It’s Not Yet Dark – the Frankie Fenton directed documentary about Irish film maker Simon Fitzmaurice – will be available to view online from Monday, via Volta, the Independent film streaming service.
Having been released in selected cinemas nationwide last month, the film’s short run came to an end before returning to Dublin’s Lighthouse Cinema for three days over the weekend to mark the passing of Fitzmaurice, who died aged 43 two weeks ago.
If you have yet to see the feature, directed by Ardee man Fenton, it will be available from this Monday (November 13th) on Volta.ie or via the service’s iOS or Android apps.
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 made Simon’s story astonishing is that he did this while living with Motor Neurone Disease.
Originally diagnosed in 2008, Simon was initilaly given three or four years to live but he went on to become 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. She is nominated in the Newcomer of the Year category at this month’s Irish Book Awards.
Simon passed away late last month with his funeral and burial taking place in his hometown of Greystones.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie before the documentary’s nationwide release, Fenton said “We really did try to make something different and cinematic and that wasn’t about disability or MND.
“Really it was about Simon’s words, his experiences and most of all it’s a love story – not a romantic one but about the love of family, friends and that support network,” he continued. “That idea that we can achieve anything we want as long as we have the support around us.
“I’d love to take all the credit for making a great film but we had a super team, an all star cast between our cinematographer, our editor and producers but more than that, it’s the story that we’re telling that is the real clincher.”