Private Project


‘Woodlice’ is a short film based on a true story depicting grief through symbolism in both surreal and real forms, exploring relationships with grief, religion, and motherhood.

  • Leonn Ward
  • Leonn Ward
  • Robbie Ryan
  • Sadbh McMullin
    Key Cast
    "Lonny "
  • Linda Ryan
    Key Cast
  • Ed Cosgrave
    Key Cast
  • Aidan Healy
    Key Cast
  • Ailbhe O'Riordan
    Key Cast
  • Ridley Scott Associates
    Production Company
  • Holly Wolfers
  • Kai Hsiung
    Executive Producer
  • Nancy Ryan
    Executive Producer
  • Not Another Intl
    Irish Production Company
  • Seodhna Murphy
    Irish Producer
  • Georgia Kelly
    Irish Producer
  • Jack Singer
  • Ed Bellamy
    1st Assistant Director
  • Leo Olesker
  • James Kelly
  • Tara O’Reilly
    Production Designer
  • Zoe Redmond
  • Tim Smith
  • Alex O’Brien
    Sound Recordist
  • Tommy Griffin
    Focus Puller
  • Patrick Griffin
  • Susanne Evers
    Camera Trainee
  • Stefan Greenberg
  • Shane Warren
  • Noel Greene
  • Ella Crawford
    Production Assistant
  • Fionn Devaney
    Irish Production Assistant
  • Frankie Markot
    Director Assistant
  • Hazel Kidney
    Director Assistant
  • Larry Kerrigan
    Hero Driver
  • Gary Greenberg
    Precision Driver
  • Keelan McRoberts
    Art Assistant
  • Ruth Brophy
    Hair & Make Up Artist
  • Seamus Carroll
    Camera Runner
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 3, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Irish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Leonn Ward

Leonn is sought after for her ability to capture a vibrant intimacy that puts individual style and character at the heart of storytelling. Using bold and powerful visuals to make thought provoking work that creates a dialogue.

Leonn’s films have featured in several international festivals including the ‘Voice of a Woman’ official selection at Cannes. In addition to her branded, commercial, and editorial photography work, Leonn has directed several award-winning music videos for the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Celeste, and Joy Crookes.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I always knew that I wanted to make this film, but it took me years to face as I knew it involved reliving emotions I haven’t felt since losing my mother at the age of 15. Every time I put pen to paper it felt forced. Then one morning, everything flooded out of me. I wrote the script in one sitting over seven hours. The moment I finished writing I knew I had my script, and it took form in a diary entry to my beloved mother. I felt her with me through every line.

I wanted to show a new perspective on grief, a raw and genuine feeling, for people who’ve been through it to relate to those niche, intense feelings where nothing makes sense. It goes beyond sadness; it’s the other emotions I wanted to portray.

I used symbolism delicately as I wanted the viewer to interpret the film in relation to their own life. This isn’t just about a mother and daughter, it’s about something that everyone will experience. I felt compelled to show the monotony of grief and what I actually experienced - the daily numbness, figuring out how to put one foot forward, and the everyday interaction.

With the visuals there had to be a balance of emotions portrayed for a palpable sense of grief. Nature plays a huge part to encourage the viewer to focus solely on the words throughout the film; the abstract shots serve the same purpose. I always envisioned my mother rising and dancing up to heaven instead of being buried in the ground; that always seemed like a nicer image, so that’s exactly what we created. I never wanted to show a graveyard, I remember going as a teenager and the concept always felt strange to me.

I’ve watched many films on grief, I’ve felt those niche emotions you go through daily, especially as a teenager. ‘Woodlice’ had to be honest, and executed in the purest way possible, every shot is based on a memory.

There was no linear approach to the edit because there is no linear approach to grief. We used this approach across sound design, camera movements, composition, and the grade process. I knew Robbie Ryan was the only DoP I trusted with this. Robbie makes reality look beautiful in such an honest and natural way, he barely needs lighting, and we both share a love of shooting on film.

Returning to my hometown to create ‘Woodlice’ will live with me forever. It was the most challenging project I’ll probably ever create, but I’m so thankful to have made it. It was something I needed to do and was very much a full circle moment that will forever be imprinted on me.

Go raibh míle maith agat,