When conflict erupts in Derry in 1969 two brothers facing violence at home withdraw into their own fantasy world to escape The Troubles.

The streets were a dangerous place for anyone what with constant bombings and shootings, but there was no sanctuary at home for these boys.

Their father has become a violent evil man due to the destitute nature of life in The Bogside.

Kathleen, Coll & Sean’s mother has no one to protect her from her husband’s wrath. She is helpless to prevent the family from disintegrating.

The film opens in a speech therapist’s office. Kathleen hints to a ‘knock to the head’ being the reason why Coll says nothing.

When he returns home he is immediately confronted by the man who’s fists have silenced this poor boy.

So as not receive the same fate as his brother Sean has to stand aside as the father’s fury is unleashed. He drags Coll to a forest once their father is done with him to play their favourite game “Best Fallers”.



The spark was lit to make this film when Coll told me about his early years in Derry. Being a father of 2 it was difficult to hear his ordeal, and how he hid the pain to protect his mother affected me deeply.

We went to Derry together. I brought Sam Goldie, my DP and my co-writer Russell Davidson. He took us to the estate where he grew up.

He described his “Dirty Old Town” back how it was in the late 1960’s.

My goal was to recreate the grit, the feeling of destitution, to make it look like it was shot back in the day. The cinematography, the production and costume design were all inspired by a lot of research, and I mean a lot of research.

When Isaac arrived at the casting, which we held in a small theatre in Belfast, I knew instantly he was Coll. I could sense it in his eyes, his demeanor.


Isaac Heslip as Coll – Conan Hamilton as Sean – Leanne Rowley as Kathleen

Brendan Gibson is Father – The Therapist: Michael Byers

Directed by Gray Hughes

Written by Gray Hughes & Russell Davidson

Produced by Miles Wilkes

Executive Producers Calum Morrison & Gray Hughes

Cinematographer Sam Goldie

Casting Director Hannah Ashby Ward At Lane Casting

Production designer Will Olds

Costume Designer Sinead Skinner

Editor Catriona Delbridge

Composer Benson Taylor

Makeup/Hair designer Leanne White

Sound Design Laurence Whatley

Colourist Alex Gregory

Location & production manager: Simon Churchill

Production co-ordinator: Lucy Aldis

Casting Assistant: Grace Lyons Hudson

Storyboard artist: John Colebourn

Post producers: Charlie Morris & Jenny Standish