John Boorman @ IFI

John Boorman @ IFI

The IFI has announced a special event on Thursday, March 12th to celebrate the publication of John Boorman’s new book Conclusions. Featuring screenings of short films I Dreamt I Woke Up and Tree Poems, the evening will also include a public interview with the Oscar-nominated director.

Tickets, which include a signed copy of Conclusions, are now available for €20 from

John Boorman is one of cinema’s authentic visionaries whose travels have taken him from London in the Blitz to the pinnacle of Hollywood success: the man behind films such as Point BlankDeliveranceExcalibur and Hope and Glory.

Conclusions continues the story of his life that Boorman began with Adventures of a Suburban Boy and shares what has happened since its publication: films made (such as the award-winning The General) and unmade; new knowledge about the craft of film-making; and, ultimately, the story of of his kith and kin, including the death of his cherished elder daughter.

Wielding a metaphorical Excalibur, Boorman’s career has been a continual search for the truth that only art can convey, and this memoir shows him at his finest.

Tickets costing €20, including a signed copy of Conclusions, are now on sale from or from the IFI Box Office on 01-6793477.


Call For: Applications Open for 2020 Screen Leaders programme.


ScreenLeaders is a professional training programmes for film, television, animation, games, post-production, VFX, facilities, sales, distribution and exhibition as well as screen guilds, film festivals and broadcasters.

Throughout core modules participating companies will prepare a Business Plan and Module 3 will focus on the execution and moulding of this plan.

In 2020, modules will be held in Limerick, Dublin and Brussels in 2020.

Applications are now open  for 2020 programme.


Submissions & Funding Deadlines


Film in Limerick Present John Maclean Workshop

BAFTA Award winning film director and former member of the Beta Band John Maclean is to come to the mid west to speak to local filmmakers.

Acclaimed film director John Maclean will be delivering a workshop on directing a first feature film on Wednesday 12 February in Ennis and on Thursday 13 in Limerick.

The talks are part of the new Film Meet-Up events run by Film in Limerick and are an exciting opportunity for experienced and aspiring filmmakers in the region to hear from one of the most exciting directors working in independent filmmaking.

Maclean’s collaborations with Irish actors Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham have seen him win the BAFTA for best film for Pitch Black Heist and the top award at the Sundance Film Festival for his western Slow West.

Maclean will be at Glór in Ennis on Wednesday 12 February and in Limerick at ENGINE on Upper Cecil Street the following day, Thursday 13 February.

Maclean who was the keyboardist in seminal 90’s band The Beta Band turned his hand to film after the demise of his much-loved cult pop group.

Taking a break from preparations for his second feature film, Maclean will be visiting Ennis and Limerick to share his experiences and tips on making short films and how he made the jump to directing feature films.

A regular speaker at international film schools including the National Film & Television School in London, Maclean is looking forward to his visit to the Mid-West.

“I am delighted to be visiting Limerick and Clare to share my experiences and to meet local filmmakers. I’ll always been a big fan of Independent Irish filmmaking and the intense stories that the Irish are so good at telling. I’ve been reading about all the developments around film happening in the Limerick area too and I’m looking forward to experiencing the city and hopefully visiting some of its historic sites,” said John Maclean.

Regional Film Manger Paul C. Ryan said: “We are delighted to welcome the multitalented John Maclean to the Mid-West for what promises to be an entertaining evening and a revealing insight into his approach to film directing. John’s talk is the latest in the Film Meet-Up series, which has now expanded to include events in County Clare as well as in Limerick. The events aim to bring local experienced and aspiring filmmakers together to be inspired and to hatch their own plans for future film collaborations.”

Both talks start sharp at 6.30pm. Admission is free and you can reserve your spot by emailing


Dates for Your Diary: Upcoming Events of Interest


Kidscreen Summit 2020

Animation Ireland

Ireland’s leading animation studios are lining up with the biggest names in the global film and TV production in Miami next week (week commencing Monday 10th February) to represent Ireland at the Kidscreen Summit 2020.

Ireland’s delegation is led by Animation Ireland and will showcase the world-class creativity and potential that Ireland has to offer. Animation Ireland will be linking up with the Consulate General of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland at the event to help Irish studios pitch to global names like Disney, Netflix and Amazon.

With more than 2,000 attendees from around the world Kidscreen is an opportunity for animators and businesses to come together by networking and finding new ideas that will drive their businesses forward. The week-long event is attended by top executives and producers from across the globe including, Warner Brothers, Netflix, Sony, Disney and Amazon. The event enables industries to come together, connect and discover new potential.

Speaking on the opportunities for Ireland’s Animation sector at Kidscreen, Animation Ireland’s Independent Chair, John Phelan said; “The Kidscreen Summit is always a brilliant opportunity for Irish animators to network with executives from large scale studios and stay tuned to the ever-changing trends in the global animation sector. Animation Ireland will be joining Enterprise Ireland and the Consulate General of Ireland to promote Ireland as one of the world’s best locations for animation production and engage in critical dialogue on issues that affect the industry.’’

Adding to this, John went on to comment on Ireland’s advantages for animation production; “Ireland has an array of talented animators and producers. Kidscreen enables us to showcase our talent to others and get a taste of what is being created around the world. Animators can spend time with children’s industry leaders and pitch to top executives.”

Among the Irish animation studios at Kidscreen next week are Brown Bag Films, Cartoon Saloon, Daily Madness, elk. Studios, Giant Animation, Ink and Light, JAM Media, Kavaleer, Lighthouse Studios, Moetion Films, Monster Entertainment, Pink Kong Studios, Telegal, Studio Meala and 9Story Media.

Animation Ireland is the trade association for Ireland’s animation studios, representing 30 member studios who employ more than 1,500 people nationwide. The sector has seen meteoric growth in recent years, with the sector now generating well over €100 million for the economy annually as Irish animation projects are viewed in over 180 territories worldwide.


Call For: Irish and Croatian Producers for EAVE 2020

Within the framework of the European Capitals of Culture initiative for Galway 2020 and Rijeka 2020,  EAVE will select a group of five Irish producers – with priority given to the Galway and West of Ireland region – as well as five Croatian producers to join Workshops 2 and 3 of EAVE Producers Workshop 2020. Irish and Croatian producers can apply to join with a project (fiction, documentary or TV series) or as participants focusing on career development without a specific project.

For the selected Irish producers, participation in the Galway Workshop is free of charge thanks to funders: Gréasán na Meán Skillnet, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Accommodation will be provided if required at no extra cost. Participation in the Rijeka Workshop is free of charge and accommodation will be provided but note that travel to Rijeka/Opatija is not covered – travel to and from the workshop in Croatia is at the Irish participants’ own expense.


EAVE, European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, is one of the leading training and development providers for producers in Europe, renowned for its EAVE Producers Workshop.

The workshops dates will be from June 8 – 12 in Galway, Ireland and October 20 – 24 in Rijeka/Opatija, Croatia, 2020.


EAVE is aimed at producers, both fiction, documentary and TV series, who are already working in the film and television industries who wish to begin to operate on a European wide basis by increasing their knowledge of producing and co-producing in Europe and by building up a pan European professional network.


Part of the participants attend the course with projects and it is an excellent means of development through intense focus on the project with colleagues and experts. The other part come to EAVE in order to focus on developing their companies or careers.

The Irish and Croatian participants work as a group led by experienced producer Titus Kreyenberg (unafilm, DE) and with several experts on script analysis, development and production financing, legal aspects of co-production, marketing, pitching, packaging and more. In the October workshop 60-70 Decision Makers (commissioning editors, national and regional media funds, sales agents, etc.) join the participants to discuss the projects, companies and careers of the participants, a process which offers unusual access to Europe’s Decision Makers.

Participation at both workshops will also be a unique opportunity to network with EAVE’s 55 participants from 40 countries and the EAVE experts and pedagogical team.


Please download the EAVE application Form and send the completed form along with other requested documents to

DEADLINE: 17th February 2020. 

The selection of the Irish and Croatian participants will be announced in March, 2020.


Creative Europe Ireland



Submissions & Funding Deadlines


Female Shadow Director with Alessandra Celesia Wanted 

Planet Korda Pictures is seeking a female Shadow Director / Assistant Director for Alessandra Celesia’s upcoming documentary feature film, “The Flats” (working title).

Currently scheduled to start principal photography on 25 May 2020, for 8 weeks, in Belfast, “The Flats” is a character study of residents “left behind” in the nationalist tower block neighbourhood of New Lodge.

The Shadow Director will be expected to work for the duration of the shoot as well as  part of the pre-production period. As well as observing the process, she will be expected to perform some general assistant duties and creatively consult with the director on a regular basis.

The ideal candidate is an emerging director with some directing work to her credit. She might be aware of recent trends in international documentary filmmaking and familiar with a European-style, observational camera approach to documentary film.

Alessandra Celesia is an Italian director living between Paris and Belfast. Her 2011 film, The Bookseller of Belfast was coproduced by ARTE France and was shown at Visions du Réel, Lussas, and the Festival dei Popoli. In 2013, her Mirage à l’italienne premiered at Cinéma du Réel before being selected in many festivals. In 2017, The Anatomy of a Miracle, coproduced again by ARTE France, was selected in Locarno and was awarded an “Étoile de la Scam.” It was released in Italy in December 2018.

The Flats is an official coproduction between Ireland (Planet Korda Pictures) Northern Ireland (Dumbworld), France (Films de Force Majeure) and Belgium (Thank You & Good Night Productions) and is supported by Screen Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen.

Please send CV and letter of motivation to  before Thursday the 6th of February 5pm. Interviews to take place on Tuesday, the 11th of February.


Review: Just Mercy


DIR: Destin Daniel Cretton • WRI: Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham • DOP: Brett Pawlak • ED: Nat Sanders • DES: Rick Carter, Kevin Jenkins • PRO: Asher Goldstein, Gil Netter • MUS: Joel P. West • DES: Sharon Seymour • CAST: Brie Larson, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx

Just Mercy is a story surrounding the legislative corruption, that took place in late-’80s America, depicting the harrowing reality that the impoverished and minority communities faced, within the post Jim Crow era of Alabama. With a star-studded cast, director Destin Daniel Cretton, sets out to portray the real life story of Walter MacMillan based upon the memoirs of  social justice activist and attorney Bryan Stevenson.

This legal drama follows Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan, a Harvard graduate of law from Delaware; making the career decision to become a representative of criminals falsely convicted on death row in Alabama. True to the real life events, set in the year 1989, Stevenson meets with Eva Ansley, played by Brie Larson, and begins the Equal Justice Initiative in order to give fair representation to those falsely sentenced to death. During this process Stevenson meets Walter Macmillan, played by Jamie Foxx, an African American convict on death row. Stevenson quickly begins to find flaws within MacMillan’s prosecution and begins building a case in order to repeal the conviction. This leads to many moments of hopeful new evidence coming to fruition and moments of despair as a new trial or tribulation must be overcome by MacMillan and Stevenson. With the state of Alabama, and southern America, personified by the villainous Sheriff and the spineless District Attorney, Stevenson faces down all odds in order to prove MacMillan’s innocence.

This compelling series of events, along with a plethora of A-list cast members, makes for a moving watch as Foxx truly provides a performance worthy of a pit in the stomach and a lump in the throat. Seeing not only the arduous nature of prison life but also the unique horrors that befall only those on death row. The audience can almost relate to the panic Foxx conveys when being detained for a crime he had no part in; this scene in particular echoing connotations of Ava DuVernay’s When they See Us.

Rob Morgan, playing Herbert Richardson, one of MacMillan’s fellow inmates, is arguably the best performance in the film and indisputably the most moving. Tim Blake Nelson, playing the believed villain of the plot, also displays his acting capabilities and gives the nature of the plot a new perspective on the overall subject. However, while these performances were to a very high standard, other characters such as Brie Larson’s and O’Shea Jackson Jr, felt unimportant and forgettable. Michael B. Jordan’s character also felt rather shallow, as the character seemed poorly paced and lacked any true flaws or vices; making this portrayal of Stevenson more like a heroic myth than a passionate civil rights activist. This highlights another critique, as the film’s pacing seemed very disorganised and seems  in two minds as to whether or not it wants to flesh out the events that took place or the characters involved and due to this felt twenty minutes too long. However, the aesthetic and accompanying soundtrack capture the setting effectively making for a mostly captivating watch.

In conclusion, while Just Mercy is a saddening real-life event and portrays perfectly the emotion behind the oppression faced by the black community in America, it does match the quality of films based around similar stories of oppression made in recent times. Examples of this such as If Beale Street Could Talk and The Hate U Give and Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman, all made in 2018, bare identical traits – and the upcoming Queen and Slim surrounds the same premise. So while the acting was of a high quality, Just Mercy does not particularly stand out in such an array of films with similar ideological standings.

This being said, the real life events alone are of an inspiring nature that is powerful and important to learn through the medium of film. 

Tiernan Allen

136′ 51″
12A (see IFCO for details)

Just Mercy is released 17th January 2020

Just Mercy – Official Website




Launch of Screen Ireland’s 2020 Slate of 40 Film, TV and Animation Productions

Screen Ireland today revealed their slate of over 40 productions coming to the international market this year, at a briefing held in Dublin today.  The slate includes the first TV shows that Screen Ireland has supported, after funding for TV drama was announced last year. The agency also outlined their key priorities for the year.

The 2020 slate of productions features a number of high-end episodic TV drama productions, a new area of investment for Screen Ireland. In a bid to help build and support the TV drama sector, the agency aims to increase funding for TV drama in 2020 in collaboration with Irish broadcast partners at home – RTÉ, TG4 and Virgin Media – and international partners and platforms.

Screen Ireland funded productions coming to screens in 2020 feature a wide number of culturally relevant stories and exciting, entertaining projects. They include the highly anticipated TV series Normal People, the Lenny Abrahamson-directed adaptation of Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel of the same name, from Element Pictures and the South Westerlies from Deadpan Pictures.

The global success story of the Irish animation industry continues in 2020 with Cartoon Saloon’s Wolfwalkers, an animated feature-length film from Oscar-nominated director Tomm Moore and Oops 2 Back in the Deep End set for release.  Fresh from the Sundance Film Festival last weekend, feature film Herself starring Irish actor and screenwriter Clare Dunne is a redemptive story of the Irish housing crisis and domestic abuse. These human-led stories remain at the heart of Screen Ireland’s slate, with a range of documentary touching on issues relevant to Irish audiences – such as The 8th to Songs From While I’m Away, the first feature-length documentary about Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott.

In 2019, 37% of all projects across film, TV drama, documentary, animation and shorts produced with funding from Screen Ireland had female directors attached to them and 43% of all projects funded had female writers attached. While full gender equality is yet to be achieved, the figures represent a consistent improvement up from 10% and 27% respectively in 2015, when Screen Ireland first announced its six-point plan on gender equality.

The development of the film and television production activity and jobs across regional Ireland is also a key driver for Screen Ireland. Many of the film and TV productions in Screen Ireland’s 2020 slate were produced or filmed on location in regional areas, including, amongst others: animated feature film OoopsBack In The Deep End which is produced in Galway; Wild Mountain Thyme, filmed in Mayo; The Winter Lake, filmed in Sligo and Leitrim; and Death of a Ladies’ Man, filmed in Galway.

International productions filming in Ireland include Foundation, an Apple Original drama series that chronicles the epic saga of The Foundation, a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it. The series is based on Isaac Asimov’s novel series of the same name.

The series is the largest production ever to film on location in Ireland, creating over 500 production jobs.  Several training initiatives are underway for new entrants into the industry in the Limerick region, with over 40 skills development participants on the show. Irish talent is represented across the production, including award winning costume designer Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, who leads a large costume department.

Valhalla, a Netflix production, is also set to film in Ashford Studios in Wicklow.

Following the trade mission to Los Angeles with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD last year, Screen Ireland has focused on the need to develop further studio infrastructure to drive inward production activity. The agency welcomes the recent expansions of Ardmore & Troy Studios and further plans for Ashford, with other opportunities also being explored.  To strengthen relationships in the US, as previously announced Screen Ireland will be appointing a representative based in Los Angeles later this year.