We’re thrilled that An Evil Germ, funded by Creative Ireland and produced in association with An Táin Arts Centre will premiere as part of the Boyne Valley International Film Festival this August. An Evil Germ was written, produced and directed by our Audience Development Manager, Mary Claire Cowley, and animated by our Front of House and Marketing Officer, Linda McConville. Using real life audio recordings from 2020 and animated in a simplistic style An Evil Germ explores how children in Ireland reacted to lockdown and the lifting of restrictions as they returned to school under the shadow of the Covid-19 global pandemic. 

The documentary was originally inspired by the radio documentary Big Stories from Little Worlds, which was created and produced by Mary Claire Cowley for An Táin Arts Centre and broadcast by Sinead Brassil on her show on LMFM on 12th August 2020. The children in our community were asked through their parents, listeners of LMFM to contribute their thoughts and feelings about the current changing landscape of their lives as restrictions were lifted and re-introduced, to give a rounded picture of how the Covid-19 global pandemic has impacted them. The beautiful original music for the film was composed by Katie-Anne Bolger and the animation was edited by Shane Callan.

With a career in film production spanning over 15 years as both a Film Producer and Production Executive, this is Mary Claire’s first foray into animation. She says “It’s wonderful to finally be able to share this film. The pandemic was such a challenging time for all of us and I really wanted to capture what children who experienced it were thinking and feeling , so that their voices could become part of the wider conversation in years to come. I’m so very grateful to all the children and their parents who contributed and also to the amazing team I had to work with. An Evil Germ was made almost completely with everyone working remotely in their own homes, so it is very much of it’s time. We’re so thankful to the Boyne Valley International Film Festival for selecting it to screen as part of their programme and we really hope audiences like it.”
Artist and Illustrator Linda McConville, who did the animation on the film says “This was a hugely exciting project for me to work on, both in terms of animating my first  short film, and being able to work closely with my work colleague and good friend Mary Claire. I’ve dabbled in animation before, with small personal projects, and a short ‘Meet the Team’ video we each did for the An Táin Arts Centre Facebook page during lockdown, but nothing this ambitious before, especially for one, single animator.
The film is the only film to screen in two categories at this years Boyne Valley International Film Festival. It’s World Premiere will be at Made in the Boyne Valley on Friday 11th August at 7pm and Family Animation on Saturday 12th August at 10am.
Tickets are available from Droichead Arts Centre.