28 February 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Ridley Scott’s Life In a Day 2020 features first Irish submission from director Ann-Marie Brennan
16 Feb 2021 : News Desk
Ridley Scott's Life In A Day 2020
An Irish director has been selected to be part of the Ridley Scott produced documentary film, Life in a Day 2020.

Irish director Ann-Marie Brennan was chosen from over 324,000 entries to be included in the crowd-sourced documentary film Life In A Day 2020. Produced by Ridley Scott’s RSA Films, the documentary is a sequel to the hugely successful Life In a Day 2010.

Like its predecessor in 2010, Life in a Day 2020 sent a call out to the world to record their life on a specific day - July 25th, 2020.

The callout received over 324,000 video clips from 192 countries and recorded in 65 languages. Ann-Marie is one of just 500 contributors whose footage made it into the final film.

The first Life in a Day 2010 received 80,000 submissions, with most of these submissions coming from the USA. Ten years on, Ridley Scott’s RSA Films decided to make a sequel. The production team was overwhelmed by the massive response to the 2020 callout, with over 324,000 submissions being sent in.

The massive task of watching this amount of footage was taken on by a team of multilingual researchers, who whittled down the 324,000 entries to a selection of noteworthy submissions amounting to 500 viewing hours. This footage was then viewed by director Kevin MacDonald (The Mauritanian, Touching the Void, The Last High King of Scotland,) and a team of three editors.

Ann-Marie’s submission, which she shot on July 25th, the day her Uncle was laid out in a funeral home, was described as being central to the “overall emotional roller coaster journey of the film”.

When asked at Sundance how the film found its structure from such diverse video clips, editor Nse Asuquo singled out Ann-Marie’s footage as being pivotal to their approach.

Describing the "Irish funeral scene with singing" as being quite a heavy subject, Nse said the scene “talked to us about what we’re going through as human beings – the depths of things we are going through and also the lightness”.

Ann-Marie’s Irish funeral scene with singing is the only Irish entry to make it into the final 90-minute film. The director herself also makes an appearance in the film, singing in the kitchen of her hometown of Roscommon.

“I was bowled over to be contacted by Ridley Scott's production team in October to say they were looking at the most interesting footage received and hadn't quite made the final cut, but did I have appearance release forms,” Brennan told IFTN. “When the crew congratulated me in January for making it into the final film, I was smiling from the inside out!”

“Ridley Scott is one of my all-time (favourite) directors, Blade Runner had a very strong effect on me as a child, and to have this connection to him was quite surreal yet life-affirming,” Ann Marie explained.

“Directing for me has always been personal as I've been filming my entire adult life, things that don't always have a three-act structure! My Uncle Bertie, who I filmed in the funeral home that day, which coincided with his 88th birthday, was a huge film buff and I think he would be very amused to know he made his screen debut at Sundance. The whole experience is one dream come true really.”

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Feb 1st and had its world premiere on YouTube on Feb 6th. It has already amassed over 8 million views.

Life in a Day 2020 was produced by Ridley Scott’s RSA Films and directed by Kevin Mac Donald.

You can view Life In A Day 2020 on YouTube – here.

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