Shortly after the Sundance premiere of his second film The Sound of People, award-winning writer and director Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (ALS). He’s now completely paralyzed, but he managed to write and direct his latest film, My Name is Emily, through careful eye movements and a state of the art iris recognition software (which is also how he communicated with the cast and crew throughout the duration of the film’s six-week shoot). He was given just four years to live, but he credits filmmaking with saving his life.
After her mother dies and her visionary writer father is institutionalized, Emily is placed in a foster home and a new school where she is ostracized. When her father’s annual card fails to arrive on her 16th birthday, Emily knows something’s wrong. Enlisting Arden, her only friend at school, she sets off on a road trip adventure across Ireland to find her missing Dad and break him out of the psych ward. Along the way, they both come to realize important truths about the nature of relationships, both to their parents and to each other. My Name Is Emily is a life-affirming story of madness, sadness and love, starring Harry Potter‘s Evanna Lynch, Michael Smiley, and George Webster.
Watch the trailer below, and scroll on to see stills from the film.