The Betrayal, a new Dublin-based short drama, was shot with a predominantly female team, the opposite of the norm in most productions. From writer/director Kamila Dydyna and Driftwood Doll Films (Eilís Abbott and Michael O’Dwyer), the movie looks set to go places that not many Irish films have gone before. The thriller is not for the faint-hearted as it touches on numerous adult themes such as sexual identity, domestic violence, and revenge porn within the story of a marriage break-up.
Each member of the crew come with their own experiences of being a woman in an imbalanced industry where it’s common to be one out of ten on film sets and in production meetings, and are quite amused to have it the other way round for once.
The story follows lead character Nel (Kamila Dydyna), whose questioning of her romantic feelings for her best friend Alice seem timely as Ireland slowly unshackles itself from its own prescribed gender norms. Kamila is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting, whose award-winning directorial debut Testimony last year showed a child’s eye view of an emotional court case. The main cast also features Mark McAuley (Vikings, Saol) and Miriam Devitt (Running Commentary, Food Fight).
A male partner’s jealous and violent reactions in an unravelling relationship are the catalyst of The Betrayal’s plotline in which a new romantic possibility leads to danger. Kamila says about the domestic violence aspect of the film:
“I grew up watching my parent’s violent relationship and still know way too many people affected by it. Hearing of homophobic attacks on my own friends – from their religious leaders down to their parents – breaks my heart but also fuels my passion for storytelling. Writing/directing and acting in stories featuring gender-based violence is my way of trying to understand it, and ultimately inspire people to prevent it.”
The film will be co-directed by Natasha Waugh from Fight Back Films, with cinematography by Gosia Zur (Monged), costume design by Gwen Jeffares-Hourie, and is being shot in late January/early February. The Betrayal will also feature the title track from Conor Walsh’s debut EP The Front, named one of the best Irish songs of 2015 by Nialler9.