HIS IS MY FATHER marks not only the directorial debut of Paul Quinn but the first time he and brothers Aidan and Declan have collaborated on a feature film project. The key to the project is the tight-knit relationship enjoyed by the Quinn brothers. Since Paul is a first-time director, Aidan and Declan shared their experiences with him, while still respecting his talents to weave this very literary story quite visually. For Paul, this film is very much about family. "Working with Declan and Aidan was great. I think the concept of family is interesting and I believe it will be a theme in everything I do." The Quinn's sister, Marian, enjoys a small role in the film, and the script was inspired by a story their mother had heard when she was a little girl growing up in Ireland.
When it came to locations for the Irish portion of the story, there was only one considered. "You couldn't film this anywhere but Ireland. Many of the spots we filmed have remained unchanged over the decades. "Every location is part of the story," Paul says, "and just as important as filming in Ireland was casting in Ireland."
Moya Farrelly, the Irish actress who plays sixteen year old Fiona, was a perfect fit for the role of Kieran's love interest. "She was someone we were very fortunate to find," says producer Nicolas Clermont, "I hope every young man in the audience will ache for her the way Kieran does." "It's passionate and quite intense," Farrelly says of her character's relationship with Kieran O'Day.
Paul Quinn says of his film, "it's about taking those secrets of the past that bind the future and releasing them. Johnson does this by searching in Ireland for the tragedy that befell his mother." Paul elaborates: "I think we get a sense at the beginning that he has experienced burnout from his teaching. Learning who his father was and knowing that he loved his mother rejuvenates him and gives him the fortitude to live his life and be of service to his students."
Paul was also intrigued by the theme of immigration. "It has always interested me. I would like to make a film about that -- the new Irish in America," Paul continues. "My parents' generation -- it's two different worlds and yet it's one person's life and I find that fascinating."
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