The new Irish film Herself, which tells the story of a single mother trying to build her own home, is hoping to give people a lift when it is released in Irish cinemas on October 30.

Written by and starring Clare Dunne, and directed by Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady director Phyllida Lloyd, Herself was hailed as one of the standout films when it received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Writer and star Dunne subsequently received the Discovery Award at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.

Earlier this year, Dunne told RTÉ Entertainment that the homebuilding story came from "a very simple desire to unravel the chains that are around it in our heads". Dunne was inspired by a friend and her children, who had to leave their rented accommodation and move back home.

"It's feelgood but with a definite reality bite," Dunne said of the new film. "It's what they call a 'dramedy', I think - the technical term!"

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Dunne's character, Sandra, "starts out in temporary accommodation, wondering how she's ever going to move on and have her own home". 

"Something happens in the movie where she goes, 'I'm going to look up self-building'. She finds an eco design online that is available to download yourself and begin building. 

"It's fiction, but it's based on fact. I googled 'self-build cheap Ireland' and found [architect] Dominic Stevens' design online for free. Dominic has been a vital part of making the movie; he was the first person I met for my research."

"It's a hero's tale, and a redemptive one at that," added Dunne. "Full of hope."

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