the wake


Short Film

20 minutes

A woman. A house. Sheets stir… the end is near, but new beginnings await.

We tell each other stories ‘in order to live’ writes Joan Didion. 
So, what happens when we are not allowed to tell our stories? 
We begin to die a little. If we cannot hear stories that reflect our lives, our lives become inaccessible, irrelevant, dreamless...

Using movement as part of a unique cinematic language, THE WAKE united Irish artist Olwen Fouéré, composer Linda Buckley and choreographer-performers Cindy Cummings, Emma O’Kane, Megan Kennedy, Jessica Kennedy and Deirdre Murphy. In 2014 we workshopped ideas around women and bodily autonomy, freedom, work and the home at the Shawbrook School of Dance. The film was completed in 2015 and premiered at Dublin International Film Festival in 2016.

Funded by an Arts Council of Ireland Film Project Award and campaign. You can watch the full film here.

Written and Directed by Oonagh Kearney. Produced by Zlata Filipovic for Invisible Thread Films, 2015.

Please see IMDB for full cast and crew.


Best International Film, Leben International Film Festival, 2016

Best Dance Film Over 15 Minutes, FRAME London Dance Film Festival, 2016

Best Experimental Film, Montecatini International Film Festival, 2016

Best Experimental Film, Women Over 50 Film Festival, 2016

Best Editing in a Short Film (Carmela Iandoli), Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, 2016.


Best Director (Oonagh Kearney), Best Sound Designer (Maiken Háberg Hansen) and Best Production Designers (Barbara Knezevic/Tara Lewis), Underwire Film Festival , London, 2016

Best Original Film Score (Linda Buckley), Kerry International Film Festival, October 2016.


“In first place is a film that has excellent acting, movement, cinematography and use of editing transitions. The use of sounds made us wonder the whole time about the implied meanings of belonging, loss, motherhood, daughters, identity and memory. When all is left the body is turned into archive where memory and experience are inscribed … 'Several cells shifting in and out of memory' was an excellent text. The body is used as a language of expression of the highest quality and beautifully embedded with ritual patterns of womanhood. A gem of a film”

WO50FF Jury, 2016

“With the rhythm, the movement, the dance, the cinematography, the creative shots, the perfect edition, the film gives us the total impression of womens’ conditions of life”

MISFF Jury, 2016