117% Funded


Target: €6500


€7,665 Raised


147 Funders

Novena - A Short Documentary Film

By Anna Rodgers


Novena is a short film about a rare event, which was made with generous assistance from people who felt the moment should documented. However, it has received no funding, and we need you to help us finish it. We've made numerous LGBT films and projects over the years, but in order to get this one out there to an audience, we need your support.

Novena captures a groundbreaking event in Ireland and is the only record of an unusual speech made during a Novena mass. St. Joseph's Redemptorist church in Dundalk host a Novena every year, and it is the biggest festival of faith in Ireland. During this particular Novena, the director of the event Fr. Michael Cusack, decided to make the theme “The courage to be yourself” inspired by a mother in his church, whose gay son felt rejected by the Catholic community. Fr. Cusack reached out to members of the LGBT community, Kay Ferriter and Stephen Vaughan, inviting them to address the congregation about their experiences of being gay and lesbian in Ireland and feeling excluded by Catholic doctrine. Knowing his community to be a welcoming one, he hoped that the outcome would be positive. Novena documents the powerful speech that was made that day and the aspirations of one priest for a more inclusive church.

When we heard about this event, we felt that it had to be documented despite not having funding or production company behind us. Sundance award winner Kate Mc Cullough and Eleanor Bowman filmed it for us, and captured the event beautifully. Our talented editor Pat Hodgins cut a version of the film and we showed it as a work in progress, both times winning an award - Best Short Documentary at Kerry Film Festival in 2013 and Spirit of the Festival (Irish shorts, joint winner) at GAZE 2013.

We're so close to completing this film and have offers to screen it widely in 2014, but we cannot screen it again without the funding to pay for essential post production and music clearances.

Our previous films have won numerous national and international awards. Anna filmed and produced the award winning RTE series Growing up Gay with director Aoife Kelleher, and together they co-wrote and directed Stand Up, the anti homophobic bullying ad for BeLonG To which was viewed by 1.4 million on YouTube, shared on Upworthy and tweeted about by Stephen Fry! As director, Anna Rodgers went on to make the short film Hold on Tight about Gay and Lesbian public displays of affection which was funded by GAZE/ Absolut, screened at over 50 festivals worldwide, was highly commended at Iris Prize, won a Radharc award and second prize at the ICCL Human Rights Film Awards 2012.

We feel it's so important that this film, Novena, is seen to the same extent and to ensure the efforts that Stephen, Kay, and Fr. Cusack made that day aren't lost. Thank you so much for your support. Director/ Producer Anna Rodgers & Producer/ Editor Hugh Rodgers

Anna Rodgers Twitter
Novena Facebook



Some news from 2014

Hello everyone, Just a short note to wish all of our funders a very happy new year. Thank you for helping to complete this film in 2014. You helped make it possible for this film to be seen here in Ireland, and further afield. In June 2014 Novena broadcast on RTE 1, screening to over 110,000 viewers. It screened at Fastnet Film Festival in Cork, St. Patrick's Festival, under the theme "Let's Make History", at Filmbase 'Shortspace' and Sky Road Film Festival in Connemara. In November it showed in St. Petersburg at the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival. It travelled also to USA for the the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, as well as Sebastopol Documentary Festival in California. The film was nominated for the Iris Prize, the biggest LGBT film festival prize in the world, held in Cardiff Wales. Earlier in the year, Novena won Film/ TV of the year at this year's GALAS in Dublin, Ireland. In January 2015 it will screen at the London Short Film Festival in the NEW QUEER VISIONS strand. It has also been selected to screen at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney, Australia. We will keep you all posted of any more news as we continue to share this film as widely as we can. If you didn't receive your reward yet, please let us know so we can check your address. Have a very happy new year and thank you all again for your generosity this year. Anna

Exciting news

Hello everyone, We've some exciting news. Novena has been nominated for an Iris Prize at the Iris Prize festival. It's a huge honour to make the selection, and we are so excited to show our film there. Iris Prize is the biggest LGBT prize in the world for a film and if you are lucky enough to win, you are given the budget to make another short film with an LGBT theme. We wanted to let you all know, as the film couldn't possibly have made it this far without your kind support. Thank you all, Anna ps. if you haven't received your reward yet it could be that it's in our last batch to go out, or perhaps you haven't sent your address to us yet. Don't worry - we will get to you all very soon,

RTE Broadcast - 23rd of June 10.35pm

Hi dear funders, I hope you are all keeping well. Rewards are created and now on their way to you if you selected them. You should receive them by next week. If you selected something my mail or online you may have already received it. We have some great news. Novena will be broadcast on RTE 1 this Monday night at 10.35pm. We hope you will get a chance to view it and please pass on the news to others. Myself, Fr. Michael Cusuck and Stephen Vaughan will be on the Sean O' Rourke show on Monday morning at 10.20am to talk about the film. This broadcast was made possible by each and every one of you. Thank you so much for helping us to complete this film. All the best, Anna Rodgers

A short update

Hello everyone, Thank you again so much for making it possible to complete this film. I just wanted to write and give you all a short update. Firstly, Novena has been selected to play at Sebastopol Documentary Festival in California on March 29th. Details are below: http://www.sebastopolfilmfestival.org/film.php?id=224 Also, we are nominated for the GALAS, which take place this Saturday March 1st. Novena is nominated under the TV/ Film award. We will keep you all posted on the outcome, but delighted to be nominated. We did a sound mix at Crossing the Line Films and it's sounding beautiful. Tomorrow we're working on our online and grade. Thanks to all of you this is happening. We're working on creating the rewards for all of you, so you will hear from us on a more personal basis very soon. Thanks again Anna


Hi everyone, just a short note to thank each and every one of you for making it possible for us to reach our funding goal. We are so grateful. We will keep the campaign going until the deadline two weeks from now, as any funds raised above the target will be used to continue to distribute this film further afield. We will keep you all posted of the film's journey after completion. Thank you again for making it possible. It's really wonderful news, and a fantastic outcome. All the best, Anna & Hugh


Hello helpful and generous funders, Just a little update. After our first weekend we have the funding to clear the music rights. We have taken a huge step forward towards making it possible to complete this film and distribute it. Thank you, every one of you. This week we're doing a bit of promotion on the radio. Tomorrow at 11.15 we will be on local radio LMFM in Dundalk, where this film was filmed. On Saturday, Newstalk has kindly invited us onto The Global Village presented by Dil Wickremasinghe who has one vision - living in an inclusive and equal Ireland. The perfect match for the theme of our film! We will keep you posted on the exact time, if you want to tune in. Could we ask another big favour of you? It would be fantastic if you could share our campaign on your social media, letting friends know you're a supporter and encouraging them to come on board! I know many of you have already done this and we really appreciate it. Thank you again for making an independent film about inclusivity and LGBT lives possible. Anna & Hugh


Thank you so much for your support so far. In just over two days we are very close to 2000 euro and almost 30% of our funding is raised. Everyone who is sharing, tweeting and donating is helping to make this film possible. We're very close to being able to cover our music clearance costs now. We are so grateful! Keep it going! Thanks Anna

funders (147)

There are 141 public funders of this project

There are 6 anonymous funders of this project