From their first creative engagements twenty years ago with community theatre, and on into experimental performance, complex online projects and now films, Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy
(desperateoptimists) have remained acutely aware of performance and narrative, along with the seductive charge inherent in the various languages of cinema. This is particularly evident in the Civic Life project they have worked on over the past 5 years.
Civic Life involved local community groups in the production of high-quality short films for the cinema,
shot on 35mm cinemascope, making extensiveuse of the long take and is an exploration of cities, public spaces and the people that inhabit them. In 2004, the first film in the series, Who Killed Brown
Owl,won the award for Best British Short Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. In January 2008 the latest short film in the series, Joy,won the PRIX UIP at the Rotterdam International Film
Festival. Helen,their debut feature film, is the culmination of the Civic Life series.