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Writer Peter Salisbury about "Wildflower"


Short Screenplay

14 pages

Country of Origin: Ireland

'Wildflower' is a personal drama about family love and the way in which families can reshape and grow. It is a story about the resilience of the human spirit in the face of loss and grief.

The story follows Fiadh, who has been sent to live with her uncle’s family after her mother’s death. Starting with her arrival and following her over the course of her first weekend, we are brought into the family’s domestic world with its daily chores and routines. While the family welcome her into their home with open arms, Fiadh is withdrawn and finds it difficult to cope with her emotions and adapt to her new environment.

Thematically, the story is driven by Fiadh’s desire for order. The desire to feel safe, connect and belong. When she gets to her new home, she goes into survival mode, she is emotionally frozen and needs to learn to deal with her own feelings and gain the trust of her new family, in order to love and be loved again. Although 'Wildflower' touches on childhood tragedy, it is not simply about a girl who loses her mother and goes to live with relatives. It is not about death. It is about the opposite, life. This is a story infused with quiet moments of observation, the gentle tensions within family life, and simple acts of kindness. It contrasts the darker side of childhood innocence with the simple joys of being a child.

'Wildflower' is inspired by Hirokazu Kore-eda’s transcendental style of cinematic storytelling, grounded in moments of everyday life and the way in which he explores the idea of home and what it means to be a family. 'Wildflower' combines a gentle, naturalistic approach to storytelling with an Italian neo-realism aesthetic, in which we see a fragile new household on the edge of running aground.

In writing 'Wildflower', I wanted to create a film with an evocative and poetic flavour. The film uses visual metaphor through the recurring image of wildflowers. At the beginning, the pressed wildflowers in the notebook represent the past and everything Fiadh has lost. As the events of the film move forward, the meaning behind the image changes. Through her cousin Lily’s compassion, wildflowers become the means by which Fiadh is able to connect with her new family. Finally, following Fiadh’s realisation that she is there to stay and she stands at the water’s edge, casting wildflower petals into the sea is a means of release.

'Wildflower' is a luminous film that contains both sadness and hope at the same time. It is told through an authentic lens, in which the audience is invited to witness Fiadh’s experience of her reality, to see Fiadh’s world through her eyes. It is a delicate portrait in which we see her experiencing all the confusing emotions that make us human. It is a story in which we are left with the feeling that there is always the possibility of hope and courage and the promise of future joy.

Peter Salisbury is a Dublin-based writer and director with a passion for cinematic storytelling.

The writer was born and raised in the north-west of England, where he studied drama. As a student, Peter directed several theater productions, one of which went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Peter has over twenty years experience working as a cinematographer specialising in documentary and film-style video production for broadcast TV and corporate clients. Since moving to Ireland, Peter worked as a screenwriter and director. His films include Scenes from the Ballindoun Cafe (2013), Poetry from the Wall (2015) and The Emigrant's Song (2018).

The writer is a graduate of Falmouth University's Master's Program in Script and Screen Writing.



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