Originally from London, Dan trained on the NCDT accredited Acting & Performance course at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh where he was the recipient of the John Gielgud Bursary Award and nominated for the BBC’s Carleton Hobbs Radio Award. Dan’s screen credits include the 3D film ‘A Better Place’ (NFTS) whilst his stage work includes ‘Little White Lies’ (Waterloo East Theatre). ‘VIS à VIS’ marks his writing and directorial debut.
‘VIS à VIS’ won the award for Best Short Film at the British Independent Film Festival.
In January 2010 I discovered Melbourne and knew I had found a place I could call home. I subsequently spent the next two years living and working in a city I had known nothing about before and became completely besotted with its charm and character. So when the time came for me to leave I was heartbroken. Visa restrictions meant that I had to leave despite trying everything I could to stay. Everything, that is, except one thing: a De Facto visa.
De Facto visa applications are well known in Australia for being abused and there are countless tales of ‘fake relationships’ or friends who are pretending to be together so that one of them can stay in the country. I often wondered what would have happened if I had ‘faked a De Facto’, which is how the concept of ‘VIS à VIS’ was born.
One of the most intriguing factors about these visas is the application process. Probing questions, lengthy paperwork and in some cases home visits to the couple’s residence. A home visit. This image stuck with me. A stranger turning up at your door, coming into your home and deciding if you were in love. The concept was so bizarre that it sparked the beginnings of a story in my mind. What would the person who conducted these visits be like? And what would be the implications of having such a role? Could one person really make a decision about someone’s love? And what of this person’s own relationship? All these questions started running through my mind and I knew I had the basis of a great story that could look at relationships and the things we do and don’t do for the ones we love.
Although you might describe our film as a comedy I always wanted to create something that could make you laugh and cry, feel and think at the same time. I think humour and tragedy live side by side and you can’t have one without the other. I try to embrace this idea with all of my work and believe that I have achieved it with my directorial debut, ‘VIS à VIS’.
– Dan Connolly
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