Western Front Studios launched our company with a very ambitious project called Bruise. Bruise is a cinematic short film which dealt with domestic abuse using modern dance as a tool to highlight this sensitive subject. We teamed up with Safe Ireland and Rape Crisis Network Ireland to bring this film to the public.

This film was made with the support of Mayo Women’s Refuge, Safe Ireland, Adapt Kerry and the Mayo Rape Crisis Centre.

From the outside it looks like Heather has it all, the fancy house, the good looking husband, but then the cracks begin to show. Heather is dealing with a serious situation of coercive control, domestic and sexual abuse. After a particularly harrowing incident at her house she manages to escape, she runs outside and screams but nothing comes out. She continues her journey and she faces a situation of sexual violence followed by being harassed by a stalker. She screams with all her might but yet again there is only silence. Heather drops to her knees, beaten, but then a little girl dressed as Grace O’ Malley the Pirate Queen finds her offers her hope.

Grace leads Heather into a wooded area to find a group of women who have dealt with similar situations of abuse holding a candlelight vigil. They empathise with Heather, they understand what she is going through. Surrounded by the support of these women Heather faces her husband, who is now in front of her and she screams at the top of her lungs. This time the scream is deafening. It is a defiant, guttural scream. The women join in and her husband is left powerless and cowering.

Women from the Mayo Rape Crisis Centre and the Mayo Women’s refuge actually played the female extras in Bruise. The point of the film is to advertise these services and to bring awareness to these issues. Let’s start a conversation about domestic /sexual abuse and let everyone know that if they are suffering from these issues that Help is available. These support services help women to find their voices and break free from abusive situations.

This film is currently on the festival circuit.

Production Team

Director: Mo O’Connell
Writer: Chris Watt
Producer: Emer Gannon Durcan
Producer: Brian Durcan
Cinematographer: Brian Durcan
Composer: Natasa Paulberg
Sound design: Paul Rowland
Editor: Rossa O’Dowd
Editor: Brian Durcan
Production Company: Western Front Studios


Key Cast “Heather”: Emily Kilkenny Roddy
Key Cast “Husband”: Ryan O’Neill
Key Cast “Grace O’Malley”: Jade Lawless


Best Director
Louth International Film Festival 2022
Experimental Dance and Music Film Festival 2022

Best Cinematography
Canadian Cinematography Awards 2022
European Cinematography Awards 2022

Honorable Mention
Sandbar Film festival awards 2022
Dingle Distillery 2022

New York Cinematography Awards 2022


Best Cinematography
Richard Harris International Film Festival 2022
Louth International Film Festival 2022


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