It’s Not Yet Dark, the critically-acclaimed documentary directed by Ardee man Frankie Fenton and featuring local woman Ruth Fitzmaurice, is released in selected cinemas tomorrow (Friday, October 13th).
Having first been premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in summer 2016, the film has gone on to wow audiences at festivals around the world including most notable the Sundance Film Festival in the United States. Having screened in almost 20 countries worldwide since then, the movie is finally getting a general Irish release today.
It’s Not Yet Dark documents the life of Simon Fitzmaurice, an author and director, and focuses specifically on his time directing the 2015 Independent Irish film My Name Is Emily, starring Evanna Lynch. What makes Simon’s story astonishing is that he lives with Motor Neurone Disease.
Originally diagnosed in 2008, Simon was given three or four years to live but he’s still here and became the first man in the world to direct a motion picture by communicating only using an eye-gaze computer. His own memoir, It’s Not Yet Dark, was released two years ago and the documentary uses archive footage and home video footage to tell his story, alongside documentary his time at the helm of My Name Is Emily.
Simon’s wife is Ruth O’Neill, from Ardee, and with Fenton directing the documentary, it has been eagerly awaited locally for quite some time. Earlier this year, Ruth released her own memoir about life since Simon’s MND diagnosis to much critical acclaim at home and abroad.
Going nationwide today, It’s Not Yet Dark is being shown in seven cinemas – four in Dublin, two in Cork and one in Galway. It is hoped if there is enough interest, it may be rolled out to regional cinemas such as Dundalk and Drogheda.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie this week, director Frankie Fenton said, “Fingers crossed we’ll end up in Dundalk or Drogheda. It’s my personal ambition to have a film in Dundalk and Drogheda at some point in my life.”
It’s Not Yet Dark – Where It’s On
- Dublin – IMC Dun Laoghaire
- Dublin – Movies @ Dundrum
- Dublin – Light House Cinema
- Dublin – Omniplex Rathmines
- Cork – Omniplex
- Cork – Triskel Cinema (Oct 15th)
- Galway – The Eye Cinema
The film has received rave reviews in the Irish press this week in the lead up to it’s release. Irish Times film reviewer Donald Clarke said it “buzzes with all the right sorts of energy” and added it has a “mellifluousness that never dips into the melodramatic”.
RTE’S entertainment website gave the documentary five stars, calling it an “inspirational story of survival and a heartfelt portrait.”
“First time feature director Frankie Fenton draws us deeply into Simon’s world and soberly conveys every gruelling moment of his harrowing decline with insightful reflections on life and love,” the review continues.
For full details of screenings and how to buy tickets, click here.