TV & Film Producer Emma-Rosa Dias and screenwriter David McCrea have returned to their former Belfast school, Hazelwood Integrated College, to shoot a short film for the new season of RTE’s Storyland. This award-winning commissioning project gives emerging Irish drama talent an opportunity to make original programmes, viewable to a global audience on RTÉ Player.
More than two hundred aspiring and experienced drama production teams applied this year, and Afro-Mic Production’s script, based on a true story, was chosen as one of the four films for production in 2017.
‘Cry Rosa’ tells the true story of a music obsessed mixed-race girl who questions her identity when she becomes the victim of bullying in 1980s Belfast. Cry Rosa stars Kelly Gough (The Fall, Broadchurch), Martin McCann (The Survivalist, Ripper Street) and introduces gifted young actress Grace Fleming as Rosa. The experienced and versatile film crew have worked on a large number of high calibre local productions, including Game of Thrones, Line of Duty and Good Vibrations.
It was important for Emma-Rosa and David to involve Hazelwood in their filming, due to the warm affections and admirations that they still hold for their former place of learning. One of the first integrated schools in Northern Ireland, they describe it as a beacon of hope for the community – a message that ‘Cry Rosa’ also seeks to express, with the challenging subject of young people suffering from bullying.
After getting in contact with Hazelwood’s Drama teacher Liam McCartan, Emma-Rosa was blown away by the outstanding talent displayed when she held auditions for roles in the film. As well as using the school as a key filming location, Hazelwood student Kathryn Stranaghan was chosen for a main role in the film, and many drama students were given the opportunity to be featured extras. The production also received plenty of help from the school’s staff, especially from caretaker Mark Stewart and Julie Richardson in the general office – their accommodating and enthusiastic support ensured a successful shoot.
Cry Rosa is to be launched later this year on the international RTÉ player.
Please click here for a list of all integrated schools in Northern Ireland.
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