This saturday sees the world premiere of Ciaran Cassidy’s new film “The Last Days of Peter Bergmann” which I had the privilege to edit. I’m very excited to be part of this film as I think it’s something really special.
In advance of the premiere, here is the trailer for the film.
Peter Bergmann – a man who would go to great lengths to ensure no one would ever discover who he was or where he came from.
Fastnet Films 2013- Irish Film Board Reality Bites
Director: Ciaran Cassidy
Director of Photography: Kate McCullough
Editor: John Murphy
Sound: Guillaume Beauron
Music: Jack Quilligan, David Cantan
Researcher: Colum McKeown
Prod Manager: Aoife McGonigal
Twopair Films based in Crusheen, Co. Clare are to premiere their short film ANALOGUE PEOPLE IN A DIGITAL AGE at the Stranger than Fiction Documentary festival on the 28th September in the IFI, Dublin. Directed by Keith Walsh and produced by Jill Beardsworth, the 13 minute film is set in Johnny Walsh’s pub in Gort on the day of the analogue/digital switchover last October.
As the analogue age draws to a close, eight men sit at the bar battling to remain relevant in the digital world; the TV in the corner a harbinger of this technological future. Conversations about life, death and quantum physics mix with pints to create a surreal document of the switchover day. The characters in the film are not concerned with Big Data, Google Glass, smart phones or mp3’s. They are tuned to a different frequency, caught between two worlds.
Taking inspiration from that little piece of information that is lost in the transfer from analogue to digital, the film seeks to examine who and what is lost in the relentless rush forward.
The setting of the Irish pub is pertinent as it is itself a symbol of an analogue world that is in danger of being lost in modern society. The film essentially becomes a poetic, allegorical study of people at a certain time and place. The digital represents modernity, change and progress. The analogue represents the past and tradition. The difference between the two is what the film is about. It is about the characters that are living an analogue life in a digital world. As one of the characters says: “It’s the not so straight and the not so perfect that is the lovely thing of life”
The documentary will be screened with three other shorts, including The Last Days of Peter Bergmann and is part of the Irish Film Board’s Reality Bites scheme that aims to foster new Irish talent and encourage experimentation and the realisation of fresh approaches to non-fiction filmmaking.
Twopair Films are releasing five trailers, this week from Monday to Friday, on their Facebook page, on Twitter and also on their Vimeo account in the week leading up to the premiere in Dublin.
Men at Lunch directed by Sean O’Cualain opens this week in New York as part of the films US Theatrical run. The film was edited with great skill by Dathai Connaughton and shot in spectacular fashion by Ray MacDonnacha. I was privileged to be asked to do some additional editing for the US Cinema version. I was proud to do so and I think the film is great. Sean, producer Eamon O’Cualain, Dathai and Ray have made an excellent film and a beautiful love letter to New York. I hope the film proves to be even more successful than it already has been. Best of luck lads…
The film opens this Friday at the Quad Cinema, more details below
The untold story of one of New York’s most iconic images of the 20th century opens in New York City on September 20 at the Quad Cinema.
Men at Lunch is the revealing tale of an American icon, the unprecedented race to the sky and the immigrant workers that built New York in the throes of the Great Depression.
In 1932 New York, the previous decade’s boom of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants led to unprecedented urban expansion, and workers risked life and limb building skyscrapers high above the streets of Manhattan.
In Men at Lunch, director Seán Ó Cualáin tells the story of the iconic photo “Lunch atop a Skyscraper,” that is a definitive counterpoint of epic and mundane – and become a symbol of the indomitable working man.
Taken during the construction of the GE Building, the photo depicts eleven workmen taking their lunch break while casually perched along a steel girder – boots dangling 850 feet above the sidewalk of 41st Street – Central Park and the misty Manhattan skyline stretching out behind them.
For 80 years, the identity of the eleven men – and the photographer that immortalized them – remained a mystery: their stories, lost in time, subsumed by the fame of the image itself. But then, at the start of the 21st century, the photograph finally began to give up some of its secrets.
Director Sean Ó Cualáin explains, ”My brother and I were in an Irish Pub a few years ago researching another documentary when we noticed the famous “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” image with a note beside the picture from a Pat Glynn from Boston, Massachusetts. On the note he stated that the man on the far right holding the bottle was his father Sonny Glynn and the man on the far left was Matty O’Shaughnessy, his uncle-in-law. We realized very quickly that there was a great, untold story here. There’s the wider context – the glory of the skyscraper age and the building of the iconic Manhattan skyline—and secondly the parallel story of the European immigrants who arrived in New York during the roaring twenties and were living there during the Great Depression. Finally the mystery surrounding the photograph had to be investigated and told. Was it a fake? Who took the photograph? And, who might the men be?”
Full details of the U.S. screenings:
New York, NY, Quad Cinema, Opens September 20, 2013
Boston, Boston University, October 3, 2013
Beverly Hills, CA, Laemmle Music Hall, Opens October 4, 2013
Silver Spring, MD, AFI Silver Theatre, October 10, 2013
The documentary film festival IFI Stranger than Fiction returns at the end of the month. I’m delighted that a film I cut “The Last Days of Peter Bergmann” will have its world premiere at the event. The film, directed by Ciaran Cassidy and produced by Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films is showing as part of the Reality Bites shorts programme on the 28th September at 6.
you can buy tickets for the film here
and follow updates about the event on facebook here
The other films screening as part of the reality Bites programme are
“There’s no Charge for the Hat” – Tom Burke
“Rebirth” – Emile Dineeen
“Analogue People in a Digital Age” – Keith Walsh & Jill Beardsworth*
(*I was an associate editor on this i should point out)
Stranger Than Fiction is Ireland’s premier documentary film festival and its getting bigger and better every year. This years lineup is really exciting, here are some of the highlights. Tickets are selling fast so get on it…
The festival opens with the Irish premiere of The Great Hip Hop Hoax, the tale of Scottish rappers who reinvented themselves as Californians, having been laughed out of London showcases and dubbed the ‘Rapping Proclaimers’.
Smash & Grab, about the Pink Panther diamond thieves which boasts incredible insider access to the gang.
Salma, Kim Longinotto’s latest film, following an acclaimed Tamil poet nobly looking out for women within her community;
After Tiller, a powerful, timely film addressing the abortion debate in America;
The formally brilliant and effecting Dragon Girls.
Depicting life aboard a fishing trawler, the hypnotic, haunting Leviathan won the prestigious Michael Powell Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival this year.
In contrast, and indicative of the variety of films in the programme, there’s a joyous celebration of Southern Soul music in Muscle Shoals.
Among the Irish programme are Dublin premieres of the Cuban Missile Crisis nail-biter Here Was Cuba,
Saturday night of the festival is not to be missed with the screening of Where the Blue Flowers Grow, capped off by a musical performance by The Cujo Family, the band celebrated in the film.
In addition to the main screenings, the festival will host a range of panel discussions in partnership with Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann, which will give documentary makers and lovers some insight and practical tips on how to grow and succeed in the international market. Panel participants will include Havana Marking (Smash & Grab) and Jeanie Finlay (The Great Hip Hop Hoax) alongside top Irish filmmakers including Cathal Gaffney (Give Up yer Auld Sins) and Nick Ryan (The Summit).
Last week the Dare Media Underground Short Film Festival was held down in cork. A week long showcase of some of the best emerging talent in the country, its fast becoming a go-to event in the Irish Film Calender. Screening among the wide selection of shorts was Traolach O’Murchu’s Kara and I’m delighted to say it ended up picking up the festivals top prize, the coveted Best Drama award at a ceremony last weekend. This is the film’s third major award after picking up gongs in Hamilton, Canada and in Edinburgh Bootleg Festival. I’m delighted to have been a part of the film and I wish it more success in the future. Not satisified with picking up the Best Drama award, Traolach’s other short, which he made in his new Canadian base went onto win Best Documentary short. A proud Corkonian, he is as you would imagine delighted with the hometown double victory. Well deserved Traolach buddy.
Also thrilled to see Stauma amongst the winners, as its produced by another good buddy Eamon de Staic. Well done Eamon!
Here is the list of the winners from the festival
Kara – Traolach O’Murchu
Pure View – Lisa Bolton, Vuur – Daniel Butler & Luke Sweetman
BEST SPANISH SHORT
Potasio – Marina Seresesky
Mi Ojo Derecho – Josecho De Linares, No Respires – Ricky Merino
BEST DOCU/ EXPERIMENTAL
Gordie – Traolach O’Murchu
Jeff Linares – Kamil Krolak, Afraid of What I Would Write – James O’Leary
Handsome Shadows – Mark Cogan / Barzakh – Donogh McCarthy Morrogh
The Last Round – Conor Dwane, Calling – Shane Twomey, Searching For 10 – Sean Breathnach
BEST HORROR/ SCI-FI
The Gloaming – Sean Smith
Romantic Hideaway – Andrew T Wright, The Umbrella Factory – Lexie & Nick Trivunda
El Rastrillo Se Quiere Comprometer – Santi Veiga
The Legend of Johnny King – Jonathan Courtney, Ngutu – Felipe Del Olmo & Daniel Valler
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Ready For War – Mook Vignes
Shakier – Oisin McCoille , Dog Gone Crazy – Ruan Grant
BEST NATIONAL SHORT
Stuama – Paul Webster
Isolation – Patrick Thompson, Where The Ships Came In – Samuel Steele
Shane Casey for The Handsome Shadows
Mick Fitzgerald for Where The Ships Came In, Alex Pratt for Mi Ojo Derecho
George Hanover for the Beauty of Ballybrack
Elisa lledo for Potasio, Pagan McGrath for Romantic Hideaway
The IFTA winning documentary “When Ali Came to Ireland” is repeated tonight on RTE 1 at ten bells. It was made by Ross Whitaker and Aideen O’Sullivan of True Films and edited by my good self.
The film centres on the 1972 fight, in Croke Park, between Ali and the American challenger Al “Blue” Lewis, an ex-convict who miraculously won parole from a life-sentence for murder in his native Detroit. They were brought together in Dublin by an ex-circus strongman from Kerry, a colourful bar-owner who billed himself as “The World’s Strongest Publican”.
The documentary also features contributions from, among others, Cathal O’Shannon, in his last recorded TV interview. And, from his home in Detroit, Al ‘Blue’ Lewis, Rock Brynner – the son of actor Yul Brynner – who was a confidante of Ali and who was part of his entourage in Ireland, the former Kilkenny hurler, Eddie Keher, who famously taught Ali how to use a hurley and sliothar as part of the pre-publicity for the fight, journalist and broadcaster Dave Hannigan, author of ‘The Big Fight’, and the respected American sports journalist, the late George Kimball.
The documentary was first broadcast on New Years Day 2013 at 6:30 and met with great positive feedback online and with audiences generally. In mid december last year the IFI held a preview screening as part of their Ireland on Screen strand which runs every sunday. The film attracted the biggest ever audience to the IFI for that slot and the screening was a great success and everyone at it really enjoyed the film. From a personal point of view, it was great to see and hear an audiences reaction to something you cut, its a treat you rarely get with tv documentary. Usually the show airs and while you might see some reaction on social media, its not quite the same as experiencing that reaction in the flesh. After the screening there was a lively Q&A with Ross and some of the contributors with people in the panel and in the audience sharing their recollections of Ali in Ireland. It was a great experience that I won’t forget in a long time.
The documentary also screened at the Chicago Irish Film Festival in March where Ali’s daughter turned up and said she really enjoyed the film, which was pretty incredible. It has since screened in London at the Focal Awards and at other venues around the world. ANd of course in February last year the film won Best Sports Award at the IFTA’s, here is Ross and Aideen going up to pick up the gong.
The Galway Film Fleadh is just around the corner and I’m pleased to say that a film I cut is screening as part of the new Irish Shorts Programme on the morning of Thursday 11th July. “Kara” is a dark drama that sees a young woman follow a nightmarish creature to an isolated rural farmhouse where uncovered memories lead to deadly consequences. The film was produced and directed by Traolach O’Murchu and it has already won several awards on the festival circuit, picking up the Jury Prise for Best Short Film at the Hamilton Short FIlm Festival in Canada as well as the Best Actress award for star Laura Erangey at the Bootleg Film Festival in Edinburgh earlier this year. I was very pleased with how the film worked out and indeed working with Traolach was as always a great pleasure.
Traolach also has a short documentary screening on Sunday morning as part of the New Irish Short Documentary strand. “Gordie” is an intimate self-authored documentary that tells the story of a man living with the trauma of a horrific childhood event. The film was made as part of a 48-hour make a film festival in the Yukon, where Traolach is currently living. The film went onto not only win the 48 hour challenge but also the festivals overall prise and has since won top prise at another festival in Canada. I had only a tangental input into this film so I have no problem being quite effusive in my praise of it. The film is superb and its astonishing that the film was made in such a short timeframe. I think the film will do very well and it’s a great showcase of just what a talent Traolach is.
I also have to give a shout out to my buddy Eamon Staic who produced Stauma which is screening alongside Kara on Thursday morning
There is an article in this month’s Digital Filmmakers Magazine on Frank Kelly’s low budget feature film Derelict which I edited last year. In a wide ranging interview with Frank, spread over 4-5 pages he outlines every aspect of production and the challenges he faced when making a film in just seven days. Its an informative and entertaining piece and well worth a read especially if you know anyone preparing a low budget feature film.
It was also nice to get a mention from Frank and see my name in a filmmaking magazine article. Cheers for that buddy
You can watch Derelict on Distrify here.
The magazine is available from select newsagents nationwide, I picked up mine at Reeds of Nassau Street in Dublin
TG4’s cycling documentary ‘Rás Tailteann – Rotha an tSaoil’ scooped two awards at this year’s Celtic Media Festival held in Swansea.
The double-winning documentary tells the story behind one of Ireland’s greatest sporting institutions, the Rás Tailteann cycling race. Established in 1953, its aim was to symbolise the nationalist aspirations of its organisers and promote Irish culture at a time of fierce political and sporting division. The programme tells the tumultuous history of the Rás and also offers a unique take on the cultural and political development of late 20th century Ireland – a revealing through-line from the 1950s to the modern day.
Produced by Dot Television and Sónta, the production received funding from TG4 and from the BAI. Producer David Burke and director Seán Ó Cualáin were in Swansea to receive their two Torc awards. On Wednesday the show won the Bronze Torc award for best Sports Programme and then on Saturday got the prestigious Gold Torc for Spirit of the Festival Award.
The Celtic Media Festival is held annually and presents awards in a range of programme categories. Entries go through a national pre-selection phase in each of the Celtic countries with the best advancing to compete in the international phase. TG4 had eight programmes shortlisted in various categories in this year’s Festival. The Spirit of the Festival Award is given to the best programme in a Celtic language.
I’m delighted to have been part of the programme and just wish I could have been over there with the lads for what sounded like a great weekend in Wales.
Last year I edited the film King of the Travellers which is set to be released in a few weeks on April 19th. I’m delighted that the film is getting a release not only here but also in the UK. The film opens there this coming friday, so if you know anyone in the UK, do tell them to head along.
In advance of that release date a new poster and trailer have been posted online