Irish filmmaker Gerard Barrett’s latest feature film Limbo will have its World Premiere at the 29th Galway Film Fleadh in July.
The film tells the intimate story of a mother and daughter in Ireland as they battle homelessness in emergency accommodation over 24 hours.
On the film Barrett says it was important to humanise the homeless statistics “The main reason I brought Limbo to life was to humanise the homeless statistics. We are constantly reading or hearing these statistics across the media on a daily basis. Thousands upon thousands of adults and children are living in emergency accommodation all across the country. It all becomes overwhelming at times and we end up becoming numb to the statistics. I wanted to humanise the statistics and focus on one person battling homelessness in emergency accommodation and allow us live in their world for the duration of the film. If we have achieved anything with the film, I hope we humanised the crisis a little bit more and we understand the situation more.”
Barrett says, from his research and spending time with people that are currently homeless and living in emergency accommodation, he found that no story was the same “It’s not what you expect. Every story is different. A lot of these people have jobs and have money in their pockets and in their bank accounts. They just cannot afford to rent in the current inflated rental market, not to mind even dream of buying a home. They are being priced out of a home on so many levels all across the country. Not only in Dublin, but in all the other cities and bigger towns. One person I spoke with was renting an apartment for €600 a month two years ago. That apartment is now rented for €1,300 a month. So they really find themselves in this Limbo state where they are stuck and going around in circles. Their day really becomes about finding a bed to sleep in for the following night, while also trying to raise a family, work and have a sense of normality in their daily lives, while living in Hotels and B&B’s, if they are lucky. Some live between Hotels, B&B’s and Homeless Shelters.”
Barrett also says, he has seen a drastic increase in the homeless figures since he shot the film “When we shot the film, there was around 2,000 children living in emergency accommodation. Right now there are nearly 2,500 living in emergency accommodation, and that is in the space of a few months. So it seems to be going one way which is very sad and very disappointing from the Government and their promises to have everyone out of emergency accommodation by July.”
Gerard Barrett wrote, directed, produced and edited Limbo, with Grainne O’Sullivan as producer for their company Blank Page.
Barrett’s previous work in Ireland has focused on other social issues including the acclaimed and international award-winning films, Pilgrim Hill about rural isolation, Glassland ,which starred Jack Reynor, Toni Collette and Will Poulter, and focused on addiction, and the critically acclaimed television mini series Smalltown, which starred Pat Shortt about emigration and losing a family member to illness. Barrett recently sold Honey, a television drama set in the world of corporate espionage to FX and FOX in America.
Limbo will premiere Saturday July 15th, Galway Film Fleadh at 6pm in the Town Hall Theatre.