#92: Cathy Brady, Filmmaker

This week I am back with the third instalment of my bonus trilogy and my guest is the incredibly talented, incredibly charming Cathy Brady!

Cathy is a two-time IFTA-winning director, having won Best Short in 2011 for her first film Small Change and again in 2013 for Morning. In 2011, Cathy directed the BIFA nominated short Rough Skin, starring Vicky McClure, and in 2013, Cathy was named one of Screen Daily’s ‘Stars of Tomorrow’.

In 2014, Cathy directed on the BAFTA-nominated drama-thriller series Glue. More recently, Cathy directed Stefanie Preissner's TV comedy series Can’t Cope/Won’t Cope. 

Wildfire, her debut feature film which we’re here to talk about, alongside how her career led to this moment, is released in UK cinemas tomorrow (on Friday 3 September). 

Cathy’s film tells the story of inseparable sisters - Lauren and Kelly - raised in a small town on the Irish border, but whose lives are shattered by the mysterious death of their mother. Lauren is left to pick up the pieces after Kelly abruptly disappears, but when she returns home after being reported missing for a whole year, their intense sisterhood is reunited. 

I saw the film at LFF last year and it was haunting and poignant and spectral and definitely had this spiky, fiery quality to it. It’s also lensed by Crystel Fournier who has worked on lots of Celine Sciamma’s movies, including Girlhood and Tomboy. 

Anyway, this chat was lovely and I could spend many hours talking to Cathy. We cover her time at the NFTS, how she hustled to get directing work upon graduation, the experience of making Wildfire and then the difficulty of releasing it during a pandemic and whilst grieving the death of one it’s lead actresses Nika McGuigan. 

I definitely urge you to support this film in cinemas, but in the meantime, enjoy our conversation.

This is episode 92 of Best Girl Grip.