From Quiet Earth:
Time for a slice of Irish life that the tourist posters won’t show you. Lance Daly’s powerful new feature is a beautifully shot account of two 11 year old runaways on the unforgiving streets of Dublin. Amazing performances by child actors Kelly O’Neill (Kylie) and Shane Curry (Dylan), the film features a strong folksy soundtrack, and is reminiscent of Ken Loach’s work in a film like Kes. When Kisses won best feature film at the Galway Film Festival this year, Focus Features acquired the rights, and with any luck it will pick up the same buzz that Once did and get into more cinemas.
‘Kisses has a freshness and honesty. It’s a film that can be discovered and can hopefully become one of the darlings of the film festival circuit,’ says Alison Thompson, Focus president, international sales and distribution.
‘The film was a nightmare to make but turned out nicely in the end,’ Daly says of Kisses, which is about two kids from troubled backgrounds who escape to Dublin’s city centre on New Year’s Eve. The director (whose credits include The Halo Effect and Last Days In Dublin) talks with mixed feelings about a gruelling shoot, working through nights during a cold Irish winter with two very young leads, Shane Curry and Kelly O’Neill.
Kisses features several songs by Bob Dylan, either sung by buskers or featured on the soundtrack. Dylan is used throughout the film as a symbol of freedom and defiance. The young people running away from their abusive families do not really know who he is but they still regard him as ‘a fuckin’ musical god’. There is even a Dylan impersonator, played by Stephen Rea.
Foyle Film Festival 2008
Won Festival Prize Best Feature Film: Lance Daly
Galway Film Fleadh 2008
Won Feature Film Award Best Irish Feature Film: Lance Daly
Irish Film and Television Awards 2009
Won Best Director for Film: Lance Daly
Won Best Editing: J. Patrick Duffner
Nominated Best Actress in a Lead Role in a Film: Kelly O’Neill
Nominated Best Costume Design: Leonie Pendergast
Nominated Best Film: Macdara Kelleher, Lance Daly
Nominated Best Hair & Make-Up: Liz Byrne
Nominated Best Script for Film: Lance Daly
Miami Film Festival 2009
Won Audience Award: Lance Daly