Directed by Johnny Gogan, starring Brendan Coyle, Susan Lynch, Brían F O'Byrne and Oisin Kearney.
Funded by the Irish Film Board, Northern Ireland Film Commission and RTÉ, 'Mapmaker' is a curious film set in a parochial village in the North. We meet Richie Markey (Brían O'Byrne) a cartographer from Northern Ireland on the run from a failed relationship. He accepts a mapping job in the small town of Rosveagh but before long realises all is not what it seems in the sleepy hamlet.
On his hill-treks Markey discovers some archaeological sites that are under threat and confronts the local forestry boss Robert Bates (Brendan Coyle). Robert's wife Jane (Susan Lynch) reveals that during a survey some years back, Peter Nolan, the local man leading the team, disappeared after he was accused of being an informer.
As Richie struggles to discover the truth, obstacles mount and he begins to question who he can trust. Various aspects of the town's dark secret are revealed to him by Nolan's widow, the local RUC chief and hermetic farmer Kieran Maguire (Kieran Brophy). While mapping he discovers the missing man's body and when a tape of his confession is shoved under his door, it reveals in itself a clue that may exonerate Nolan. Sharing his suspicion with Jane brings them closer together and she is torn between her affair with Richie and her corrupt husband. Can she face up to facts or will history condemn her to collusion with Nolan's real killer?
The story, on paper, probably looked more convincing than the celluloid incarnation here and 'Mapmaker' fails to hit various targets. Brían F O'Byrne's limpid performance is unconvincing and wooden - accentuated further by fine performances from Brendan Coyle as the boorish villain and Susan Lynch as the loyal but honest wife.
The film bills itself as a 'thriller' but only in the TV crime drama sense of the word. The setting doesn't quite work - perhaps because it's a genre little-tackled by Irish directors - although Johnny Gogan must be commended for his efforts to present an Irish angle. The action takes on a laboured momentum and while plenty happens, it fails to rouse much interest and, in the end, lacks direction.