The 405 caught up with Anne Marie O'Connor, director and writer of the heart-felt short film starring three generations of trans actors (Kate O'Donnell, Joe Pearson, and Ash Palmisciano) titled Mum. We talk film-making, influences, telling female stories post-Harvey Weinstein, and the very human story at the heart of Mum.

Anne-Marie began writing for theatre before writing the Irish bestselling novel "Everyone’s Got a Bono Story". She turned her attention to screen writing, starting out on BBC1’s Waterloo Road and going on to co-create Sky 1's long running comedy Trollied. She is working on both returning dramas and comedies in the UK and in the US and has just written her first feature film which she is also to direct.

Mum is a film with a trans character at the heart of it, telling a universal story: When Kate (Kate O'Donnell) goes back to see her mother (beautifully brought to life by Margot Leicester) after a few years away, she realises that far from being ready for a day out, her mum is gravely ill. And no one thought to tell her. So she takes matters into her own hands and although she doesn't get the day she wanted, she gets the day she needed.

This universal story was key to Mum's appeal for me. The three generations of trans actors at the heart of it play a big part of it bringing this very human, very universally resonant story to life – in addition to Leicester in the title role of "Mum". I highly recommend catching it if you are able. It'll tug at your heartstrings.

19 of the 23-strong crew of Mum were female, subverting the current industry norm. Of these 5 had one-year-old children, so a creche was created on set to enable their return to work.

Anne-Marie O'Connor.

Hello Anne-Marie and welcome to the 405! I was wondering if we may be able to start by getting an idea of your history. What got you into film-making?

I have always loved film and I have been a TV writer for a number of years and wanted to write and direct a short film just to see if I a) could do it and b) enjoyed the experience. I answer b) conclusively, I really enjoyed making Mum. I hope the film is proof of a)!

[Laughs] I would say it certainly did prove a).

Favourite films? Favourite directors? Which have exerted greatest influence on your development as an artist.

I have always been drawn to films that are character driven. There's the obvious – like GoodfellasI remember seeing this when I was young and realising that dialogue can be included and warranted on its own merit without having to mercilessly drive a story forward. I loved Sally Potter's Orlando for its scope, beauty and androgyny, Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank for its raw darkness and inspection of character, and Shane Meadows' Dead Man's Shoes for showing how deep, dark subject matter can sit happily alongside laugh-out-loud moments and for its clever editing and storytelling.

Greatest triumphs as a film-maker so far? Greatest challenges?

Putting Mum together on a shoestring budget and making a film with my friend – which has been really well received, especially within the LGBTQ community – is hard to beat. Greatest challenges have all been small and ultimately surmountable. I had a great team around me when making Mum and that meant that doing my job in the middle of it was relatively easy.

What makes a great film?

It's so subjective. For me it's something that makes me think, doesn't spoon feed the audience, isn't relentlessly dark and speaks to the truths of life: family, love, relationships, aging. This can take place in a kitchen or on a space ship (E.g. Passengers) Truth of the human condition is what makes a good film – without getting too lofty!

Kate O'Donnell.

Getting into Mum, I'm really curious what the spark of inspiration was for the story. I was really struck by its universality and the brilliant heartfelt performances by the three generations of trans actors.

Kate O'Donnell who stars in Mum and co-created it with me, is my best friend. We've known each other for over twenty years.  I wanted my first film to be somehow personal. So, I turned to Kate as we have talked for a long time about the need for trans stories to move on from the fascination with the transition. I'm happy to say that since making Mum they have.

Fascinating to unpack the very human stories of trans people beyond the actual transition. It's sad though that people tend to pigeon-hole others by restricting their interest to just one part of their lives, one thing that happened on their life journey.

I'm curious if you have noticed any shift in audiences' reactions to Mum since all the news out of Hollywood post-Harvey Weinstein. What do you hope audiences will take with them from the film?

Not to Mum but to telling female stories in general when pitching TV ideas has certainly shifted a gear in the last few months. I feel that we have traditionally afforded male characters the ability to be formed by character and circumstance, whereas women are often only two episodes off being revealed as hysterics.

 I think now that the realisation that women can tell women's stories and those women in turn can be flawed and broken without being innately crackers is a turning point that has been underpinned oddly by what has happened in the wider industry. In the same way, our actresses won't just sit there and look pretty anymore – and will have a voice, so will our characters. 

Last, where can our readers catch the film and what is next?

We have three festivals scheduled for January and February but we are unable to announce just yet, unfortunately. But you can keep up with us on our Twitter feed @mum_film

Thank you Anne-Marie!

Thanks very much for the interview and the very thoughtful questions!