Tickets Now On Sale for I Used To Live Here at the IFI

I Used to Live Here

Frank Berry’s I Used To Live Here opens in cinemas on the 3rd of April, but you can catch it a day early at the Irish Film Institute, which will be hosting a special screening on Thursday April 2nd followed by a Q&A with the director and Dr. Tony Bates, director of Headstrong.

I Used To Live Here follows Amy Keane, a 13-year-old trying to cope with the death of her mother and the reappearance of her father’s ex-girlfriend, who experiences the temptation of suicide after witnessing the outpouring of love for a local suicide victim. The film takes a fictional look at how the idea of suicide can spread in communities, particularly among young people.

After completing his award-winning documentary Ballymun Lullaby, director Frank Berry wanted to repeat the process of making a film within a tight-knit community. The idea for I Used To Live Here came from a series of Irish Times articles written by Dr. Tony Bates. The two-part article (‘We Must Give Young People a Reason to Live’ and ‘Breaking the Ripple Effects of Suicide’) from Dr. Bates’ Mind Moves column dealt with the phenomenon of suicide clusters and the ripple effect that the suicide of one person can have on other young people in a community.

Frank’s initial idea was to do a documentary on the subject but he decided a fictional treatment of the issue would be less traumatic for those who have been directly affected by suicide. Throughout the writing and casting process he received advice from Dr. Bates and Headstrong in order to carefully construct a story that dealt with this painful subject matter in a respectful and sensitive manner.

Once he had completed the screenplay, the director began the process of casting. He spent months working with the adults and children of the Killinarden Community Centre in Tallaght. First as an observer, then by leading acting workshops using scenes from his script. The majority of the cast are non-professionals, and for the two young leads, Jordanne Jones and Dafhyd Flynn, the film was their first experience of acting.

Purchase tickets for the special screening of I Used To Live Here on the IFI website.