The highly anticipated, award-winning Irish film, Who We Love, has finally gone on general release and is currently screening in cinemas nationwide.
The queer coming-of-age drama tells the story of Lily and Simon as they navigate the challenges of school and home life while discovering their sexual identities.
Set against the backdrop of Dublin’s vibrant and sometimes dark LGBTQ+ scene, the pair face up to coming out and ostracisation under the guidance of mentor Oonagh.
When a misunderstanding with the beautiful and popular Violet leads to a vicious attack, Lily is faced with the greatest challenge of her young life.
Directed by Graham Cantwell, Who We Love is based on his short film Lily, which won numerous awards at festivals around the world, including Galway and Dublin, and is co-written by Katie McNiece.
After touring the festival circuit, the film was nominated for six major IFTA Awards in last year’s shortlist, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Script, Best Score and acting nominations for Best Supporting Actor & Best Supporting Actress.
It won Best Narrative Feature at the Kerry International Film Festival (where McNiece was also awarded the Taking Flight Rising Talent award) and was runner-up for the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at its US Premiere in Miami.
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The film features some of Ireland’s finest emerging actors, with Clara Harte (Into the Badlands) playing Lily, and Dean Quinn (Fate: The Winx Saga) playing the part of Simon. Amy-Joyce Hastings (The Tudors) takes on the caring but guarded character of Oonagh. All three were nominated for IFTAs for their roles.
Speaking about the cinema release, Cantwell said, “The journey of this indie film from critically acclaimed short to award winning feature has never been driven by deep pockets, but by the organic grass roots [sic] response of audiences worldwide, which has been universally positive.
“After a successful festival run with many plaudits for the film, we are so excited to finally introduce Who We Love to Irish cinemas. It’s a film that appeals to all ages, and is not only a meaningful, emotional story but one that is funny and entertaining”, he added.
McNiece highlighted the importance of creating visibility for young LGBTQ+ people. “Who We Love is not just an important film about sexuality but also standing up to bullying in all forms and rallying around people who are still learning to believe in themselves, no matter what stage of life they’re at.”
She continued, “This is the film I wish I had seen when I was Lily’s age and it really can’t be overstated how much of a lifeline positive LGBTQ+ stories are for people in the process of coming out, remembering that experience, or those learning what it means on an emotional level for their own friends and family.”
Who We Love released on April 28 and is screening in selected cinemas nationwide this week.
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