A new documentary which focuses on research carried out in NUI Galway will have its world premiere on 1 December at 1pm in Pálás Cinema.
Directed by Niamh Heery and produced by Caroline Kealy of Swansong Films, A Tiny Spark looks at the effect of stroke and cerebrovascular illness on people’s lives.
A Tiny Spark follows three brave survivors of stroke who remind us of the little things that many take for granted and also looks at research into the blood clots that cause stroke.
The film gives us an insight into the research being led by Neuroscientist, Dr Karen Doyle from CÚRAM and Galway Neuroscience Centre in NUI Galway.
For the first time ever the researchers are analysing thousands of stroke-causing blood clots collected from patients around the world.
These little bundles of cells could carry a wealth of information, which could point to big improvements to people’s lives by improving stroke prevention and treatment.
With a mixture of dramatic first person accounts and beautiful animation sequences highlighting the functions of the various parts of the brain, A Tiny Spark is a film about science’s ability to affect real change for human life.
Contributors to the documentary feature individuals who have had a stroke: Rebecca Slattery from Dublin who had a stroke shortly after she turned 30 and became a new Mum; Trevor Neville from Limerick, a father of two who had a stroke aged 31; and Helen Liddy from Clare who suffered a stroke aged 63 in 2016.
Dr John Thornton, Consultant Neuroradiologist, Beaumount Hospital, and Helena Heffernan, Stroke Group Coordinator, Irish Heart Foundation also feature in the documentary.
Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “This year’s film will focus on stroke and clot research which is yet another area of research which will have a significant impact on audiences all over the country.
“These stories, narrated through our Science on Screen documentaries, show the real challenges that people face when living with chronic illness but also how we are trying to address them here at CÚRAM, to improve quality of life for all.”
Galway Film Centre Manager, Alan Duggan, said: “The Science on Screen commission scheme shows the real human side of the application of science. We are delighted to continue working with CÚRAM on this scheme and we will be supporting Niamh, Caroline and the filmmaking team in bringing ‘A Tiny Spark’ to the screen this year.”
The 2018 ReelLife Science primary school winning videos will be screened before the world premiere of A Tiny Spark, followed by a Q&A with Dr Karen Doyle and her research team, and with documentary producer, Caroline Kealy and director, Niamh Heery.