FILMOPTION International presents
The Winter Lake
the gripping directorial feature debut by Phil Sheerin
Releasing in Canada
June 22: Bell, Cogeco, Telus, Sasktel, iTunes
July 1: Amazon Prime, Google Play
Tom (Anson Boon) isn’t happy to be living in his late great-grandfather’s farmhouse. Newly transplanted to the Irish countryside, he is an introvert who spends his days, box-cutter in hand, scooping up animal skulls for his collection.
His mother Elaine (Charlie Murphy) isn’t pleased either, and makes bitter references to something Tom did that forced them to flee the city. But one day, his wanderings reveal something shocking on the shore of their property’s seasonal lake, the body of an infant, washed up in a bag.
In Phil Sheerin’s directorial feature debut The Winter Lake, this is the key that unlocks a violent mystery. Shot in the hauntingly beautiful, if often rainy, Sligo/Leitrim area in the West of Ireland, it is peopled by characters who live a small-town life full of secrets. Tom is soon befriended by the mischievous neighbour Holly (Emma Mackey), a boundary-pressing teen who schools him in misdemeanors like stealing change from slot machines at the local casino.
Not socially adept, Tom must negotiate the complicated demands of the inwardly troubled Holly, and the hostility of her brutish father (Michael McElhatton) and bullying ex-boyfriend Col (Mark McKenna).
As the pieces begin to fit together, The Winter Lake moves toward a violent reckoning for a long-ago transgression.
Writer David Turpin calls The Winter Lake, “my dark coming-of-age story. I’d been fascinated by the relationship between people and their landscape, how it holds control over the course of our lives. It’s a short jump between that and the powerlessness you often feel as a teenager, of being trapped by your circumstances.”
Director Sheerin saw in the script, “really extreme family dynamics that examine the limits of how far you will go to protect the ones you love. I was struck right away by the loneliness in each and every character. That loneliness was palpable and poetic.”