An Irish Goodbye is in the running for an Academy Award, having been nominated in the Live Action Short category. Written and directed by Ross White and Tom Berkeley, the 22-minute short tells the story of two estranged brothers, who reunite to lay to rest their recently-cremated mother, while also carrying out her last wishes.
Seamus O’Hara plays Turlough, the older brother of Lorcan, played by James Martin, who is affected by down syndrome. In spite of his disability, Lorcan wants to remain, alone, at the family’s farm and ropes his brother into helping complete their mother’s bucket list in order to prolong his stay. Michelle Fairley provides the voice of the mother, and Paddy Jenkins serves as the local priest/family friend.
An Irish Goodbye was shot in Northern Ireland. According to Berkeley, the production used an Arri Alexa Mini for the shoot, which spanned five days.
“Our first film was shot in 4:3,” recalls White, noting that for this film, they went in the complete opposite direction, opting to take a wide-screen approach. “With this film, we spoke about the landscapes and how characters were isolated by rural background. You don’t see any other characters or houses. It’s as if they are the last two in Ireland. We were decisive with the landscape shots and the bleak opening sequence.”