Irish Film London 1916 Commemorations Film Series

Comment

Irish Film London 1916 Commemorations Film Series

Irish Film London delivers this major film series to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1916, an event in Dublin that reverberated around the world, mired as most of the imperial powers were in the Great War. The Rising changed utterly the most intimate and long standing relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom that have played out over the succeeding century. 

Comment

Irish Film Festival London 2015 Award Winners Announced!

Comment

Irish Film Festival London 2015 Award Winners Announced!

Mark McNulty, one of the directors of the Irish Film Festival London announced this year's festival award winners at our launch event on Monday 9th November at Bentley's Swallow Street Rooms.

Mark McNulty, Irish Film Festival London

Mark McNulty, Irish Film Festival London

Best Short Award 2015

Nominees: 

  • Pedestrian Crossing
  • City of Roses
  • Rachel Coming Home
  • Tattooed
  • Trivia Sluts
  • The Gravedigger's Tour
  • Kowalski
  • Meet the Vapers
  • Sit, Stay, Love
  • Dilemma
  • Irish By Design
  • Waiting for Tom
  • Snowfall
  • I've been a Sweeper
  • Violet
  • My Bonnie
  • Let Those Blues In

The winner, chosen by Niall Murphy of scannain.ie is "Waiting for Tom", directed by Ruth O'Looney

Waiting for Tom screens at the Rio in Dalston on Saturday 21st November in the 2.15pm Shorts Programme. Tickets are available here: www.riocinema.org.uk

"Waiting for Tom", winner of the Irish Film Festival London Best Short Award 2015

"Waiting for Tom", winner of the Irish Film Festival London Best Short Award 2015

Best Documentary Award 2015

Nominees: 

  • WB Yeats: No Country for Old Men
  • Name Your Poison
  • A Kind of Sisterhood
  • Older Than Ireland

The winner, chosen by Elizabeth Wood of Dochouse is "A Kind of Sisterhood", directed by Michele Devlin and Claire Hackett.

A Kind of Sisterhood screens at Bertha Dochouse at Curzon Bloomsbury on Sunday 22nd November at 3.30pm. Tickets are available here: www.dochouse.org

"A Kind of Sisterhood", winner of the Irish Film Festival London Best Documentary Award 2015

"A Kind of Sisterhood", winner of the Irish Film Festival London Best Documentary Award 2015

Best Feature Award 2015

Nominees: 

  • Breakfast on Pluto
  • Room
  • A Christmas Star
  • An Klondike
  • Brooklyn
  • You're Ugly Too

The winner, chosen by the Irish Film Festival London team is "Room", directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

Room screens at the Rio in Dalston on Friday 21st November at 8.30pm. Tickets are available here: www.riocinema.org.uk

"Room", winner of the Irish Film Festival London Best Feature Award 2015

"Room", winner of the Irish Film Festival London Best Feature Award 2015

Comment

Brooklyn - Exclusive Time Out Preview Screening

Brooklyn - Exclusive Time Out Preview Screening

To get everyone warmed up for this year’s Irish Film Festival London, we ran a special treat! On Nov 3rd, Time Out Cardholders attended the Irish Film Festival London’s preview screening of ‘Brooklyn’ at the Tricycle Theatre. 

About the film
Directed by John Crowley. Eilis Lacey is a young woman who leaves the comfort of her mother’s home in Ireland for Brooklyn in 1952. But, after soon falling for an Italian-American man, she’s forced to consider a move back to Ireland when she learns of some devastating news. The film stars Saoirse Ronan (‘Atonement’, ‘Hanna’, ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’), Domhnall Gleeson (‘Star Wars’, ‘Frank’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Calvary’), Emory Cohen, Emily Bett Rickards, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent, and is written by Colm Tóibín and Nick Hornby.

This event was brought to you by Irish Film London, Time Out and Lionsgate. ‘Brooklyn’ is in cinemas from November 6.

For more info on Time Out check out www.timeout.com

 

Celebrate Irish films being screened at the BFI London Film Festival 2015

Check out the pics from our recent reception at Bentley’s, co-hosted with the Irish Film Board, to celebrate the Irish films being screened at the BFI London Film Festival 2015.

All images courtesy of Noel Mullen.

Irish Films at 2015 BFI London Film Festival

Irish Films at 2015 BFI London Film Festival

BFI London Film Festival selects TEN Irish Films for their 2015 line-up!

“Ireland, both North and South of the border will be well represented at the 2015 London Film Festival, which announced its line-up this morning. Lenny Abrahamson’s Room and Jerzy Skolimowski’s Polish/Irish co-production 11 Minutes play in competition at the festival. They are joined by the Northern Irish films High-Rise, by Ben Wheatley, documentary I Am Belfast, by Mark Cousins, and The Survivalist, by Stephen Fingleton; as well as Gala screenings for John Crowley’s Brooklyn and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster. Three Irish short films will also feature at the festival, which runs October 7th to 18th.” Courtesy of Scannain.com. Read full article here: Scannain.com

IFI International 10th Anniversary Gathering

Our Director Kelly O’Connor will be speaking at the IFI International 10th Anniversary Gathering at the 27th Galway Film Fleadh this month.

The session will include presentations from film-makers and exhibitors; will identify funding and other resources available to international exhibitors of Irish film; discuss plans for 1916/2016 programmes; and will invite contributions from attendees on a range of festival experiences.

Chaired by Sunniva O’Flynn (IFI Head of Irish Film Programming)
Speakers include:
Frank Berry (Director, Ballymun Lullaby, I Used to Live Here)
Kelly O’Connor (Director, Irish Film London)
Soracha Pelan Ó Treasaigh (IFI International Co-ordinator)
Christine Sisk (Director, Culture Ireland)

More info HERE

Ros Hubbard becomes Irish Film London Patron

Ros Hubbard becomes Irish Film London Patron

We are delighted to announce that Ros Hubbard has become our first Patron. Ros Hubbard is a world renowned casting director having worked on hugely successful films such as ‘The Commitments’, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and ‘Father Ted’ with her family.

Ros Hubbard

Ros and her husband John have brought several well known actors to fame having discovered Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Colin Farrell, Orlando Bloom, Sienna Miller and Kate Winslet between them. Hubbard Casting is run in London between Ros, John and their children, Dan and Amy Hubbard and the team has found cast members for international hit films such as ‘Green Zone’; ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ and ‘The Bourne Supremacy’; ‘United 93’; ‘Evita’ and the ‘Da Vinci Code’.

Where Irish projects are concerned, the Hubbards have filled many celebrated film and TV sets for features and TV dramas such as ‘Into the West’; ‘Father Ted’; ‘Best’; ‘Bloody Sunday’ and several projects with IFTA Industry Contribution award winner, Morgan O’Sullivan including ‘Moll Flanders’; ‘The Nephew’; ‘Angela’s Ashes’.

Ros Hubbard

Irish Film London is honoured to have Ros as our first patron. Festival Director Kelly O'Connor said "Ros has been a great inspiration for years. She has worked incredibly hard, kept her focus, and always pursued her goals, no matter how big the hurdles. She has been a guiding light for thousands of Irish actors, young and old, and together with her family, she has ensured our country's creative talents have upped their game to meet the very competitive international standard that this industry demands. Both Ros and her wonderful husband John have had such a huge impact on the world of Irish Film, and far beyond it and so it seems a very natural link to have this connection. We are very excited about the coming years of partnership.

Read an interview with Ros Hubbard on the Irish Film and Television Network HERE

Hubbard Casting

www.hubbardcasting.com

Short(s) But Sweet

Short(s) But Sweet

Deadly

There are some unique offerings in the way of short films at this year's Irish Film Festival London. Here we speak to their directors. Looking at recent Irish Shorts it's apparent that the Irish Film Industry is safe in the hands of the new and emerging Irish talent that are storming through the film festival circuits!" - Film Ireland

FILM: DEADLY DIRECTOR: AIDAN MCATEER 

Animated short Deadly tells the story of Boney, a working stiff who doesn’t care about his dead-end job. That is until, he has a run-in with a spirited old lady named Bridie…

Deadly

When did you come up with Deadly? are Boney and the spirited Bridie based on real-life people? The original idea came out of a screenwriting evening class I was doing a few years ago.  It morphed out of an idea about the character of death being the head of a family and losing his job.  We could then hilariously show him trying other jobs - it was probably just an expansion of the death character in Family Guy, if I'm honest, but gradually it morphed into something less broad. When I thought of him more as someone trapped in a dead end job (pun inevitable) and paired him up with Bridie I felt like it really began to work.

Boney isn't based on any specific person - I think we can all feel a bit trapped or lonely or like we're going through the motions at some point in our lives - I certainly have.  Bridie is partially based on various relatives and older people I've met and quite a bit on Brenda Fricker's (I suppose) screen personality. She has such fight and warmth in her (usually at the same time) - when she eventually agreed to do it - I was thrilled - I had even based the design of the character on her!

What was the most challenging part of making Deadly? In some ways all of animation is a struggle - making a film one twenty-fifth of a second at a time is an insane way to work really, when you think about it.  I hadn’t written very much before, so the script took ages and for the longest time I had it set in a tea-shop and couldn’t get the damn thing to work! Fortunately I had access to sage advise from that scripting class teacher, Aidan Hickey as well as my producer and the studio heads at Kavaleer. Once we got going then I was lucky to work with some very talented people. The whole crew did fantastic work and showed exceptional dedication on what was a pretty low budget production.  I guess I had just finished co-directing 26 six-minute TV shows, so I was a bit more  prepared for the production part. It all happened very quickly, it's still a bit of a blur.

When did you realise that directing was your future? I started off as an animator, and even in college we were making our own films - so you get a taste of directing very early on (even if you're only directing yourself!). I animated on various TV shows and commercials and worked my way up. The more involved in story I got, the more I liked it. I really enjoy bringing something to life on screen from the page.

Who or what are your big influences? I'm heavily influenced by animated film directors from Chuck Jones (who directed many of the Looney Tunes cartoons) and Tex Avery, through to modern directors at studios like Pixar including Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Brad Bird (he made the Incredibles and The Iron Giant - probably the best animated film out there).  I am a fan of Studio Ghibli in Japan not only of Hayao Miyazaki (who made the amazing Spirited Away), but also Isao Takahata - I defy anyone to watch Grave of the Fireflies and not cry their eyes out! In terms of live action.  Predictably, I'm drawn to directors with a more "fantastical" sensibility and very strong visual style , such as Tim Burton, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Terry Gilliam and Wes Anderson.  A real source of inspiration for Deadly, specifically, was Hal Ashby's "Harold and Maude".

What are you working on and what would be your 'dream' project? I'm currently back directing another 26 episodes of the show I mentioned before - it's called Wildernuts and is a very fun, pre-school show about exploring nature.  I would love to make a feature film. I think you can really get into character and theme and subtext in that format.  I have a few half-formed ideas rolling round my brain, but I suppose they each require a bit more work before they could come together into a film.  Working with Brenda Fricker was an absolute delight, so I'd love to do that again,  I also think Liam Neeson has an amazing voice - it would be fantastic to do something with him.

FILM: VOLKSWAGEN JOE DIRECTOR: BRIAN DEANE 

Northern Ireland, 1981 - Faced with an impossible decision, a conflicted border-town mechanic, who services both 'sides' of the community, is forced to make a choice that will change his life forever.

Volkswagan Joe

How did Volkswagen Joe begin life? Volkswagen Joe actually started out as a one-act amateur play in the early 90s, written by a wonderful playwright called Brendan McCann. So when myself and Matt took on the project it was all about adapting the play, which was a fantastic experience. Even though we changed quiet a few elements I think we did a good job of hanging on to the essence of the play and the characters - Brendan said he absolutely loved how the film turned out.

A lot has been done cinematically on the Troubles - how is this story different? What really interested me about the story of Volkswagen Joe was how a society deals with sectarian and political conflict. I loved the idea of having these friends that were on opposite sides during the Troubles; how their jobs and social groups continually pulled them apart. It came to the point in Northern Ireland that you were not just defined by what side you were on, but also what side you were against. Social groups were very suspicious of anyone that tried to walk a line in the middle. The really interesting thing is that audience members have come to me and likened the situation to Israel and Palestine, Serbia and Croatia and even the American South in the early part of the last century. I think we definitely struck a cord with people.

Are there any autobiographical elements to it? There are some elements to Volkswagen Joe that are linked to Brendan's life. He had a very good friend that was a mechanic and Volkswagen obsessive that sadly took his own life as a result of depression. Maybe not to over analysis it, but the play may have been a way for Brendan to rewrite history so the death of his friend had more meaning. Also, a number of scenes came about from chatting to Brendan and some of the other people who lived on the border during the Troubles, so lots of real people's lives ended up on screen.

What was the hardest part about adapting it for cinema? God, that's a tricky question. From a production point of view the shoot was very tough, we shot the film in just five days and we stretched our budget like a rubber band. There were a lot of issues behind the scenes - that I was protected from by my production team. Our main action vehicle had massive mechanical issues and was only fixed in time for the last day of the shoot, we had issues with our practical effects, we had forklifts breakdown in the middle of our final shot as the light was fading, we had a scene halted by a very angry farmer who totally lost it when he came across our checkpoint scene, and loads of other drama behind the scenes! Luckily, I had an amazing team in front and behind the camera so we got there in the end. I guess these things happen when you're as ambitious as I was with this film.

Your short won loads of awards - is that the cherry on the cake? Even without the awards it was great to just make the film. I'm always my own harshest critic, but I was really happy with Volkswagen Joe and since it's my first film since film school, it's really instilled a strong belief in my own ability. The awards have been fantastic and really helped get it seen by as many people as possible which I guess is why we make films in the first place.

When did you decide you had to work in film? My dad is a big film fan, so I grew up watching spaghetti westerns and James Bond movies. I was always aware of the power of escapist cinema. As a kid, I didn't know anyone who worked in film, thus never really saw it as a viable career option, so even though I loved cinema it really wasn't till my late teens that I though that maybe I could make my own films. I always found Irish directors like Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan hugely inspirational. They came from Ireland, and yet stood toe to toe with the best film-makers in the world.

What's keeping you busy right now? Myself and the Volkswagen Joe team just finished a wonderful little Irish language short called 'First Love' which is just starting it festival run; we're very hopeful that'll do well. Myself and Matt are also working on a web series for RTE and I've just gotten funding for a short horror that I'll be shooting next year.

FILM: HOWS ABOUT YE? DIRECTOR: JENNY KEOGH 

'How's About Ye?' is the follow up to 'Story Bud?' which was shown in Trafalgar Square during the St Patrick's Day celebrations in 2013. The series, featuring real-life contributors, aims to preserve the unique language known as Hiberno-English.

Hows About Ye

Hows About Ye - what's it all about then? It's a celebration of Hiberno-English, also known as "slang". In this film I concentrate on a specific county from each province of Ireland. With so much of this lingo dying out, it also acts as a preservation tool. Slang is constantly evolving and in it's very nature, can be really humorous. The Irish seem to have the knack of adding that little bit of extra oomph to it!

What was the inspiration behind Hows About Ye? Literally from listening to how the Irish converse with each other. Coming from Dublin and having directed and produced 'Story Bud?, I was familiar with Dublin slang. But chatting to friends or associates from other counties, I discovered a whole world of Hiberno-English that only people from those counties would understand. So I thought it would be beneficial for Irish people to enjoy, compare, share and take pride in their counties' unique way of expressing themselves through language.  It can also help tourists, it acts as a translation tool!

What were the most complicated aspects of making Hows About Ye? Finding the links between themes in the edit, and trying to frame it with a basic narrative. Because I  always prefer if each participant vocalises phrases that they would use themselves or that they grew up with - it gives it far more authentic feel. In that sense, as I don't work with actors, it can be tricky to create themes.

If you had limitless amounts of money, what film would you love to make? I'm slowly working on a series to include most counties, but with time and funding at a minimum, it's taking way longer than I'd hope for. To complete the series to a high standard would be great, and then I'd love to incorporate the series into a film dedicated to Hiberno-English and honoring the authors from Ireland who have dedicated their lives to researching and creating dictionaries of slang and Hiberno-English. It would also act as a kind of historical document of how and why slang came about, and highlight how much it evolves through each generation.

FILM: BREAKFAST WINE DIRECTOR: IAN FITZGIBBON

They say it takes just three alcoholics to keep a small bar running in a country town, but what if you’ve only got two? This is the premise explored by Death of A Superhero director Ian Fitzgibbon in Breakfast Wine, which stars leading Irish actor/comedians Dylan Moran and Pat Shortt.

Breakfast Wine

Going by the title, there's a strong sniff of drink about this short - correct? It opens on two middle-aged men outside a pub, waiting for it to open. As they say, it takes three alcoholics to keep a pub in business in Ireland - so I suppose the question is, who is going to be that third person? It's darkly comedic. It's by the incredible writer Kevin Barry, who specialises in a particularly dark, comedic vision of the world. It's the kind of stuff I find myself drawn to as a filmmaker, and Breakfast Wine - one of Kevin's short stories - is certainly true to that spirit.

How did that collaboration come about? The stand-up Tommy Tiernan, who's a friend of mine, brought me to a biookshop, handed me a collecrion of his short stories and told me I should read this guy, he's realy incredible. So I did, and I was particularly struck with Breakfast Wine. On the one hand, I wanted to work with Kevin Barry because I thought his writing was incredible, but I also wanted to see what it would be like to work with him on a film project.

How did you get Dylan Moran on board? I've known Dylan for years. I did a film called The Actors, with him as an actor and then I cast him in my film four, five years back called A Film With Me In It, a really dark comedy he played the lead in.  He then asked me to direct a short film he'd written for Sky called The Awkward Age. I've always had a good working relationship with Dylan and he's a big fan of Kevin Barry. It seemed like a natural gig for him.

What does it mean to you to be part of this festival? London is an important place for your film to be seen, so any opportunity to reach an audience, particularly one in which there will be a lot of Irish viewers, is to be grasped. I'm delighted to be a part of it. Like the awards, it gives Breakfast Wine oxygen, and a longer shelf life which is always good news.

You're working with Kevin Barry again, aren't you? Yes, we're developing a feature script together that I'm hoping to shoot at the end of 2015. I'm really enjoying collaborating with him again because I believe he really is one of the defining writers of his generation.  He has an extraordinary voice. It's nice to see an Irish writer who can write about the rural, but not relying on the usual tropes like the village priest, his writing still feels modern and relevant. It's  going to be a feature-length story in typical Kevin Barry style. But it's too early to tell you anything else!

You can see all these gems at the ICA on Saturday 22nd November! Buy Tickets

2014 Festival coming together

2014 Festival coming together

GOLD

We're just finalising some of the finer details for this year's festival. Watch this space for line-ups, new venues, exclusive previews and special director's audiences! Sign up to our Newsletter for updates straight to your inbox!

GOLD

 

Michelle Deignan in Conversation

Michelle Deignan in Conversation

Breaking Ground's director Michelle Deignan interviewed by Maria-Jose de Esteban from the BFI, October 2013  

Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground does more than just recount the story of the London Irish Women’s Centre from its origins in the 1980s to its closure in 2011. It also contributes to our understanding of radical feminism, national identity and sexual politics during this period. As the film is about to be screened at the Irish Film Festival in London, I asked moving image artist Michelle Deignan to take us through the process of making her first documentary feature.

1-Where did the idea for this project come from? And how did you get involved?

I was asked by artist and film maker Fiona Whitty to exhibit a short film of mine, Red Cheeks, in an exhibition she had organised at the London Irish Women's Centre back in November 2011. In this film an actress reports anecdotes about me as an Irish artist and film maker in London, within the context of a tour of three Irish institutions there, including the London Irish Women's Centre.

After seeing Red Cheeks in this exhibition Claire Barry, the centre's director, asked me if I'd write a proposal to make a documentary on its history. I was really surprised and delighted. It's pretty unusual to be asked to pitch for a documentary on the back of an artwork. I thought what a great opportunity to make a funded film about Irish women in London, a subject that other films of mine had addressed but in completely different ways.

2-Did you have an idea of the story you wanted to tell before starting or did a narrative emerge through the process of making the film? Looking back now at the original proposal I did know the main themes and issues that I wanted to communicate and they remained pretty consistent throughout. I knew that the real content of the story was in the interviews with the women involved. I was clear from the beginning that I didn't want a narrator's voice in the film.

The full facts of what was included in the film emerged slowly through looking at the London Irish Women's Centre's video and paper archive and many, many conversations as well as the film's interviews themselves. Really the research didn't end until we stopped filming, as each interview would reveal a new fact, anecdote or personality that was involved in the organisation. As a consequence a lot of the interviews were very long and in depth. The London Irish Women's Centre existed for 29 years and a lot of people passed through their doors.

But interviews alone do not make a documentary and it's their combination with image sound and music that give the film its atmosphere, emotion and energy. As we were nearing the end of the interview process I decided that the existence of the archive of the London Irish Women's Centre at The London Metropolitan University and my engagement with it had to feature in the film. The documents themselves, what they say, how they are designed and printed, say so much about the times and I think of this archive as a character in the film. Another non vocal character in the film is London itself, so the range and type of shots of both established and alternative views of London over the years were very important.

3-How was the narrative structured?

The narrative structure was worked out in the edit. I edited it alone which was a long and challenging process. Editing yourself does mean you really own the film creatively but I found that maintaining objectivity and a clear overview of what you are doing very difficult with a film of this scale.

Michelle Deignan

4-In the film, original members of the centre recall and reflect on how and why it was created, and you use amateur footage and photographs to illustrate their story. How did you go about gathering research material and where does the film footage come from? The footage and photographs are from a huge number of sources, where do I start!

When the centre was still open it had a cupboard in its library full of U-matic tapes with video documentation of events and a few interviews filmed between 1987/88. Nothing was labelled so we hadn't a clue what on these until Clare Dearnaley, the film's producer, bought a U-matic deck and spent many hours logging them. This was the archive we started with. It gave us some fantastic clips and many of the women we went on to interview are featured in these. The London Irish Women's Centre did a lot of self publishing in the form of reports and newsletters and they astutely had a lot of their events documented by professional photographers. Most of the black and white photographs in the film were taken by Joanne O’ Brien and Sass Tuffin who had both been employed by the London Irish Women's Centre to document events at different times. Colour photographs were from the personal collections of some of the interviewees and others we found in the LIWC archive.

Lots of the family footage shot on Super8 and Standard8 was from Clare the producer's friends and family who are Irish in Britain. I also sourced a small amount of footage showing squatting in London in the 80's from online archives. Lots of the views of London from the 90's until now were from fellow Dubliner and cameraman Mark Carey's archive and the rest were from my own personal archive, shot around London over the fifteen years I've been living here.

I made a great discovery in one of the London Irish Women's Centre's archive boxes of two VHS tapes from 1998 and 1989, filmed by a group of women who were based at LIWC. One of these had footage of the 'Lift the Ban' demonstrations in London, an event organised by the NUJ. This was a protest against the British Broadcasting Ban of 1988 that stopped organisations in Northern Ireland that the government believed supported terrorism from directly broadcasting on British radio or television. Amongst this footage I found a wonderful clip of former Labour MP Clare Short making a speech about the Prevention of Terrorism Act and shots of the Troops Out movement protesting outside Westminster Parliament.

We got some fabulous archive from Anna Liebschners’ short film 'A Free Country' (1983), about the Prevention of Terrorism Act and how if effects the Irish community in the UK .

4-This is your first feature film. Your previous work, such as ‘Assumed Position’ which uses humour to question the idea of authorship and ‘To Camera’ which takes an idiosyncratic  look at TV news reporting are experimental shorts-how did you find the transition to making a full length documentary? I primarily make films or moving image installations for gallery exhibition. Most of these works have been smaller in scale in terms of budget, the investment of time and labour, and the audience. That said, I have worked on a lot of broadcast documentaries as an editor in the past so making films for a very broad audience doesn't daunt me. Managing interviewees, locations, crew and commissioners at that intensity over the period of a year was a steep learning curve. There was a lot of communicating going on every day. I had worked with crews, musicians, actors and post production specialists before but this is the first time I had a producer and I never want to be without one ever again! But it all depends on budget. I will definitely work at this or a larger scale in the future as well as doing smaller scale works.

5- In terms of the style of your film, did you have any specific documentaries in mind?

No. However, during the editing process I saw artist Luke Fowler's feature length film 'All Divided Selves'. The intercutting between archive and contemporary footage flows really smoothly and the effect is very consuming. I found it very inspiring. It's a really interesting film portrait about R.D Laing, a psychiatrist whose profession is based on observations, and he puts himself under mass scrutiny through his own media performances.

6-There are some very stylised views of London in the film, how did you get them?

We’ve got some wonderful film footage of the urban cityscape in the 1980s shot by film maker Michael Maziere’s from a tower block in Stoke Newington, where the London Irish Women's Centre was based. And it's from the same perspective that I filmed some of the contemporary London shots, as I live in a building just metres away from the one he filmed from! What a difference in the skyline if you compare the two sets of footage. The City of London is now the dominant architectural force in the skyscraper landscape as there are now so few tower blocks between there and northeast London to compete with it. The contemporary footage of London was almost entirely shot north of the river. I wanted to create shots of the capital's contemporary power bases from the perspective of where the London Irish Women's Centre was based.

7-I noticed that. In fact, the film opens with a magnificent shot of City skyscrapers and ends with the closure of the Irish Women’s London Centre. Do you think there is a link between the concentration of power in the financial centre and the plight of the centres of the people? I'm glad you like the shot! It was filmed from Regent Studios in Hackney, a light industrial building where there are many artist's studios, small fashion labels and galleries. The building is privately owned and the rents are steadily going up as the area around has become increasingly gentrified.

Both the formation and the demise of the London Irish Women's Centre is a complicated story that reflects social and political changes in London, the UK and Ireland, and the film reflects this. London has changed significantly over the past 30 years and the growth in dominance of the financial sector both visibly and economically is undeniable. It is a much more expensive place to live in than it was in the 1980's, which means it's very difficult for people to put creativity, political activism, direct action, charitable work or just having fun higher up on their agenda than making money. This has an impact for sure on all radical, voluntary and charitable organisations in London.

 8-Thanks, and good luck with it!

Originally from the Basque Country Maria-Jose de Esteban lives in London, and works for the British Film Institute as an Information Specialist. Michelle Deignan is an Irish artist and Filmmaker who has been based in London since 1998.

 

You can find out more about Michelle Deignan on her website www.michelledeignan.info

 You can purchase tickets to the Riverside Studios' screening of BREAKING GROUND here: RIVERSIDE STUDIOS

Call for Volunteers!

Call for Volunteers!

Call for Volunteers

Call for Volunteers It's that time of year again and we are now recruiting volunteers for the 2013 festival. Festival volunteers get the proper behind the scenes peaks at the workings of a film festival, from start to finish! We have all sorts of jobs to do (both glamorous, and... not so much!) to pull off this 5 day series of events, and you could be an integral part of our team!

If you are interested in joining the team, simply email Eibh Collins, Festival Manager - volunteer@irishfilmfestivallondon.com

2013 Programme goes live!

2013 Programme goes live!

Programme announced

Our full programme is now available online. Check out our Programme link for more details. Programme announced

At the top of the page you'll find the links to each venue, and where you can buy tickets for this year's screenings!

Enjoy!