St. Declan’s School and the Magic Chair

Niamh co-directed a feature- length documentary about a very special school in Dublin. Currently in Post Production in Los Angeles.

For almost 60-years the dedicated teachers of St. Declan’s have operated outside the limelight, designing innovative and highly effective education programs for students with special needs. This observational documentary aims to tell the story of the school, it’s individual students and show how a year inside St. Declan’s can change a person’s life. Letting the children tell the story, the film will combine filmed footage with animation, and will branch out eventually into a transmedia platform to become a resource for educators and policy makers everywhere, especially in the US, where equal education for people with special needs is at a great imbalance.

The Magic Chair refers to a place of calm within the walls of St. Declan’s, where children who are experiencing difficulty or are feeling overwhelmed and overloaded can go and sit in peace. It stands as a metaphor for the patient, transformative atmosphere that pervades the school.

Niamh is acting as Co-Director with US director Gregory Ruzzin and producer Victoria Graf from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for the project, and filmed through to the the end of school year, 2014. The film is currently in post-production in Los Angeles, due for release in 2016.

For more information about this project, please contact Niamh at info@swansongfilms.ie