Principal photography has started on Irish filmmaker Alan Mulligan’s first feature film, Lead Us Not.
The film is produced by Sinéad O’Riordan of ORion Productions (The Bible Basher, Coming Out), with Daniel Balteanu as cinematographer. The cast includes an impressive mix of established and emerging talent. Laurence O Fuarain (Game of Thrones) plays the lead role, with Sarah Carroll (Love/Hate) his love interest, and Ally Ní Chiaráin as his mother. Other cast includes Richard Wall, Tom Lawlor, Sonya O’ Donoghue, Hilary Cotter, Gail Fitzpatrick, Kevin McCormack, Amy Hughes, Fergal Cleary, Des Carney, and Jordan Coombes.
Lead Us Not follows the central character of James Allen, a disconnected 30-something-year-old, who works for a greedy banking organisation. He spends his weekdays working in the city and his weekends with his widowed mother in their country home.When his mother’s health takes a turn for the worse due to the stress caused by the bank chasing her for mortgage arrears and threatening to repossess her home, James decides to take revenge against his ruthless employer.
Alan Mulligan was living many people’s dream. He was in a well-paid job as Loans Manager with Bank Of Ireland, driving a brand new BMW convertible, but life wasn’t what he wanted it to be. Two years ago he came to crossroads when redundancy offers came at work, so he left the bank to pursue his own dream of being a filmmaker. “It was a huge move to leave”, Alan admits. “An offer of voluntary redundancy came around and I said it was now or never”. Alan has joined forces with his brother Anthony who will also play the role of Mike in this film. They have both previously been responsible for a collection of short films, including I am Spoon and Trust to name but a few.
“The initial concept for the story was to explore that moment in life when things are not going well for you and you feel disconnected and frustrated, that internal feeling of anger building constantly”, explains Mulligan, writer and director. “But yet, you know society’s rules and you know not to break them. Now ask yourself, what would be the thing that would make you finally lose control, make you take matters into your own hands and to disregard society’s expectations of you? Well for James Allen, this moment is the moment his mother becomes seriously ill. The only person in the world he feels connected to” continues Alan “and we can all relate to that moment where a loved one takes a turn of ill health and we cannot accept it, yet we still act appropriately. Well, James Allen doesn’t. He takes control by losing control”. Alan lost his mother, Bernadette, ten years ago and he admits his experience of losing her informs part of this film.
The 17 day shoot sees production take place at The Grove in Fordstown Co.Meath, coastal spots in Portrane and various locations throughout Dublin and Wicklow. “We are especially excited to be shooting in The Grove in Fordstown for 6 days, of the shoot”, says producer Sinéad O’Riordan . The Grove which hosts the annual Halloween Spooktacular event has been home to the Dillon family for over 300 years and really is a spectacular location. “Fortunately the local communities are all coming together and lending their support and we are especially grateful to the Headfort Arms Hotel who will house our cast and crew during our stay, and also to WUFF restaurant in Dublin for catering”.
The producers of the film are keen to highlight the work of their art/graphics department, and their production team who have been working around the clock for months to transform each of the locations, including Lilla Nurie, Gwen Jeffares-Hourie, Alice Murphy, Táine King, Sarah Lafferty, Paula Fajardo, Tee Elliott, Eamonn Tutty, and Carmen Reig Liabata.