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Filming begins on Simon Fitzmaurice's debut film 'My Name is Emily'

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Simon Fitzmaurice, his wife Ruth and their family

Simon Fitzmaurice, his wife Ruth and their family

Evanna Lynch, the Harry Potter star who is originally from Termonfeckin. Photo: Faye Thomas.

Evanna Lynch, the Harry Potter star who is originally from Termonfeckin. Photo: Faye Thomas.

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Simon Fitzmaurice, his wife Ruth and their family

Filming has just kicked off on award-winning writer and director Simon Fitzmaurice's debut film, 'My Name is Emily' with Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch playing the lead role.

Whilst film making is often a long, arduous process from writing and development through to raising funding and filming, Simon faced a tougher challenge as he was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (ALS) six years ago, just after his second short film, 'The Sound of Poeple' screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

However, despite being paralysed, the father of five typed the script for his debut using iris recognition software, the same software he used to write his best-selling memoir, 'It's Not Yet Dark'.

The film is produced by Newgrange Pictures and Kennedy Films and has been financed by the Irish Film Board, BAI, and TV3 whilst the Swedish and Norwegian co-producers have also contributed finance and the Irish producers raised €100,000 through a crowd-funding campaign last year.

Evanna Lynch, best known for playing Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter franchise is joined on set by Michael Smiley, who plays her father Robert, and newcome George Webster.

The film is a teenage love story about a 16 year old girl who leaves her foster home with her boyfriend Arden and sets out to find her father Robert, a  writer who is living in a psychiatric institution.

Stars including Alan Rickman, Colin Farrell, and Sam Neil voiced their support for Simon and his fundraising campaign, joining Irish stars Kirsten Sheridan, Jim Sheridan, and Lenny Abrahamson. 

READ: One man's inspiring journey from darkness to light

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