Genre: Drama

Pages: 15


Lanya, a shy immigrant worker, falls asleep on the last metro home and wakes up on the other side of the city. Afraid and alone, she navigates the eerily silent backdrop of a city asleep. Until she meets Roisin, a fast-food delivery cyclist taking a break. The two girls shoot the breeze over a coffee, then take on the world. Two strangers, on the margins of society.

Writer’s Statement

The story follows Lanya, a young Kurdish refugee who spends her nights cleaning offices in the financial district of Dublin. She is an outsider, the type of person you are aware of but rarely, if ever, engage with. Like many immigrants, she works hard and looks forward to the promise of a better life in her adoptive country.

Set against the eerily quiet backdrop of a sleeping city, ‘Night Shift’ is a film in which the city is the antagonist. It’s a pensive, otherworldly landscape with a slightly dream-like quality. It would have been easy to push this story into the realm of nightmare, to exaggerate the situation for darker purposes. But that is not the story I want to tell. ‘Night Shift’ is not simply about someone who falls asleep on a train and wakes up on the other side of the city. This is a story of subtle changes of emotion and finer gradations of darkness and light. Like all good short films, within its simple story it contains a deeper message.

The film uses visual metaphor, through the recurring image of the city at night. At the beginning, the bright city lights represent possibility, luxury and progress. But as the story unfolds, the meaning behind the image changes. The city is no longer seen in a positive light. Instead, it is a source of anxiety and fear, it represents alienation, isolation and disconnection.

Lanya’s journey is one of transformation, from isolation to connection, victim to saviour. Although her physical journey seemingly keeps her as an outsider, her emotional journey, brought about by the nocturnal encounter with fellow outsider Roisin, brings with it the realisation that she is not isolated and alone in the city.

‘Night Shift’ does not mourn the downsides of life. Instead, it explores an everyday corner of life, with the intimacies, adventures and relationships that can make you happy, leaving all the sadness, melancholy and guilt behind, at least temporarily. We are left with the feeling that there is always the possibility of goodness and beauty, even in the darkness of night.


  • Best Short Screenplay, Jacques Tati Film Awards, France
  • Best Short Screenplay, Rome Prisma Film Awards, Italy
  • Best Short Script, 8 & Halfilm Awards, Italy
  • Best Short Screenplay, Beyond the Curve International Film Festival, France
  • Best Short Screenplay, Auber International Film Festival, France

Official Selections:

  • Finalist, Stockholm Film & Television Festival, Sweden
  • Finalist, Kerry International Film Festival, Ireland
  • Award Nominee, Love and Hope International Film Festival, Barcelona, Spain
  • Award Nominee, Changing Face International Film Festival, Sydney, Australia
  • Award Nominee, 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival, Bali
  • Honorable Mention, Florence Film Awards, Italy
  • Honorable Mention, Silk Road Film Awards, Cannes, France
  • Semi-Finalist, Santa Barbera International Screenplay Awards, United States
  • Official Selection, Kerala Short Film Festival, India
  • Official Selection, Siren Screenwriting Festival, Australia
  • Official Selection, Mediterranean Film Festival, Cannes, France