Ciaran Cassidy, Director of ‘Jihad Jane’

In this podcast Gemma Creagh talks to Ciaran Cassidy, whose film Jihad Jane is in cinemas Friday, 14th February.

In March 2010, the arrest on terror charges of a blonde haired, blue-eyed, American woman who called herself ‘Jihad Jane’ made headlines worldwide and was described as the ‘new front in the war on terrorism.’ The story of Coleen LaRose, a forty six-year-old woman, who had radicalised in rural Pennsylvania led the evening news bulletins. What made the case more surreal and confusing was the arrest of another American woman, Jamie Paulin Ramirez, a Colorado native — this time in Waterford, Ireland.

In this podcast, Ciaran talks about:

  • getting into film
  • his first films and learning the process of filmmaking
  • his approach to storytelling and its different genres
  • his first feature script The Racer
  • what draws him to particular stories
  • Jihad Jane
  • how the story unravelled
  • the characters involved
  • positioning the story and maintaining a balance
  • the editing process


Jihad Jane

Running Time: 80 mins

Director: Ciaran Cassidy

Producers: Morgan Bushe, Anna Byvald, Sander Verdonk, Aoife McGonigal

Financiers: Screen Ireland, BAI, Dutch Film Fund, Dutch Tax Rebate, SVT, Swedish Film Institute, RTÉ

Location(s): Waterford

Photography: Ross McDonnell

Editor: John Murphy


Ciaran Cassidy is an award-winning director. He has written for television and has short films. His 2013 short,The Last Days Of Peter Bergmann, won the Stranger Than Fiction audience award screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Jihad Jane is his debut feature documentary. Ciaran’s first screenplay, sports drama The Racer, directed by Kieron J. Walsh, has been selected to World Premiere in the 2020 SXSW Film Festival in March with a release scheduled later this year.


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