When a young girl goes missing in a small town, a troubled fisherman is forced to confront the past that destroyed his family.

Director’s Vision for ‘The Invisible Boy’

I come from a small town in rural Ireland; it’s a world I know very well. A town where everybody knows everybody and secrets are spread through whispers and pub talk. An environment where people’s reputations can quickly become tainted. I knew I wanted to tell a dark rural tale and shoot it on location in the town I grew up in. Initially, I wanted to make a film about a missing person, but ultimately the film became more of a character study about the young man suspected of being involved with the disappearance, who has a troubled past. At its core, The Invisible Boy is a movie about dealing with guilt.

I wanted to explore the life of Charlie. And the “why” behind people’s perceptions of him. A troubled soul, shy and socially awkward, whose aggression and unpredictability stems from his own frustration of being unable to communicate with others the way he would love. The death of his brother shaped his life, a handsome guy with so much potential, but trapped by this horrible experience. I remember describing the character to actor Darren Cahill as a 12 year old boy. It’s like time has frozen and he’s never moved on. Some of Charlie’s mannerisms and lack of maturity resemble that of an adolescent boy.

My main goal when making the film was to create a sense of isolation for Charlie. I wanted to use the landscape as a threat itself, limiting the dialogue where I could, and letting the visuals, sound and music tell the story. I wanted to show that through isolation comes helplessness. However, it was important to me at the end of the film there was a sense of resolution and hope for the future of Charlie.

The film was independently funded through Whim films in Ireland along with two commercial production companies, Sonny London and Anorak Berlin. We also received a small grant from the local Waterford Arts Council in Ireland. The film picked up a string of prestigious awards and nominations. It was longlisted for an Oscar, bagged an IFTA nomination and was YDA shortlisted in Cannes. The film also screened at some fantastic international film festivals, including Newport Beach and LA Shorts.

Overall, we are very happy with the response of the film. As any upcoming filmmakers will know, it’s not easy getting these things from script to screen.
I’m so grateful to have had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people long the way. This is a film that was made by the love and dedication of an amazing team.