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Irish short chosen for Cannes festival

February 15, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN – An Irish film, “Happy Birthday to Me,” which cost just _7,000 to make, has been chosen as a finalist for the short films section of the Cannes Film Festival next month.

It is the first film written by a partnership known as the VOPINS, Angela Burke, 27, and Jesse Sheeran, 24, who leaflet and promote nightclubs around Dublin to make some money while they establish themselves in filming.

The pair, who graduated from film school last year after specializing in script writing, had worked as volunteers with the Dublin Film Festival and met former program director Martin Mahon, 34, who is also director and producer of the film.

“I am still in shock after the film was chosen,” Mahon said. “I was delighted even to be short-listed for Cannes because the competition is so intense.”

The Film Base awards cooperative gave the Yellow Asylum film company _5,500 and Martin paid the rest himself. Filming was done in Pearse Street with a dream sequence shot in O’Connell Street when the Christmas lights were up.

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The VOPINS had originally written the script to last just three minutes, but it was worked up to the final 15 minutes length.

It is about a lonely woman whose 35th birthday falls on April Fool’s Day. She is expecting friends for dinner but they don’t show up. Her doorbell keeps ringing and she thinks it is children playing. Meanwhile, an attractive neighbour is have tremendous success with his party. She ends up getting drunk.

It features Joan Sheehy as the woman and co-stars Brendan Coyle as a neighbor.

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