Actress Michelle Coverley wrote, produced and stars in the folk horror short film, “The Wick.”

The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival will take place April 18-25. Visit julienfilmfest.com for more information.

Title: “The Wick.”

Genre: Folk horror short.

Country: United Kingdom.

Run time: 15 minutes.

Director: Sabine Crossen.

Producers: Michelle Coverley and Ludovica Musumeci.

Writer: Michelle Coverley.

Synopsis: Inspired by true events, “The Wick” is a dark, period thriller set in rural England in the early 1800s, 73 years after witch hunts were banned. When Esther (portrayed by producer/writer Coverley), a local herbal healer, witnesses her sister’s murder at the hands of a lawless but influential religious leader, she realizes only she can put an end to the barbarity of these outdated beliefs for good.

“The Wick” is a disturbing tale of deceit and persecution of a woman who fights for justice against a lawless witch hunter.

Behind the scenes: The film also stars British actor Ian Reddington, best known for his portrayal as the Chief Clown during the 25th season of “Doctor Who” and his stints on long-running British soap operas, “EastEnders” and “Coronation Street.”

The film, which was partially paid for through a crowdfunding project, has already won several awards during its festival circuit run, including awards for music, editing and hair and make-up.

While the film is a period piece, Coverley said the film’s subject matter is very topical.

“It highlights women’s right issues alongside witchcraft accusations and persecutions, which still happen (in places) around the world today,” she said. “It also touches on radicalization and how easily people can be misled.”

Coverley hopes the film will spark conversations about women’s rights and how dangerous the spread of misinformation in communities can be.

“For a film to ignite a debate or a yearning to find out more is a filmmaker’s dream,” she said. “I hope the audience can take away something positive from these discussions.”

Michelle London

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