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Meet the 2012 SXSW Filmmakers #1: Ciaran Foy, 'Citadel'

By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire March 1, 2012 at 10:24AM

Ciarán Foy grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and says that apart from his parents he was "raised by the works of Spielberg, Lucas and Cameron." He's been addicted to genre movies for as long as he can remember and has always wanted to be a director, "so I could create my own worlds." Foy attended the National Film School of Ireland. Before writing and directing his feature debut, "Citadel," his shorts included "The Faeries of Blackheath Woods" in 2006, which won a handful of Best Short Film festival awards. Foy considers "Citadel" half psychological horror and half autobiography; it was partly inspired by his own experience of "unprovoked urban attack and my battles with the resulting agoraphobia."
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A still from "Citadel"
A still from "Citadel"

Ciarán Foy grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and says that apart from his parents he was "raised by the works of Spielberg, Lucas and Cameron." He's been addicted to genre movies for as long as he can remember and has always wanted to be a director, "so I could create my own worlds."

Foy attended the National Film School of Ireland. Before writing and directing his feature debut, "Citadel," his shorts included "The Faeries of Blackheath Woods" in 2006, which won a handful of Best Short Film festival awards. Foy considers "Citadel" half psychological horror and half autobiography; it was partly inspired by his own experience of "unprovoked urban attack and my battles with the resulting agoraphobia."

What it's about: An agoraphobic father teams up with a vigilante priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children.

Ciarán says: The biggest challenges were; 1) Writing it. The development, writing and re-writing took the guts of five years. With each new possible financier came new sets of changes - writing and re-writing took a lot out of me emotionally, as I had to dig deep into some recent, painful memories and bathe my mind in some pretty grim scenarios. 2) Making what was on the page work on the budget I had, in the 23 days we had to shoot it, during some truly freakish arctic weather conditions! I lost locations due to ice and as a first time feature director I had to throw out my crutch, aka my storyboard, and adapt to each new challenge that would face us every day. Throw into the mix - babies, gangs of kids, prosthetic make-up, stunts, vfx... and it you can imagine it got a little intense! It was tough going but I think it all helped the atmosphere of the final film!

What do you hope SXSW audiences get from "Citadel"? Feeling something. Feeling they were entertained. Feeling they just watched an exciting, unique and different genre film. Feeling like they were thrilled or moved or creeped out. Feeling they want more!

Inspirations? The early works of David Cronenberg, especially things like "The Brood."Paranoid psychological classics like Roman Polanski’s "Repulsion" and Adrian Lyne’s "Jacobs Ladder," as well as some of the work of Chris Cunningham. Oh, and Disney's "Dumbo"!


Indiewire invited SXSW Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival.

Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch for the latest profiles.

This article is related to: South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW), Meet the 2012 SXSW Filmmakers, Festivals, CITADEL






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