Ali is an IFTA Winner and some Valentine Treats!

I have been somewhat remiss at updating this blog in the past few weeks. I’ve been confined to my editing cave toiling away on a project and haven’t had much chance to keep things updated.
The big news is of course that not only did “When Ali Came to Ireland” get nominated for an IFTA, it only went and won the thing. I was delighted for director Ross Whitaker and my new favourite person, producer Aideen O’Sullivan of True Films. It was fantastic to win the gong and I was delighted to have been part of the project. We all had a great time at the awards in the convention centre. It was great to see so many of the people I’ve worked with over the years and to catch up. It was also great that all of my buddies (except perennial IFTA Bridesmaid Ronan O’Donoghue, the man just can’t catch a break) that were nominated won, Mark Henry, Garret Farrell, Sean and Eamon O’Cualain and all the lads from Abu Media all picked up the statue. So a good night for all concerned and it was finally nice to be involved with a winning project as in previous years the stuff I cut that had been nominated lost out.


It’s valentines day so I have to give a big shout out to Maire T. Robinson for many reasons but especially because she got shortlisted for the Doire Press award yesterday, the winner is announced next week. She’s already a winner as her shortlisted story will be published in an anthology but if she is the overall winner it’ll be published in a limited edition chapbook. Fingers crossed as its a great prize.

For the day thats in it, filmmaker Fergal Rock is streaming his short “On Our Way” for the next 12 hours or so on the films website here. It’s a lovely film and I was glad I was able to help out with it by doing the grade. There is a screening of the film this weekend at the sugarclub in Dublin at 2 in case you are too lazy to watch it online but active enough to go see it on the big screen.
on our way

And again because its Valentines day my friend and all-ireland poetry slam champion Sean Dennehy posted this poem earlier today to soundcloud

Faster, Higher, Stronger, RTE One Tues 9:30

Through a somewhat odd set of circumstances and despite being pretty busy I havent had anything I cut on TV since April 2011. That is until now, Tuesday sees the screening of this sports doc I did for Independent pictures. It was directed by Ronan O’Donoghue and I’m quite proud of it. I trust you’ll all be watching..
Sports science documentary Faster, Higher, Stronger sees journalist Ian O’Riordan examine how athletes are using science and technology to enhance their performance, asking whether or not we can ever again truly believe in the purity of sport.
The Olympic Games are meant to represent all that’s good and pure about sport – heroic acts of courage, fair play, and being all that you can be.
But ever since Ben Johnson failed a drug test in 1988, the biggest sporting show on earth has been dogged by scandal and suspicion.
And now, with the curtain about to rise on London 2012, Ian O’Riordan of the Irish Times looks at the growing impact science and technology has on sport – legal and illegal – and wonders if sport can ever regain our trust.
A lifelong sports fanatic, Ian O’Riordan’s world changed when Ben Johnson was caught at the 1988 Games.
Ever since, as a competitive distance runner, through his career as a sports journalist, he’s been trying to answer the question that was raised that September morning in 1988 – is any of this real?
In Faster, Higher, Stronger, O’Riordan looks at a range of performance enhancement techniques, both legal and illegal, to discover if science has become more important than good old-fashioned hard graft and talent.
He also spends time with members of the Irish Olympic team for 2012, to get inside the mind of the people that go to extraordinary lengths to gain a competitive edge.
Ian meets race-walker Colin Griffin, who’s living in a bespoke altitude house in Limerick, fitted out to mimic the air density of Kilimanjaro. While Rob Heffernan, another walker, has to make do with a tent over his bed to get the same effect. Ian asks if this method of manipulating the body’s make-up is really fair, using the example of a banned swimsuit as an instance technology was outlawed.

He reconnects with Martin Fagan and Geraldine Hendricken, two Irish athletes who received bans for failed drugs tests. He looks at the world of sports supplements, asking if these are really just legal performance enhancers.

The next big threat to fair play in sport is genetic doping. Travelling to the world centre for genetic doping, via a herd of Supercows in Laois, Ian explores whether messing with the DNA is a real problem or just science fiction. He meets the main players in the war on doping for London 2012 to discover how sport is putting up a fight against the cheats.
And in attempt to get inside the mind of a cheat, Ian undertakes to go on a course of performance enhancing drugs. In doing so, he discovers that the results might be more dramatic than he could ever have imagined.

Faster, Higher, Stronger is a comprehensive exploration of performance enhancement that combines an in-depth look at the science of sport with a personal search for the truth about fair play.
Watch Faster, Higher, Stronger on RTÉ One on Tuesday 17 July at 9.35pm.