CIFF2024 Opening Film - LIES WE TELL

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Thursday, February 29 • 7:00 PM • T1

Q&A with Director Lisa Mulcahy and Writer Elisabeth Gooch moderated by Professor Sky Sitney, Film and Media Studies Program, Georgetown University and Co-Founder & Festival Director, DC/DOX | Welcome by Orla Keane, Deputy Ambassador of Ireland to the United States. Post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland, Washington, D.C.

Dramatic Feature | East Coast Premiere | Award Winner | Woman Director, Writer, Cinematographer & Producer | New Talent | Literary Adaptation

Generously sponsored by Geri Fitzgerald and Irish Network D.C.

In the wilds of 1864 Ireland, within the vast and remote estate of Knowl, newly orphaned, independently minded, and self-determined 18-year-old heiress Maud Ruthyn is grieving, alone and cut off from the world. Confined by the times she lives in, Maud becomes the ward of her estranged Uncle Silas. When she innocently welcomes him to live at her ancestral estate with his children and their governess, she soon learns that her increasingly menacing relatives have plans for her and her considerable inheritance.


Director: Lisa Mulcahy          

Screenwriter: Elisabeth Gooch          

Producer: Ruth Carter

Cast: Agnes O'Casey, David Wilmot, Holly Sturton, Chris Walley, Grainne Keenan, Mark Doherty, Eleanor Methven, Elaine O'Dwyer, John Olohan, Kieran Roche

Ireland, 2023, color, 89 min. NOT RATED.


Best Cinematography in Irish Film Award - Galway Fleadh 2023


"O’Casey’s delivery is sharp as a steak knife. It’s a delight to watch her verbally spar with Wilmot’s Silas, coyly jabbing at each other according to the rules of civility but growing more acrimonious as the stakes get higher. Director Lisa Mulcahy (Wasteland, The Legend of Longwood) clears the paths and lets them rip with confident, clear-sighted direction."--Leslie Felperin, The Guardian, October 2023

"Elisabeth Gooch's script sharpens the dialogue, cleaving away enough of the original short story and honing it to a fine point on which the performances balance. Lisa Mulcahy's direction is equally direct and unencumbered, with a real sense of style and cinematography to it, all of it misty fogs and candlelit dinners adding to the forgotten world these characters seem to inhabit."--Brian Lloyd,, November 2023

🎟 For further information regarding bookings: 
Please call 301-495-6720 between M-F, 9 AM - 5:30 PM or email

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Lisa Mulcahy

Lisa Mulcahy is an award-winning feature film and television director. She completed work on 12 episodes of the critically acclaimed TV3 drama series Red Rock and directing the final four episodes of Season 1.

She is in development on several feature films including Stolen, a remarkable true story of a woman who enters war torn Syria alone to rescue her 6-year-old daughter. Her award winning second feature film The Legend of Longwood was released in cinemas in Holland in June 2015 and sold to many territories worldwide including Australia, Brazil and the USA where it was released by Shout FactoryThe Legend of Longwood was screened at many festivals worldwide and was the runner up in the 10-plus category at the 2014 Giffoni Film Festival, the largest children’s film festival in the world. 

Elisabeth Gooch headshot

Elisabeth Gooch specializes in subversive takes on neglected classics. LIES WE TELL, directed by Lisa Mulcahy, produced by Ruth Carter at Blue Ink Films, and starring Agnes O’Casey and David Wilmot, transforms Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Irish gothic sensation novel ‘Uncle Silas’ into a period psychological thriller with brutally modern resonance. LIES WE TELL is Elisabeth’s first produced feature film. She has a number of other projects in development, in both film and television.

Sky Sitney headshot

Sky Sitney is the co-founder and festival director of DC/DOX, a new documentary festival that launched in June 2023. Sky is the former festival director of AFI Docs, and she is recognized as one of the key contributors in helping it become one of the leading documentary festivals in the United States. After leaving AFI Docs, Sky co-created and co-directed Double Exposure, a festival and symposium which explores the intersection of film and investigative journalism. She co-directed Double Exposure for 8 years between 2015 and 2023. Sky has also held previous programming positions for the Newport International Film Festival and the New York Underground Film Festival.

Sky served as director of the Film and Media Studies program at Georgetown University from 2017 - 2023, where she currently serves as Professor of the Practice and teaches a variety of courses in cinema studies.

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