Metal Heart

Home alone for their last summer together before adulthood beckons, two estranged twin sisters find their way back to one another…

  • Hugh O'Conor
    Headcases (2019)
  • Paul Murray
  • Claire McCaughley
    Headcases (2019), Leave to Remain (2017), Handsome Devil (2016), Trial of the Century (2016), Viva (2015)
  • Jordanne Jones
    Key Cast
    Rebellion (2016 - 2019), Resistance (2019), I Used to Live Here (2014)
  • Leah McNamara
    Key Cast
    Normal People (2020), Dublin Murders (2019), Vikings (2017 - 2019), Cellar Door (2018), Nails (2017)
  • Moe Dunford
    Key Cast
    Dublin Murders (2019), Dark Lies the Island (2019), Rosie (2018), The Dig (2018), Black '47 (2018), Striking Out (2018), Vikings (2014 - 2018), The Lodgers (2017), Michael Inside (2017), The Flag (2016), Handsome Devil (2016)
  • Seán Doyle
    Key Cast
    Normal People (2020), Fair City (2013 - 2019), Stella Days (2011), Killing Bono (2011)
  • Aaron Heffernan
    Key Cast
    War of the Worlds (2019), Brassic (2019), Supervized (2019), Dublin Oldschool (2018), Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
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    1 hour 18 minutes
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Director Biography - Hugh O'Conor

Hugh was born in Dublin in 1975. He studied drama at Trinity College, Dublin, and film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts as a Fulbright scholar.

As well as a long career as an actor on screen, including the young Christy Brown in the Oscar-winning My Left Foot, Chocolat, The Stag and Pilgrimage, he has written and directed award-winning short films for Screen Ireland, and created music videos for artists like Sinéad O’Connor. On stage, he has worked with such celebrated Irish playwrights as Brian Friel, Conor McPherson, Enda Walsh, Marina Carr, Frank McGuinness and Billy Roche. In 2013 he won the Irish Times Theatre award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the Fool in Selina Cartmell's production of King Lear at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

As a fine art photographer, he has exhibited at the RHA Dublin and RUA Belfast, and was shortlisted for the Hennessy Portrait Prize at the National Gallery of Ireland in 2014.

In 2018 he made his feature film directorial debut with Metal Heart, starring Jordanne Jones, Leah McNamara, Seán Doyle, Aaron Heffernan & Moe Dunford, and written by Paul Murray (Skippy Dies). Jordanne received the Bingham Ray award for Best Newcomer at its premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh, and Hugh received the Jim Sheridan Award for Achievement in Irish Filmmaking at the Irish Screen America festival in Los Angeles. In 2018 he also executive produced his award-winning adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat, an IFB, RTÉ and Film Estonia co-production, with Giant Animation and A Film Estonia.

In 2019 he received the 'Maverick' award from the Dublin Film Critics' Circle at the Dublin Film Festival for his film career and photography work.

Hugh’s latest project is Headcases, an RTÉ comedy pilot, written by and starring Charleigh Bailey, and also starring Seána Kerslake, Sarah Morris & Ian Lloyd Anderson.

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Director Statement

I approached the writer Paul Murray ("Skippy Dies") a few years ago about writing a smart, funny suburban film about teenagers that could be shot low-budget in Dublin.

What transpired was Metal Heart; a warm, funny and moving coming-of-age story set over one hot summer in suburban Dublin. Our heroes are two 18-year-old fraternal twin sisters who loved each other growing up, and were once best friends; now they basically hate each others' guts. It's not exactly "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane"; more a John Hughes-inspired comedy-drama about two sisters who are left to fend for themselves over the summer while their parents leave for an anthropology trip; they're also waiting for their Leaving Cert results. It could be the summer that changes everything...

Emma (Jordanne Jones) is more interested in getting her band going with her best friend Gary (Seán Doyle), even if they never seem to actually practice. Emma is very much who myself and Paul were at that age - into weird goth/indie bands, geeky, passionate, and wanting to break away from our awkward, comfortable suburban lives. Emma's cool, dark and funny, but still so young, and not quite sure what she wants yet.

Chantal (Leah McNamara) is the exact opposite - she's super smart, motivated, with her business plan and her next twenty years all worked out, and while she still cares about her sister, she's sort of given up on her.

Gary, meanwhile, is the archetypal Goth in Hot Weather; really talented at music, while achingly, secretly in love with Emma, and it's their relationship which gives our story a lot of its heart. Dan (Moe Dunford), the handsome, mysterious next door neighbour, becomes Emma's obsession, to Gary's frustration, and ours. We hope it's not going to work out, but he's cool, different, and sexy, and she can't help but be seduced by him. He's way too old for her, and he seems to have some gambling issues, but he was in a band once too, and he seems to understand her better than anyone else, so why does she have to play by society's rules anyway..?

We're really excited to get the film out there now, and hope it strikes a chord with audiences both young and old... we were all young once, after all.