Northern Ireland, 2023

Director: John Carlin; writer: Tara Hegarty; cinematography: Jennifer Atcheson; production design: Keelan McRoberts; costumes: Malachy Casement; editing: Kate McAuley; music: James Everett; casting: Georgia Simpson; producers: Chris Patterson, Margaret McGoldrick; production company: Causeway Pictures. Irish location: Ballymena

Running time: 80’

With Nigel O’Neill, Ali White, Barry John Kinsella, Abe Smyth, Paddy Jenkins

Best Irish First Feature at the 2023 Galway Film Fleadh


After her mother’s death, ageing farming couple Kath and Matthew decide to run from the crippling debt that is anchored around their smallholding, to find a new life in the sun. Their ticket to paradise comes via Shepherd, a mysterious stranger who promises safe passage away from all their problems for a fee. On the departure day, the couple change their minds. An angered Shepherd turns violent, and a deadly game of cat and mouse plays out around the farmhouse and its outbuildings.


John Carlin has been working as a director in the television industry for 20 years. Over his carrer he produced work for BBC, Channel 4, RTE and Netflix. He also directed horror short films Exposure and 6 Feet Under, and the award winning short films The Way Back and Echoes. Lie of the Land is his first feature film.