Queer Irish filmmaker Kate Dolan wins Jury Prize at French film festival

Dolan won the award for Samhain (You Are Not My Mother) which will have its Irish premiere on March 4.

Filmmaker Kate Dolan poses with the Jury Prize from French film festival Gérardmer.
Image: Twitter: @Fantastic_arts

Queer Irish filmmaker Kate Dolan has picked up a Jury Prize for her film, Samhain (also known as You Are Not My Mother), at the French Gérardmer Fantasy Film Festival. The feature received great praise after debuting at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, and is continuing to enjoy success as it travels across the global circuit.

Samhain was selected for Gérardmer’s Feature Film Competition, and screened to a jam-packed audience on the eve of January 27. It was then announced last night, January 30, that it had won the Jury Prize alongside La Abuela by Paco Plaza.

Kate Dolan was present at the French film festival to not only attend the screening, but also to accept the Jury Prize for the feature. Taking to Twitter after the fact, she simply tweeted: “We only went and won a prize!”

Samhain/You Are Not My Mother is a horror film rooted in eerie Irish folklore. The creepy and unsettling chiller is Dolan’s debut feature, and was produced by the creators of award-winning horrors Vivarium and Sea Fever.

Gérardmer gives a description of the acclaimed film on its website, reading:

“It’s the week before Halloween and Char’s mother, Angela, has inexplicably disappeared. All that remains is her abandoned car.

“When she returns home without explanation the following evening, it becomes clear to Char and her grandmother that something is amiss. She might look and sound the same, but Angela’s behaviour has become increasingly frightening, as if she has been replaced by a malevolent force.

“When Halloween arrives, a night steeped in ancient myth and legend, Char realises that she is the only one who can save her, even if it means potentially losing her forever.”

Samhain/You Are Not My Mother will have its Irish premiere as a part of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival on March 4. Speaking on its home screening, Dolan said: “It is surreal to know you debut feature film will be seen in cinemas, particularly after the past two years of uncertainty.”

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