“Irish people are incredible at telling stories. It’s in our DNA,” says Monaghan-born, Dublin-based Claire McCabe, who has a rich slate of socially conscious Irish projects bubbling away at her solo production label Pipedream Productions.

There are three features in development with Screen Ireland: satirical siege horror The Hive, which is the debut film of Rioghnach Ni Ghrioghair (Screen Rising Stars Ireland, 2023); comedy horror Jill&Lill, the directing debut of Keith Jordan, about a teenager and a streetwise delinquent facing life imprisonment after a first kiss goes wrong, executive produced by David Collins of Dublin’s Samson Films; and a coming-of-age drama set in the border regions, directed by Sinead O’Shea, that McCabe is producing for SOS Productions, with Keeper Pictures executive producing.

While studying Irish language and English literature at Trinity College Dublin, McCabe became involved in the university radio station, which gave her a taste of producing. She then worked for comedian Oliver Callan before joining Samson Films. Here she produced shorts including SXSW premiere Don’t Go Where I Can Find You, as well as Robert Manson’s experimental feature Holy Island. She also co-produced Adrian Sibley’s documentary The Ghost Of Richard Harris, a Venice Film Festival premiere in 2022. “To go to an A-list festival with a feature you’ve worked on… it was pretty spectacular,” beams McCabe.

Also in the pipeline is a TV series with Screen Ireland based on the 2022 McCabe-produced, Mia Mullarkey-directed short Safe As Houses, set in a working-class estate grappling with gentrification and made with support from Dublin City Council. Oisín Mistéil’s doc Try! is in the works, about the mixed-ability rugby community in Ireland, as is drug-smuggling short drama Wrapped — written by Tracy Martin and dir­ected by Mullarkey — for RTÉ and Screen Ireland’s Storyland initiative.

McCabe’s current focus is on nourishing native talent as her own production venture gets off the ground, having been in-house at Samson Films from 2016 until 2022. Working internationally is an ambition after tasters at training labs such as Rotterdam Lab and IDFAcademy, plus the JETS pitching session at the Berlinale.

McCabe describes herself as a “creative producer — I’m keen to be involved in shaping the scripts”, unsurprising given she grew up in a household where traditional Irish music and storytelling through song provided the soundtrack.

Contact: Claire McCabe