National Cancer Week | Director Cathal Kenna Discusses New Drama For Molly

Not many films shot in five days get cinema releases. However, Cathal Kenna’s For Molly isn’t like other movies.

This labour of love made on a shoestring budget, tells the story of young Irish couple Evan (Kieran O’Reilly) and Laura (Maura Foley), engaged to be married and preparing for the arrival of their first child Molly. However, a shock cancer diagnosis arrives out of the blue to Evan.

Uncertain about the future, Evan starts recording a series of home movie messages for his daughter in an attempt to offer some helpful fatherly advice and a document of who he is. These videos unintentionally capture the emotional rollercoaster Evan and Laura go through as they come to terms with their predicament.

Speaking to Headstuff, Kenna says the film is based on personal events: “I lost some family and friends to cancer and the experience reinforced my perception and understanding of there being a finite nature to everything. One of the key things I took from those experiences into the film is the idea of what we do when faced with that stark reality. The choices we make reveal a lot about our own character.”

Not a full-time filmmaker but inspired to tell this storyKenna called in favours from friends and acquaintances to help make his vision a reality. “For Molly was conceived as a very basic concept intended to be made with a small number of people. During pre-production, it grew organically into something larger than originally envisaged. A small bit of money was raised to cover some costs that we couldn’t avoid but most people worked for free.”

The director called his friend – Love/Hate star and Hail the Ghost frontman Kieran O’Reilly – to work on the screenplay and star as Evan: “I had gotten to know Kieran through mates who played in some bands with him. I reached out in December 2016 and we started working on the project from January 2017.”

From there, the cast began to fill out: “Kieran shared the same agent as Maura and they both worked on Love/Hate previously. Maura came on board through that connection.”

For Molly -


For aspiring young filmmakers thinking of a shooting in a similar DIY fashion, Kenna advises assembling a dedicated crew and lots of preparation. “Put as much effort as you can summon into planning during pre-production and surround yourself with passionate people who will go that extra mile with you when the pressure kicks in.”

For Molly is out October 5. With a 12A rating and screenings across the country, Kenna wants to send a message to audiences who see the drama.

“I hope the film can serve as a tool to raise awareness – particularly among young people – about cancer care and prevention measures and that it highlights the importance of local cancer support groups and services.” 

In keeping with this, a portion of For Molly’s opening night box office will be donated to various Irish cancer support groups across the country including The Irish Cancer Society.

While the subject matter is heavy, Kenna also hopes audiences leave screenings with a positive message: “Life is very short, it’s important to take stock of this every now and again and appreciate the special people and moments in your life.”

For Molly is out in select Irish cinemas October 5. The theatres screening the film are listed below.

Dublin – [email protected]
Dublin – [email protected]
Dublin – Omniplex Rathmines
Cork – Omniplex Mahon-Point
Kerry – Omniplex Tralee
Longford – Omniplex Longford
Sligo – Omniplex Sligo
Wexford – [email protected]
Waterford – SGC Dungarvan

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