surreal, often hilarious tales of what has happened to their loved ones. We don’t discuss death & it’s aftermath very well in this country, & “Maureen” touches on the bizarre places that bereavement can take us to. It is a film ultimately about love and the connections that make and break us.