We’re deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Irish filmmaker Simon Fitzmaurice.
In 2008 at the age of 34, Simon was launching a promising international career after premiering his short film The Sound of People at the Sundance Film Festival when he was he was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (ALS).
Despite the diagnosis, Simon went on to direct his first feature film — My Name is Emily — in 2015 through the last physical attribute he had control over — his eyes. The film went on to be nominated for eight IFTAs and was selected for the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. 2017 saw the release of the Frankie Fenton-directed documentary, It’s Not Yet Dark, which chronicled Simon’s life from the point of his diagnosis in 2008 and covers the full spectrum of his journey, including behind-the-scenes footage of him directing My Name is Emily. The life-affirming and heart-warming doc won Best Documentary at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh and went on to become an internationally acclaimed critical success following its screening at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
A testament to the power of hope and courage in the face of adversity, Simon Fitzmaurice leaves behind an inspiring and important legacy. He is survived by his wife Ruth and his five children.
Rest in peace.