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Swan Song: Oscar-winning Irish director Benjamin Cleary to release his first feature film

The movie features Mahershala Ali in the titular role alongside Naomie Harris, Glenn Close, Awkwafina and Adam Beach

Megha Mukundan
Sep 14, 2021
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The exciting news by the Apple Studios has been the talk of the town, as they have revealed the release date of the highly anticipated movie Swan Song.

The film is written and directed by the Irish filmmaker Benjamin Cleary, who won the Oscar for his 2015 short Stutterer. This film marks his debut in feature films. Swan Song features Mahershala Ali in the titular role of a survivor of a terminal illness. The movie, which also marks Ali’s debut as a producer, has Naomie Harris, Glenn Close, Awkwafina and Adam Beach in the cast. 

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According to Deadline, the futuristic drama will be out on December 17, in limited theatres and Apple TV+. The director shared about his 15-year preparations, which includes the script and casting, with the portal. He said though the production began six months later than anticipated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they utilised the time for quality discussions which helped them discover beautiful little elements within the story.

Being a black actor, Ali added the culture of race has an impact on everything, from sound design to the wardrobe. The actor further said that he had to feel authentic, foremostly to the black culture, while trying to translate the stories. His experience with the Swan Song team, he said, was good in every aspect, and the team was open to his ideas as well. 

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The actor also feels that Swan Song is an exception compared to his other projects, due to the grounding of relationships. As he always looked for something special in a script, the dilemma about facing the character touched him deeply. Gradually, after committing to the film, he said he felt the character speaking to him more strongly, and he revealed he hadn't ever seen anything quite like this one before, which excited him to deal with its dilemma daily. He also thinks that his character in the film will be relatable to many. 

Further speaking about the COVID-19, the actor connected the pandemic induced isolation to the situation of the character. The movie features him as someone who feels isolated and has to preserve something for himself. He remembers that COVID-19 has brought the same thing to him parallelly, and so the journey with the cast and crew became a dream come true kind of an experience.

The film is expected to release on December 17.

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