2020 Dublin International Film Festival Roundtable Podcast

Ahead of the 2020 Dublin International Film Festival, three filmmakers whose films are screening at the festival joined Gemma Creagh on the latest Film Ireland podcast. Pictured above, Tristan Heanue (Ciúnas), Iseult Howlett (The Grass Ceiling) and Suri Grennell (Wrath) came into the studio to talk about their films and the craft of filmmaking.


The 2020 Dublin International Film Festival takes place 26th February – 8th March.

Wrath (Suri Grennell)

Screen Ireland Shorts #1 • 7.30pm, 1st March 2020 • Light House Cinema

Wraith, Surri

At the precipice of womanhood and plagued with foreboding dreams, Maria must confront the mistrust of her family as a strange epidemic sweeps through Ireland.

Suri Grennell is a writer director with a degree in Film & Television Production from the National Film School at IADT. Since graduating in 2015, her short films have screened at Galway Film Fleadh, Kerry Film Festival, Fastnet Festival, Offline Festival and Clare Island Festival. She is on a steadfast mission to tell female stories that engage, challenge and excite.

Ciúnas (Tristan Heanue)

Virgin Media DIFF Shorts #3 • 6pm, 3rd March 2020 Light House Cinema

Ciunar, Tristan He

A couple embark on a journey in the midst of a family crisis.

Tristan Heanue is an award-winning filmmaker from Connemara, Co. Galway. He began his career as an actor before moving into writing and directing in 2013 with his debut short film In This Place.

His second film titled Today premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2015 where it won the award for Best Debut Drama and he followed that up with ‘A Break in the Clouds’ in 2017.

His latest film Ciúnas (Silence) which was the winner of the 2018 Físín Script Award at the Dingle Film Festival premiered at the 2019 Galway Film Fleadh where he became the first short filmmaker to be nominated for the Bingham Ray New Talent Award. He most recently won the Irish Screen America ‘Rising Star Award’ for his work on Ciúnas and the Grand Prix at the 64th Cork Film Festival.

The Grass Ceiling (Iseult Howlett)

Screen Ireland Shorts #1 • 7.30pm, 1st March 2020 • Light House Cinema

The Grass Ceiling, Iseult

“Team sport does something to a girl. You get to think about your body in terms of what it can do, rather than how it looks. You become more engine than ornament.”

This short documentary film vividly captures the raw physicality of team sport, you can feel the grass stains on the players’ knees, the flowchart of bruises on their bodies. Three successful female athletes explore what drives them to play, how the punishment, effort and joyful reward in sport reveal something essential in the human spirit that is often elusive for women; how being physically courageous, unapologetically competitive and deeply passionate can unlock a freedom to really occupy your own skin.

Iseult Howlett has been crafting stories for screen for almost 20 years. She is a multiple IFTA nominated editor and has cut a number of award-winning documentaries and short films. The Grass Ceiling is Iseult’s directorial debut.


Preview of Irish Films @ Dublin International Film Festival 2020



Film Ireland Podcasts


Ciaran Cassidy, Director of ‘Jihad Jane’

Jihad Jane - Ciaran Cassidy

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.

Film Ireland Podcasts


‘The Wild Bunch’ at 50

In this podcast, Paul Farren & Wayne Byrne discuss Sam Peckinpah’s masterpiece The Wild Bunch, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Paul and Wayne look back on the film’s legacy and celebrate its “ballet of violence”


  • how Peckinpah turned the Western genre on its head
  • the response to the film at that time
  • Peckinpah’s career & style
  • themes and symbols running through his films
  • the personal Peckinpah
  • different readings of the film
  • his collaborators
  • the death of the Western
  • the legacy The Wild Bunch leaves


Film Ireland Podcasts



Film Ireland Podcast: Episode 38 – Crime is Cool Kids

Our podders return after a Film Ireland funded extended holiday to look back on the last couple of months in cinema. Dividing their time between tropical islands and cinemas in Dublin, Sarah Cullen and Richard Drumm take out their film scalpel and get under the skin of Extra Ordinary, Joker, Harriet, The Irishman, The Laundromat, La Belle Époque, Hustlers, Gemini Man and Ready or Not.



Film Ireland Podcasts


Aoife Crehan, Writer/Director of ‘The Last Right’

The Last Right is a comedy-drama road movie telling the story of a man bringing the body of someone he barely knows for burial with his family. His good intentions are motivated by trying to patch up his relationship with his own brother. However, en route from West Cork to Rathlin Island, both romance and family secrets emerge to complicate the trip.

In this podcast Gemma Creagh talks to  writer/director Aoife Crehan about her debut feature and guides us through the development process.

The Last Right is released in cinemas 6th December 2019.


Film Ireland Podcasts




Ruth Barton, Author of ‘Irish Cinema in the Twenty-First Century’

Film Ireland Podcast

In this podcast, Natasha Waugh talks to Ruth Barton about her latest book Irish Cinema in the Twenty-First Century, a comprehensive overview of contemporary Irish cinema.

In this in-depth discussion, amongst other things, Natasha and Ruth discuss

  • what makes an Irish film
  • preoccupations within Irish cinema
  • a multiplicity of filmmakers making a multiplicity of films
  • TV
  • the success of the animation industry
  • gender representation
  • short film
  • Northern Irish cinema
  • the lack of diversity in the industry
  • what’s next for Irish cinema



Ruth Barton is Associate Professor in Film Studies at Trinity College Dublin. She has published widely on Irish cinema and her works include Irish National Cinema (2004) and Acting Irish in Hollywood (2006). She is a regular film critic on RTÉ radio’s Arena.

 Irish Cinema in the Twenty-First Century is available to buy now.


Film Ireland Podcasts


Shelly Love, Director of ‘A Bump Along the Way’


In this podcast, Gemma Creagh chats to Shelly Love, the director of A Bump Along the Way which introduces us to Pamela, a boozy 44-year-old single mother whose teenage daughter Allegra disapproves of her care-free lifestyle. Their fragile relationship is further tested when Pamela becomes pregnant after a one-night stand.

Shelly discusses

  • her background in film
  • the choreography of directing
  • how A Bump Along the Way came together
  • prepping for the project
  • the production design on the film
  • working with Die Hexen on the soundtrack
  • working with 50 / 50 cast & crew + Abbey the dog
  • working on the edit with Helen Sheridan at Yellowmoon post-production facilities
  • how the film has been received

32″ 48′


Film Ireland Podcasts