Galway Film Fleadh 2016: Tara Lee – A Date for Mad Mary

Mary (Seána Kerslake) just got out of jail and she's mad as hell. The world is against her, especially her soon-to-be-married best friend Charlene (Charleigh Bailey) who insists Mary act like a proper young lady. A Date for Mad Mary explores the question, "what happens when everyone around you changes and you're stuck being the same person?"

Mary attempts to fall back to her old ways. She's brash, likes alcohol and brawl fights are sport. But the rejection from her straight-laced friends and meddling mother starts weighing down on her. It's especially annoying that she becomes a matchmaking experiment. On one of her maid of honor duties, she meets the alluring musician Jess. Somewhere between the bickering with her old life and discovering the new, Mary finds comfort as Jess' new friend.

A Date for Mad Mary is a comedy with an edge. And thanks to director Darren Thornton and co-screenwriter Colin Thornton for bringing a rich tapestry of female characters to life. Mary is especially refreshing to see. There is that top layer of toughness and I-don't-give-a-fuck attitude but at times is shattered with stirring vulnerability. Kerslake shines. And the complimentary pairing with the curious and free-spirited Jess makes for a beautiful friendship…and perhaps more. 

I practically cornered the talented Tara Lee at the Galway Film Fleadh to talk to her about the film and working with this group of bold actresses.

A Date for Mad Mary won several awards at the Galway Film Fleadh including Best Feature Film, and Kerslake received the Bingham Ray New Talent Award. The film is distributed by Element Pictures, the same production company that produced The Lobster and the Academy Award-nominated film Room.

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