The Guru of Joy, a 20-minute short set in contemporary Dublin, has just been completed. Shot in a documentary style, the film follows a TV reporter (Mark Hayes) as he investigates the self-styled Guru of Joy (Johno Ryan) and his extremely unconventional – and lucrative – methods of counselling the needy.
‘I was drawn to the originality of the story,’ said Snugboro Films producer Cathal Feeney, “so many short-films are formulaic genre pieces but this one is innovative and feels authentic to Dublin. The Guru, eccentric as he is, fits into a long line of real life Dublin characters.’
For writer-director Johno Ryan, who also stars as the Guru, the film is an off-kilter take on a serious issue. Nevertheless, Ryan admits that the story might not be to everyone’s taste. ‘It’s certainly not about mocking people with depression’, says Ryan, ‘it takes an eccentric character like the Guru to expose the failings of conventional medicine and the sanctimonious way official media treat the issue.’ Ultimately, the film leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether the Guru is a chancer or a saviour.
Shot in and around Dublin city centre by DOP Liam Upton and cameraman Albi Sheridan, The Guru of Joy is the latest production by Snugboro Films which has developed a considerable portfolio of shorts since it was formed in 2011.