BARZAKH - enjoying the Festival Circuit


Facebook page: Barzakh - Movie


Screened RTE2 15 May 2015

London Short Film Festival. 
Posted January 19th 2014

Barzakh took to the screen in prestigious company this afternoon at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London. packed house, great response; seriously good company from the fantastic Ismail (director: Nora Alsharif) and Uproot (dir: Debjita Dhar).

Posted: October 1st, 2013
BARZAKH has been selected for the 7th Waterford Film Festival ( for the 58th Cork International Film Festival, both in November... It's FESTIVAL TIME!

A lovely article in Film Ireland about the film:

Should be a fun month!

Posted 22 August, 2013

Barzakh has been awarded co-first prize for the local category in the Underground Short Film Festival in Cork. Congrats to all involved -- and to co winners on "The Handsome Shadows"!

BARZAKH gets its first Cork airing
Posted 25th July, 2013

NEWS JUST IN: BARZAKH, has been selected for the "UnderGround Short Film Festival 2013". Screening at 8pm August 10th in the Kino, Cork.!underground-13/c1x9v

This is its second festival, the first being Fastnet in Cork at which Barzakh was nominated for two awards.

Barzakh - the first review!
Posted May 8th 2013

Great review from the Cork Screen Commission

Here are two clips in case you'd like a taste!

Clip 1:

Clip 2

Barzakh, the movie...
Posted march 14th, 2013

Some of you might remember when I wrote about a commission last year to write a short film about refugees in Ireland. (

Well, this is the result, produced by Stormlight Productions, Cork, directed by Donogh MacCarthy-Morrogh and starring Moncef Mansur, Marcus Bale & Hamza Fidrous. It's being launched by Jimmy Deenihan in Killarney on Thursday 7th at 7pm.

Barzakh... it's an Arabic and Persian word to encapsulate the idea of a sort of purgatory between worlds, the "isthmus" between this world and the next, and since this is a film about a refugee's journey to Ireland, from a war zone to peace - no mean feat - and then being in the limbo that is refugee life while awaiting decision on status... it fits.

It also means 'obstacle", "hindrance", "separation" or "barrier". Again, it's fitting. Sadly.

Since I can't make it down, I am looking forward to a sneak preview on Wednesday at Screen Scene on Wednesday when Final Post is complete! Can not wait to see my script realised!

Here is the Barzakh page, please 'like'!
Posted March 5th 2013

Two days till the official launch in Killarney, where the story originated last October, Barzakh is galloping homewards... Amazing troupe of talent covering every aspect of the small movie with an enormous heart!

The story of one refugee to Ireland, an Afghan boy, called Rabah.... Please like the page if you can!

Directed by Donogh MacCarthy-Morrogh and produced by Odette Norman, we were determined from the start that Barzakh would stand on its own as a film. That way, it can achieve far more than any promotional video telling us what's wrong with the system in place for those seeking asylum in our country.

No refugee would leave the country he or she loves to travel here unless he or she had very genuine reason... Every day they wait for a decision to be made is a day wasted when they could be starting their lives here and their children's lives and becoming whole.

Barzakh filming is underway

Posted February 4th, 2013

Great news!

Director Donogh MacCarthy- Morrogh started shooting a short film I wrote last November in Cork at the weekend. Called Barzakh, it was commissioned by the Killarney Asylum Seekers Initiative and the difficulty inherent in the project was to find a way to tell just one of hundreds of human stories that would highlight even some of the issues refugees to Ireland face, in a way that was visually, dramatically, emotionally moving -- but that absolutely stood on its own as a memorable dramatic short.

The photos of last weekend's shoot look great -- especially fascinating as the film starts in Afghanistan! It's a tight schedule - the rest should be shot at the end of this week/ through the weekend but it's looking good.

Exciting! It's 14 years since I witnessed a short film of mine come to life!

RABAH's Story: A Script That Needs to Inspire
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I have a week to create the perfect little script, a script that will be shot over four days next month and aired in the first week/ fortnight of December.

The ideal project! How often does a script get turned into a film so quickly?

The goal is to put a human face on the issue of refugees seeking asylum in Ireland. The commission is from the Killarney Asylum Seekers Initiative (KASI) and the company making it is Stormlight, from Cork. The same people who are planning to make my tv series, HUNTER; the director is Donogh MacCarthy-Morrogh.

Only about 10% of those who apply will ever get asylum here - and think about that word.


It's a very precious commodity and something we are very, very fortunate to be able to afford to give. The people who flee here would not come if they were safe in the countries in which they were born; countries they love. We, mostly, can feel safe in ours. This, which we take for granted, is a wonderful thing.

I spent last weekend with several of the men and women seeking asylum status in Ireland. From Ghana, Burundi, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Guinea. Not one of these people is here because they have a choice but all of them are in limbo for as long as seven years - unable to work, living in male or female hostels with other men or women they never met before and not even allowed to cook for themselves or their children.

But they are all grateful for being safe. One of the women said that if she wasn't here, she would probably be dead. What mother sends her son into the unknown at 14 years of age unless she believes it is the only way to keep him safe?

So they are wait on decisions. On envelopes that will decide their fate.

For up to seven years!

And in all that time, they get bed and board from the State - although they have no choice where they live and could be moved at any time to another part of the country - but they can't work, which means they can't support themselves or make a home and leave a legacy for themselves and their children.

Limbo. It's a far less pleasant word that asylum. A frustrating and powerless place to be.

And the people I met all want to be useful.
They want to give something back.
They want to re-start their lives before their best years are spent.
They have talents and skills and expertise and enthusiasm and a drive to make a better life for themselves, all of which is being wasted while they, and we, wait for those envelopes.

Many that I met in Killarney work as volunteers, doing whatever work they can to support the community within which they find themselves. Some work in the KASI garden, growing vegetables. All those I met credit the centre as essential for their sanity - a place they can meet and cook, talk, learn new skills, learn English, feel less alone and less desperate while they try to keep mind and body active and alert.

Otherwise, as one man said, "you go crazy".

So the thing with this project - an eight minute script - is that there is far too much to fit in, so much that I want to say or feel should be said... but I can only tell one story. Find one universal story that will reflect all their stories...

And put a human face on refugees seeking asylum in Ireland


A StormLight Production; written by me, brilliantly directed by Donogh MacCarthy-Morrogh and produced by Odette Norman. Launched 7th March 2013 in Killarney.


Rabah - Moncef Mansur
Jamal - Hamza Firdous
Roshanak- Hessa Rahman
Mrs Adair (Teacher) Livy Riordan
Serwah - Grace Odumosu
Patrick - Saleem Yusuph
Nadir - Marcus Bale
Gyasi - Hakeem Yekini
Iranian soldiers - Aaron Lewis, Donogh MacCarthy-Morrogh
American Soldiers - Conor Slattery, Conor Jeffery, David Adeleke
Lady of the Night - Tamasin McCarthy-Morrogh
Garda - Jay Flavin
Afghans - Christian Paradiso, Donogh F. MacCarthy-Morrogh,
Brian O Mahony
Refugees in wood - Polly Barret, Noelle
Trafficker - Aaron Lewis
Students - Students of Kinsale Community School
Extras - Jasmine Norman, Bilqees Anwar, Odette Norman


Script Writer - Lindsay J. Sedgwick
Director and Editor - Donogh MacCarthy-Morrogh
Director of Photography - Justin MacCarthy
Assistant Director - Toby lee Tyrrell
Assistant Editor - Brian O Mahony
Post-Production Supervisor - Aine Casey
HD Finishing - Warren Dowling
Colorist - Gary Curran
VFX Artist - Michael McCarthy
Producer - Odette Norman
Locations Manager - Brian O'Glanby
Assistant Camera - Paddy O'Shea
Aerial Camera - Ian D Murphy
Make Up - Gill Brennan, Fiona Ross
Art Direction - Kata Rozvadska
Stylist/Costume - Tamasin MacCarthy-Morrogh
Composer - Christos Andreou
Gaffer - Diarmuid Galvin/David Horgan
Sound - Danny Crowley/ Rob O Halloran/ Stuart Porteous
Grip - Christian Paradiso
Military consultants - James Sikora, Maciek Kesy
Production assistants - Brian O'Mahony, Jasmine Norman

There were a huge number of sponsors that helped to make this film possible by donating their services.

Thank you to

Bus Eireann,
Port of Cork
The Malton Hotel ,
Killarney Park Hotel

Fitzgeralds Recovery Cork
Pouladuff Dismantlers
Arkil Quarry Crossbarry, Cork

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