Two Suitcases Project

Two Suitcases Project, IMMA, 2015. Photo credit: Joanne Dunne.

Two Suitcases is an award-winning film and technology project for teenagers living with chronic illness. Running since 2012, teenagers collaborate with professional artists on developing and making their own films and learn filmmaking and animation skills. In 2017, we’re delighted to be partnering for a fourth year with CanTeen Ireland, the nationwide support organisation for young people with experience of cancer, and embarking on a new national film project with Epilepsy Ireland.

An army of young people with extraordinary abilities are suspended in time in the Museum of Discarded Superheroes. Will they defeat dastardly ruler Ronald Thump and save the planet? Planet of the Capes, the latest film by young people from CanTeen, had its premiere at The Sugar Club, Dublin in April 2017. An interactive film and music showcase, the event featured companion films by project artists, live music by Seán Carpio with CanTeen and superhero activities with artist Siobhan Clancy.

Doing the project was really good because it made us feel normal, not sick kids having a little bit of fun. It felt like us teenagers are in control of what we want to come up with.’
– participant from CanTeen Ireland

‘The Two Suitcases project does what art should: it directly impacts on people’s lives. As a child and teenager growing up with a severe illness, Fanconi anaemia, I turned to creative pursuits to both take my mind off my suffering and express what I was going through. Creativity is vital to young people in general, but particularly for those dealing with illness.’ 
Artist Mentor Ben Murnane

Lisa flying_lower res

The pilot film, Two Suitcases, was based on the memoir of Ben Murnane. The name for the film and the project comes from a saying that a nurse in Crumlin Hospital used to tell Ben: ‘When you go into hospital, you take two suitcases with you; one to carry your clothes and another to pack away your dignity.’


*2014 Allianz Business to Arts Awards: Highly Commended, Allianz Community Art Prize
*2014 Fastnet Film Festival: Nominated for “Best in Cork”
*2013 REC International Youth Film Festival, Berlin: Highly Commended
*2012 Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival: Best Film (Under 18s)
*2012 First Cut! Youth Film Festival: Best Film

It treats its sensitive subject with great humour and visual imagination, resulting in a film that is genuinely life affirming without ever being sentimental.’ – Jury of professional filmmakers on awarding Two Suitcases Best Film 2012 at First Cut! Youth Film Festival

Follow all the films on our Two Suitcases YouTube channel:

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