Film Giffoni 2022

LYRA

Category: Edition 2022

LYRA is the intimate film portrait of the life and death of celebrated Northern Irish journalist and LBGTQ+ advocate Lyra McKee, who was shot dead by Irish Dissident Republicans in April 2019 aged 29.

Original Title Lyra
Category Official Competition
Section GEx Doc
Tipology Documentary, Feature Film
Duration 93'
Production Year 2021
Nationality Ireland, United Kingdom
Directed by Alison Millar
Screenplay Alison Millar
Director of photography Mark McCauley
Editor Chloe Lambourne
Music David Holmes
Narrator Alison Millar
Executive producer Siobhan Sinnerton, Edward Watts, Andrew Eaton, Greg Darby, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton
Production Erica Starling Productions (UK)

Alison MilarAlison Millar

Alison Millar is one of the U.K. and Ireland's most respected documentary filmmakers. She is a BAFTA, IFTA and Prix Italia winner as well as winning both the UK and Northern Ireland Royal Television Society award in 2016 for documentary KIDS IN CRISIS. She is a critically acclaimed filmmaker with a reputation for making emotionally compelling films. In 2010, Alison founded Erica Starling Productions Ltd, an independent documentary production company in Belfast.

Director’s statement

“As a documentary maker I’ve made many challenging films. But this film, it’s much more than that. For me, this film is personal. On the 18th April 2019, Lyra McKee, a celebrated 29 year old journalist, was murdered whilst observing a riot in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Killed by a single bullet to her head.
Lyra was my friend. Just hours earlier we had made plans to have dinner together the next day, Good Friday - the 21st anniversary of the landmark Peace Agreement. Instead, I was with her mourning family.
Lyra’s life and work represented everything positive about what having peace in our country actually meant. She and her generation were known as the ‘Ceasefire Babies’ - a term she coined and later challenged as her work led her to a greater understanding of intergenerational trauma and the aftermath of conflict. As she wrote, ‘Northern Ireland is a beautiful tragedy strangled by the chains of its past and its present. It’s a place full of darkness and mysteries... it’s also my home.’
She was a young, gay woman, who was raised in a single parent family, in a disadvantaged area of Belfast, known to many as the ‘murder mile.’ By the time she was killed her years of hard work were only just beginning to pay off. She had signed a two book deal with publishing giant Faber & Faber and had been billed as ‘one to watch’ in the Forbes ‘30 under 30’ list. She had a bright future ahead of her. She had everything to live for....
In this film, I want the audience to feel the almighty sense of loss that her family, her partner Sara, I and all those closest to her, felt. All we had left were her words – which, at times, were uncannily prophetic, even foreshadowing her own murder. ‘I’m like a cockroach...,’ she once joked, ‘you can’t kill me.’ But this time, in reality at least, Lyra was tragically wrong.
Much of Lyra’s work and words were about truth. I want audiences to feel the huge sense of pride and love that she inspired, with both her indomitable spirit and her determination to give a voice to those who were silenced or forgotten.”

Production
Erica Starling Productions (UK)

www.ericastarling.com

International distribution 
Festival contact
Cinephil (Israel)

www.cinephil.com