Mattress Men takes Toronto

Last week, I went over to Toronto for the Hot Docs Film Festival where the film I spent last year cutting ‘Mattress Men’ had its world premiere. Among everything else it also provided me with an opportunity to take a bit of a break and to visit Canada for the first time. The week away was a great success and the film went down an absolute storm.

The week started with Máire and I attending a really fun literary event on Bloor Street near where we were staying while the director Colm Quinn and the producer David Clarke making a somewhat unique appearance on morning television promoting the film.

The film played three times over the course of the festival, each screening was different and memorable in its own right. The first screening took place in the beautiful surroundings of the Hart House Theatre right in the middle of the city’s University. Despite everyone being nervous about attracting a crown on a Tuesday evening at 9:45 we ended up getting a great crowd down and the audience did what they were supposed to, they laughed, they cried and gave the film a great reception after. No matter how confident you are in a film, you never know how it’ll go down until you put in front of an audience and it couldn’t have gone much better.

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The second screening was in the TIFF Lightbox where so much of the festival was based, this screening played to a full house of over 300 people who once again all loved it. The stars of the film were genuinely touched by all the positivity towards them and to the film. There was a que of people after wanting their photo taken with Brian the Mattress Man. This was a screening unlike other I had experienced in my career thus far. Its something I won’t forget in a while.

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The third screening was a bit further out in a really cool district on the Friday night. It was again a full house and we were all a bit more ‘relaxed’ going into the film. It turns out the film is even funnier and more emotional when you’ve had a few jars. I also had the best burger of my life just prior to the screening but thats a different story. Seriously, that burger.

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The rest of the week was taken up with catching some great documentaries, exploring a really great city with Máire and just taking it easy. Heading to Niagara Falls with Mattress Mick and the crew is a memory I will cherish. We had a total blast.

Here’s what some of the reviews of the film looked like.
Toronto Film Scene said…
“Most people will probably go into Mattress Men expecting some hearty laughs based on its premise, and while they’ll get just that, they’ll also probably be surprised by how moving it all is. It’s the most unexpected tearjerker of the festival.”

And here are what some of the public had to say about it.

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https://twitter.com/lpincente/status/728375258714128385

Mattress Men to Premiere at HotDocs in Toronto

So yesterday it was announced that ‘Mattress Men’, the feature documentary I spent a large part of last year editing for director Colm Quinn will have its world premiere at North America’s largest documentary film festival, HotDocs.

The film takes a peak behind the mattress telling the true story the man who made the legend that is Mattress Mick.

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In an attempt to save his struggling mattress business during the recession, sixty-something Michael Flynn teams up with aspiring filmmaker Paul Kelly to reinvent himself as the eccentric online persona ‘Mattress Mick’. Through Paul’s zany videos and creative use of social media Mattress Mick quickly becomes an unlikely local celebrity. However, as the business and Mick’s profile begins to grow, their friendship comes under increasing pressure.

Mattress Men is directed by Colm Quinn and is the first feature-length film from Dublin-based independent production companies El Zorrero Films and Faction Films. Mattress Men was funded by the Irish Film Board. The Film was produced by Dave Clarke and Ciaran Deeney with myself cutting, Colm shooting and Michael Fleming composing.

Earlier this year the same team (except me) produced one of the ‘After 16’ shorts Baring Arms which you can watch now on the RTE Player here. Its a great short, beautifully edited by Jordan Montminy that you should definitely check out.

Mattress Men will screen at HotDocs on the 3rd, 4th and 6th of May as part of the “Future Cult Classics” programme.

The announcement yesterday created quite a bit of buzz with the world clearly hungry for as much Mattress Mick as they can handle. Articles about the great mans forthcoming Toronto adventures appeared in Hot Press, the Daily Edge, Film Ireland and beyond.

Other Irish titles playing the festival include ‘The Land of the Enlightened’ and ‘Booby Sands:66 Days’. I’m looking forward to catching them at the festival.

Keep up to date with the project on twitter at @mattressMenFilm and the films official Facebook page

In the meantime, why not watch The Mattress Mick music video which features in the documentary ‘Back With a Bang’ to get a sense of what it is that Paul and Mick are all about…

Watch ‘Mar A Cheile Muid?’ online

For Seachtain na Gaeilge, Seán Ó’Cualáin has made his film ‘Mar a Cheile Muid?’ about the Gaeltacht civil rights movement of the 1970’s and its impact then and now available to watch online. The film is on the surface about the 40th anniversary of the 1974 Oireachtas in Cois Fharraige, the first one outside of the capital and a significant victory for the movement but its also about the challenges facing the Gaeltacht regions today. I think it’s a significant film about part of our shared cultural history and its one that I’m incredible proud and honoured to have been part of. I hope people enjoy it and that it sparks debate.

 

Weather Report on RTE2 at 11:30 tonight

There is an opportunity to catch my brother Paul’s short film ‘The Weather Report’ tonight on RTE2 at 11:30. The film has had a great run on the festival circuit appearing at over 50 festivals at home and abroad. Paul picked up a few awards at the Limerick Film Festival and Boston Irish Film Festival. You can follow the film on Facebook and see the full list of festivals it has appeared at there.

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Arkle wins at the IFTA’S!!!

On Thursday last, the Arkle documentary I cut won the IFTA for Best Sports at what was a lovely evening in the Burlington (It will always be the Burlo to me). It was such a good day that its taken me this long to write about it!
I was absolutely thrilled for Arkle director Luke McManus and Stephen and Denis from Touchline Media who produced the film.

Stephen, Luke and Denis with their little friend
Stephen, Luke and Denis with their little friend

Despite coming from a place a few years ago where Luke, by his own admission, knew damn all about horses, he has now directed several superb horse related documentaries. A few years back he was IFTA nominated for Jump Boys which showed the harsh realities of being a top level jump jockey and then last year he made a 4 part series on the Galway races. In between these two was Arkle: The Legend Lives On which was made for TG4 and Channel 4 and as you might imagine told the story of Irelands legendary wonder-horse Arkle.

The documentary has achieved a Bill Nicholson like double, winning the Celtic Media Award and now the IFTA and all done with a certain panache! For me personally, this marked the third year in a row that I’ve cut the winner in the Best Sport’s Documentary IFTA category. I’m not entirely sure how that happened but I’m obviously thrilled with it.

The IFTA’s themselves were a great laugh and it was great to catch up with so many friends and I was delighted on the night that my buddies Mark Henry, Mick Mahon, Colm Bairéad, Cleona Ni Chrualaoi, James Ryan, Tracy O’Hanlon, Gemma O’Shaughnessy all got their hands on an IFTA.

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It was also pretty cool that I got to go to the show with my brother, even if he and his boys did end up on the receiving end of a paddling from Arkle.

Sky Road Film Festival This Weekend.

The Sky Road Film Festival kicks off this weekend with a whole host of screenings and talks. Among the selected films are GAA USA and Under Open Skies, 2 sports documentaries I cut last year.
Under Open Skies is a nostalgic look at Irelands abondoned Handball Alleys that dot the countryside. Produced by Heather Mills as part of the Irish Film Boards Reality Bites Scheme, the film was directed by Ben Jones.
GAA USA is an IFTA Nominated series looking at the history of Gaelic Games in America. Heres a quick promo for it.

Also selected for the festival is a series of short films directed by my brother Paul Murphy which deal with Galway’s railway heritage. I’ve seen the films and they are really lovely portraits of people and places associated with part of our history that has died out. Really worth checking these out if you can make it to Clifden on Sunday. They begin at 12 and run for an hour, a trip to Clifden is always worth it.

Here’s the full programme of screenings..

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Ifta Nominations for Arkle and GAA USA

I was delighted this morning to see that 2 shows I edited were among the Nominees for the IFTA Television awards to be held in Dublin in 3 weeks time. Unfortunately both Arkle: The Legend Lives On and GAA USA are up against each other in the sports category. To further complicate the matter my brother and my office mates the Second Captains also received a nomination in the same category. So its safe to say I have some divided loyalties. One way or another as long as the Conor McGregor documentary doesn’t win I’ll be happy!

Arkle: The Legend Lives On was a Touchline Media production for Channel 4 and TG4. The film was a look back at the legendary race horse Arkle. The documentary was wonderfully directed by Luke McManus and produced by Denis Kirwin and Stephen Cullinane. I had a terrific time editing the doc with Luke over 4 frantic weeks last year in Highwire. The film already won the Best Sports Award at the Celtic Media Festival earlier this year and I’m sure you could get could good odds on Luke taking home another trophy in a few weeks. Personally I also really enjoyed writing about it here and calling the post ‘Blogging a Dead Horse’ which was a punning highlight of this blogs output.

GAA USA was produced by Sonta Films for TG4 and aired earlier this year. The series looks at the oft forgotten history of Gaelic Games in the United States and is presented by All-Ireland winning captain Dara Ó Cinnéide. The series was directed by Seán Ó Cualáín and produced by his brother Eamonn, Raemonn Mac Donnacha shot it and Darragh Dukes did the music. I spent the best part of last winter working on the series and I’m incredibly proud of it. This series marked my fourth time working with Seán (we are currently on number five) and its proved to be a really fruitful collaboration. An Godfather:Bryan Rooney, Rás Tailteann:Rothaí an tSaoil and Mar A Cheile Muid are all very diverse films that I’m thrilled to have played a part in. These films added with Seán’s previous work I think position him as one of the premier chroniclers of both rural Irish life and the Irish immigrant experience and he’ll kill me for saying it but I think he may well be this generations Bob Quinn.

Like I said complicating the matter is that the boys in Second Captains have been nominated for Second Captains Live. The live sports show is quite frankly outrageous in its ability to not only set new standards in sports broadcasting but maintain them too. I think this clip of them interviewing Ciaran McDonald exemplifies pretty well the work they do.

The show also features a weekly opportunity for my brother Ciaran to demean himself and his journalism degree by dressing up in humiliating costumes. Whats not to love about that?

I share an office with the boys and I can safely say that they along with Aideen, Karen, Rebecca, Pat and Collie are the hardest working motherfuckers in the business and if they do end up taking home the gong it’ll be richly deserved. They also, as I’m frequently and embarrassingly reminded, play a mean game of table tennis.

I was also thrilled to see my buddies Mark Henry, Colm Bairéad, Cleona Ni Chrualaoi, Katie Holly, Mick Mahon and David Power get richly deserved nominations in other categories. Best of luck to them and to all the other nominations. Overall the standard of work last year was incredible, heres the full list of nominees