We spoke to Kathryn Kennedy of Kennedy Films about their current pledge campaign for My Name is Emily. My Name is Emily is written, and will be directed by Simon Fitzmaurice.
5 years ago Simon Fitzmaurice was in Sundance film festival at the premiere of his short film THE SOUND OF PEOPLE. While he was there, Simon noticed a strange pain in his foot. Back home in Greystones, he was walking along the street when he heard a flopping noise. Looking down, he saw that his foot had gone limp. Some time later, Simon was diagnosed with motor neuron disease and given 3 years to live. He had 2 little boys at the time and a third on the way with his wife Ruth.
The consultants told Simon that his body would gradually lose physical function until his lungs would finally fail, and he would be eased into death in hospital. The consultants presumed that Simon wouldn’t want to live in a physically incapacitated state. But they didn’t count on Simon’s will to live, to love and to make film. He fought for an alternative, and when the time came, instead of being eased into death, Simon was given a ventilator. 5 years on from diagnosis Simon is alive and living with his wife Ruth and their family of now 5 small children.
5 years ago, at the time of diagnosis, Simon started to write his first feature MY NAME IS EMILY with a pen or typing on a keyboard, and he finished it with his eyes, typing on an iris-recognition screen. Simon may not be able to physically move but he is a force of character, strength, love and creativity, a father, a husband and an MND survivor.
Kennedy Films and Newgrange Pictures Ltd. aim to film MY NAME IS EMILY in 2014, with Simon at the helm, directing his film.