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If you like films that contemplate deep questions, you'll love the award-winning independent production 'Myrtle'. Go behind the scenes with the film.

‘MYRTLE’ Delivers Thoughtful Commentary on America’s Socio-Political Climate

Patricia McCormack makes her directorial debut while starring in the critically acclaimed dramatic short film MYRTLE, currently screening at festivals worldwide. As the mother of a death row inmate, McCormack tells the story of a woman grappling with reality and grasping for any sense of stability.

Myrtle, a trailer park Mom from Indiana, cooks dinner for her son as he awaits execution on death row. Inspired by tragedy and a mother’s unconditional love, audiences watch Myrtle’s composure unravel as she prepares her son’s final meal, all while delivering a thoughtfully crafted commentary on America’s socio-political climate.

Masterful acting, screenwriting, and cinematography collide to create a haunting synergy that captures the bleakness of growing up poor in middle America.

The Kino Film London Review raved that “the filmmaker has so expertly woven in an impending dread. The performance is wonderful, reminiscent of Kathy Bates.” This gut-wrenching, imminent tragedy represents the reality of a death sentence while also examining the devastating impact of food insecurity and poverty on a mother’s ability to make healthy choices for the survival of her family.

An evolution from a play written by Megan Barker, McCormack explains how the short film came to fruition saying, “Megan was interested in writing something around a last meal and stumbled upon an article, detailing the case of a woman granted the right to cook her son’s last meal in 2001, this was the germination for the play.”

From there, Patricia decided to do an edit of the mother’s story as she thought the premise was strong for a short. “We both thought it really worked, then came up with the idea that Myrtle should be the first in a trilogy of shorts, each exploring a different character’s perspective/experience around the same murder.

Beginning at the end, so to speak, so starting with the mother just before the execution. Next, we will tell the story from the victim’s perspective, then lastly, from the murderer’s perspective, as we go, revealing more of the story”.

In collaboration with producer Shaheen Schleifer, since MYRTLE debuted on June 29, 2021, McCormack’s exquisite performance and directorial abilities have garnered various awards from film festivals around the globe. MYRTLE has earned titles like Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and has been placed as a semi-finalist at Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival.

This film has left critics and audiences stunned — from the United States to Europe — with the profound, yet hard-to-swallow, depth of intentional and creative storytelling centered around the “choices” open to the poor, a mother’s unconditional love, social justice, and capital punishment. 

This film delivered art that faces hardship head on, providing viewers with an undeniably vulnerable, personal showcase of a woman living through a traumatic experience.


Patricia McCormack (Director, Actress, Producer):

Patricia is a filmmaker based in London. Patricia trained as an actress in Edinburgh, Scotland and developed her craft as a theatre actress there, while also appearing in various television dramas.

Previous credits include Pit at The Traverse Theatre, Lost At Sea Finborough Theatre, Succession, The Field Of Blood 2 (BBC1), and River City (BBC Scotland).

She has featured in several Afternoon Play’s on BBC Radio 4 and appeared in the long-running series McLevy starring Brian Cox. She is an accomplished voice-over artist, with clients including Ford, Royal Bank of Scotland, Think Money, Gala Bingo, and Scottish Power. She has spent the last couple of years focusing on writing and developing projects for film. Myrtle is Patricia’s directorial debut.

Megan Barker (Writer):

Megan studied Theatre Studies at Glasgow University and has worked as a playwright since 2007. She has been commissioned by numerous theatre companies throughout the UK.

Her work includes an adaptation of Ibsen’s “Ghosts” at the Tron Theatre, “Anaphylactic” at Soho Theatre and “Promise/ Adewidd” at Sherman Cymru. She founded and was co-artistic director of Feral Theatre. Productions, based in Hereford from 2008-2012. She has recently completed her first novel.

Shaheen Schleifer (Producer):

Shaheen has extensive feature film experience having worked on both low and high-budget films in production management, producer, development and post production roles. She frequently works with first time directors on short films.

Edmund Curtis (DoP):

After specializing in Cinematography at Westminster Film School Edmund has been freelancing as a cinematographer across various formats for the last 15 years. His visual, creative, and artistic experience in shooting commercials has helped him develop a strong visual style which he has transferred over to his most recent drama credits.

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Press Contact: Dawn Jones | Pressed PR |

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