JDIFF 2013: West of Memphis

Gordon Gaffney on the latest ‘West Memphis 3’ documentary West of Memphis, which screened as part of the 11th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (14-24 February 2013).

West of Memphis
Friday, 22nd February
Cineworld 11
147 mins

The documentary trilogy Paradise Lost dealt with the grisly murders of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993, the trial and conviction of three teenagers for the killings, and the subsequent doubts raised of their guilt.

With a combined running time of 5 hours, and directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky of Metallica documentary(and inadvertent comedy) Some Kind Of Monster fame, they were screened on HBO in 1996 and 2000. Part 3 was also released in cinemas in 2011 and went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary in 2012.

Now we have what could be considered a fourth part. West of Memphis is directed by Amy Berg, best known for the harrowing sex abuse doc Deliver Us From Evil, but its producers have close ties to the grisly events of 1993.  Berg, and her producers, wisely spend as little time as possible going over the events from 1993 to about 2010, perhaps aware that not many people will wonder into theatres expecting an Elvis Presley biopic. Paradise Lost is acknowledged early on preparing the viewer for never-before-seen material.

Some of this new material is explosive, delving extensively into the background of ‘You-Know-Who’, which, perhaps coincidentally, led to a couple of walk-outs in my row at the screening.  The Paradise Lost series stirred many celebrities into fighting the West Memphis 3’s cause,  in particular Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Peter Jackson who both feature heavily here.

An infuriating jaw-dropping work, one gets the feeling that this is not the end of documentaries on this subject. The four films have a total running time of seven and half hours and as Will Ferrell’s James Lipton would say ‘If you haven’t seen it, rent it, watch it, put it in a locked cabinet for a year, then watch it again, it will change.. your …life.’

Gordon Gaffney


JDIFF 2013: The Look of Love

Gordon Gaffney on The Look of Love, which screened as part of the 11th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (14-24 February 2013).

The Look of Love

Thursday, 21st  February

The Look of Love sees Steve Coogan team up with director Michael Winterbottom for the first time since 24 Hour Party People in 2002.  It tells the story of Paul Raymond “The King of Soho” who opened Britain’s first strip club and went onto become Britain’s richest man in the early 90s.  If This is 40 is the sorta sequel to Knocked Up then The Look of Love is the sorta half-sibling of 24 Hour Party People.


Coogan again plays a charismatic impresario, and the film beautifully evokes the swinging 60s, the glamorous 70s and heady 80s much like the Madchester indie/dance music scene of the 80’s and 90s in 24 Hour Party People. The script from Matt Greenhalgh, while sometimes witty, doesn’t explain as much about Raymond’s motivation and background to the events portrayed which makes the narrative less gripping than 24 Hour Party People. The latter also had the benefit of Coogan’s voiceover explaining important characters and events as they appeared on screen.


Coogan is excellent as Raymond, a selfish, charismatic, emotionally distant, successful businessman whose cruel treatment of his family seemed eerily similar to Apple’s Steve Jobs. He is helped by a solid supporting cast in particular Imogen Poots as his troubled daughter Debbie and a host of cameos from some of Britain and Ireland’s best known stars.


A sometimes inspirational but tragic story which captures the decadence of the man’s life and may well lead to plenty of NSFW Googling to learn more. Ideal family viewing for those as dysfunctionally liberal as the Raymonds.

Gordon Gaffney

JDIFF 2013: Jump


Lynn Larkin takes a look at Jump, which screened as part of the 11th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (14-24 February 2013).


Tue, 19th February
Light House 1
82 mins

Jump opens with some beautiful colourful shots of Derry, which are accompanied by the VO of our main character Greta (Nichola Burley). She is battling deep depression surrounding her life due to the people closest to her. This black comedy tackles the very serious issue of suicide, while maintaining the story’s entertainment factor.

The backdrop for Jump is Derry and it’s New Year’s Eve. Just like the title, the story jumps and intertwines three stories throughout the film.

Standing on top of the stunningly shot Derry Peace Bridge is ‘our’ Greta deciding if she can muster up the courage to bungee off minus the cord but with her makeshift wings in tow. Her concentration is distracted when her knight in torn and blood-stained armour shows up in the form of Pearse Kelly (Martin McCann). However, this damsel is in no mood to be rescued. The two exchange heated words to find they share a common interest. Their hatred for local gangster Frank Feeney (Lalor Roddy), who just happens to be Greta’s father. The two set off into the night with a creative adventure in mind.

The film’s fast-paced tempo keeps you locked in the story from start to finish. Some of the secondary characters could have featured a little more. Good-time players Marie and Dara’s one-liners and unusual scenarios the pair find themselves in throughout the course of the night are hilarious.

The passionate UK-born director Kieron J. Walsh spoke after the screening with a small Q&A. The inspiration for Jump came to him after he heard that someone he admired and looked up to mention that ‘A story always needs a beginning, middle and end. However, not exactly in that order.’

This really sums up what Walsh did with this movie, making it a fresh and pleasant watch. He spoke about why he chose Derry, not only for its beautifully magnetic Derry Peace Bridge; but since everyone in Derry dresses up in costume for all major events, not just at Halloween, it was the obvious choice.

Jump is endearing and enchanting; words I didn’t think I’d use to describe a dark comic crime thriller that tackles the topic of suicide… but there you go; life’s full of surprises, just like the movie.

Take a leap of faith and Jump, it’s a free-fall extravaganza.

Lynn Larkin


JDIFF 2013: Where I Am


John Moran on the remarkable story told in Where I Am, which screened as part of the 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.


Where I Am

Sat, 16th February
Light House
69 mins


Where I Am, a documentary by first-time filmmaker Pamela Drynan, earned a standing ovation last night following its screening in the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

The film tells the story of Robert Drake, an American writer who returns to Ireland 10 years after he suffers debilitating injuries in a gay bashing in Sligo.  He recounts his ongoing recovery and sets off on a journey to find out how his attackers’ lives have been, compared to his, over the past decade.

Mr Drake’s capacity to forgive his assailants makes his story remarkable.  His resilience, humour and optimism make the film a surprising pleasure to watch.

Brian Finnegan, editor of GCN, described his presence at the screening as making his story come full circle, in that it was being witnessed.  His injuries prevented his attendance at court during the trial of his attackers.  They frustrated his career as a writer.  Confined to wheelchair, he now uses a modified keyboard and types one letter at a time, making long pieces difficult.

Following the screening, Mr Drake described seeing his life on-screen as surreal.  The audience applauded when one viewer spoke out being overwhelmed by his bravery.  Another asked Mr Drake for some tips on how he maintains his optimism.

Festival director Gráinne Humphreys introduced the film as ‘a beautiful story of pain and hope’ told with incredible simplicity and honesty.  Ms Drynan hopes the film will find a wider audience.  An accomplished film telling an important story, it deserves no less.

John Moran

Check out our exclusive interview with director Pamela Drynan in the current issue of Film Ireland magazine, available now.


JDIFF 2013: Natan


The 11th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (14-24 February 2013)


Fri, 15th February

A new documentary from Paul Duane is a reason to enter into the cinema with the buzzing anticipation that you are about to encounter the fascinating life of a character whose story burns up the screen. His documentaries thrive on figures rejected by those who shape history, and seek to restore their extraordinary presence into the public consciousness.

After his compelling portrait of John Healy, the wino-turned chess champion, turned literary celebrity in Barbaric Genius and the punked-up thrills of Jerry McGill in Very Extremely Dangerous, Duane now brings us Natan, a remarkable tale of a pioneer of French cinema who was written out of its history, written maliciously back into it and now, with Duane’s latest documentary, Natan’s life has been re-written in an attempt to bring fact to bear upon fiction and bring truth to a myth that had become history.

Natan addresses the forgotten history of a man who shaped the French Film industry in the 1920s and 30s. What little is known of him is a web of viscious scurrilous lies. The documentary, expertly written by David Cairns, provides a ridiculously fascinating portrait of how the reality of the man who was a pioneer, technological visionary, director and producer of over 60 films, proponent of the business model of control of production, distribution, and exhibition, and one-time owner of Pathé, the world’s largest film equipment and production company, was deconstructed and mangled into a cauldron of lies, his reputation and achievements stained as he was cast as a monster, a Jewish swindler, pornography peddler, Pathé pillager, fraudster and – animal lovers , look away now – duck-buggerer.

Most tragic of all is the shocking details of his death – a victim of the anti-Semitism of France in the 1930s.

The film is constructed around some amazing research and remarkable archive footage (of Natan’s films and Natan himself, plus archive footage that provided the “evidence” for the false allegations) and interviews, including Natan’s granddaughter, interlaced with David Cairns’ ingenious use of a voiceover narrative, which personalises the film’s subject and brings a rewarding immediacy to the film’s core, including a deviceful use of a Papier-mâché head, which is always good to see.

Here is a story that needed to be told and needs to be seen – let’s hope it gets the distribution it deserves.

Steven Galvin


Check out our exclusive interview with director Paul Duane in the current issue of Film Ireland magazine, available now.


JDIFF 2013: Broken

14th – 24th February 2013


The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival took off last night with the screening of the festival’s opening film Broken, with stars Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy in attendance, along with director Rufus Norris, writer Mark O’Rowe and producers Dixie Linder, Tally Gardner and Nick Marston.


award-winning photograph – copyright Steven Galvin


Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys launched the festival saying, ‘As an international festival, we aspire to champion emerging film makers, recognise established talents and celebrate the independent spirit of film makers the world over – fighting to bring their stories to audiences in their own way. Broken is a very special film – a beautiful story with a wonderful cast, delicate direction and its subtle bittersweet echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird – it’s an honour to bring its key players to Dublin for our Opening Night’


Speaking at the launch, Pat Magee, Managing Director Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, commented, ‘2013 marks the 11th anniversary of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival which is growing from strength to strength and is a world class example of how a great sponsorship can bring real value to all parties.  Jameson are delighted to support the festival this year with an exciting new TV, outdoor and on-line campaign which will  greatly enhance the profile of the festival  with Irish consumers and we are particularly pleased to announce that Danny Devito will be present for a special Jameson Cult Film Club screening of L.A. Confidential.’


Director of Broken Rufus Norris, who attended the premiere, commented, ‘it’s a wonderful compliment for us that Broken has been invited to open this Festival, and I am totally delighted to be part of such a great event. This is doubly so for the fact that so much of the film was created here. Mark O’Rowe and I argued back and forth over the script for days on end in various cafes around the city, and the care he gave it and education he gave me were the foundations of the piece. I hope you folk like it – its body is English but the bones were made in Dublin.’


The  event also saw Cillian Murphy present a Volta, the festival career achievement award, to Tim Roth before the screening, celebrating Roth’s roles in some of the most iconic films of his three-decade long career.

JDIFF 2013: Preview – Milo

11th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (14-24 February 2013)


Sat, 23rd  February
Cineworld 11


Milo is unaware that he suffers a rare genetic disease. He is kept under strict control by his parents who strive for wealth and success and are set on keeping Milo’s shameful condition a secret. However, a failed kidnapping, an unusual friendship and a violent confrontation forces Milo and his parents to embrace the imperfections in their lives.

Directors Berend and Roel Boorsma will attend the screening.


Running Time: 90 minutes
Irish Locations: Dublin, Wicklow
Financiers: Irish Film Board, Netherlands Film Fund, Video Film Express



JDIFF 2013: Workshops and Events at the 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival


Workshops and Events at the 2013

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 14th – 24th February 2013



Recognising the importance of the festival to in the Irish filmmaking industry, a number of special events are programmed every year at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Featuring crew who have worked on films including The Dark Knight, East is East, Scott Pilgrim Versus The World and Skyfall amongst others, the festival is also delighted to welcome some very special guests including Chinatown scriptwriter Robert Towne, Top Gun Casting Director Margery Simkin and one of the creators of interactive computer game Heavy Rain, Guillaume De Fondaumiere.


Presented in association with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Screen Test is the training wing of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. During the festival there will be specialist workshops from established professionals, as well as industry discussion panels from experts. Far from being exclusive to filmmaking, Screen Test is aimed at anyone who wants to work in the broadcast industry, whether it be in radio, television or indeed film.

Documentary Masterclass with Alex Gibney –
2pm, Thursday 14th, €30, Light House Cinema
Presented in association with Screen Training Ireland and hosted by Donald Taylor Black – Head of the School for Creative Arts, IADT and director/producer of over 20 documentary films. This masterclass will see Alex Gibney, winner of the 2008 Oscar for best documentary feature, explain how he researches, prepares and shoots his incredibly incisive, polemic works.

SCREEN TEST Sound for Film – 12.30pm, Friday 15th, €11(€7 concession), Filmbase
An often under-appreciated aspect of film making, sound is an essential part of production. From the location sound recordist who records everything on set, to the foley artists who reproduce everyday sounds, these are the people whose best work isn’t noticed by the audience, they are essential to creating a sense of reality within a scene. This specialist Screen Test event gives them that notice, by letting industry professionals highlight the importance of their work and show anyone interested in a such a career how to go about it.
Guests include: Barry Sullivan (credits include The Dark Knight, Braveheart, Blood Diamond and Clash of the Titans)

Guillaume De Fondaumiere in conversation with Dr. Aphra Kerr –
1pm, Friday 15th, Free, Light House Cinema
The COO of Quantic Dream, creators of the groundbreaking Heavy Rain will discuss gaming’s growing influence on film, emotion in gaming and his companies pioneering use of interactive cinema. Hosted by D.I.T.’s Dr Aphra Kerr.

Blurring the Lines: Live Action/Animation Crossovers –
11am, Saturday 16th, Free, Light House Cinema

Organised in conjunction with Ballyfermot college of further education, this event discusses live action and animation crossovers from the early days ofBedknobs and Broomsticks to the CGI armies of Lord of the Rings, with guests inculding experts in animal movement(a hugely important aspect of any animated feature), motion capture and animators from Sony Digital Entertainment.

Story Campus –
10am – 5pm, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th, €20,
Light House Cinema(Day One) and Filmbase(Day Two)
Led by filmmakers David Pope and David Keating and featuring several guests from this year’s festival, Story Campus 2013 is a two day event for emerging and established filmmakers looking to both network and work on their feature projects.

SCREEN TEST Exhibiting Your Short
12.30pm, Saturday 16th, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase
In this specialist panel discussing the different ways to succeed with short filmmaking, Sharon Badal, Shorts Programmer for Tribeca Film Festival, and Kathleen McInnis, Palm Springs Shortfest Curator are joined by two directors with work featuring in this year’s JDIFF shorts; Dave Tynan with Just Saying and Shimmy Marcus with Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion. From funding to production to screening, be it virally or conventionally, this panel discusses the importance of shorts and how they are changing.

SCREEN TEST Documenting Your Career
12.30pm, Sunday 17th, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase
Bringing together directors from JDIFF’s Reel Art documentaries, this panel will discuss how to start a career in documentary and the different challenges inherent that branch of filmmaking; from questions over style to the role of the filmmaker in a shot to the moral quandary inherent in editing real life.
Guests include: Paul Duane (award winning director of Barbaric Genius) and David Cairns(who maintains the incredibleShadowplay blog), directors of NATANand Mark Mcloughlin, director of JDIFF 2013 closing film, Blood Rising.

SCREEN TEST Dressing it Up
12.30pm, Monday 18th, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase
Have you ever looked at film and thought everything in it looked beautiful? From the perfect looking chair to the shining brass fireplace to the ancient brickwork, a huge amount of work goes into creating a world for broadcast. Learn from Production designers and art directors what a career in art for film entails, how to get a start and just how important they are to a production.
Guests include:  John McHale (credits include Kisses, Barry’s Bespoke Bakery,Butchers), Emma Lowney(credits includeThe Other Side of Sleep, Dollhouse andHannah Cohen’s Holy Communion, which features in 2013’s JDIFF shorts), Tom Conroy (credits include East is East,Breakfast on Pluto, Intermission and the History Channel’s Vikings)

SCREEN TEST A Career In Radio
3pm, Monday 18th, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase
A specialist panel with professionals whose experiences cover the gamut of working for radio; from producers to journalists to presenters to digital specialists, this event aims to inform anyone looking to work over the airwaves of the requirements for each role, with the discussion also taking in the current climate for radio, with Spotify adding to the list of things to contend with.
Guests include: Nadine O’Regan (Editor of The Sunday Business Post’s Books and Arts section, Host of Phantom FM’s The Kiosk), Laura Lee-Conboy(DJ & Radio Presenter), David Timpson(Day Control at RTÉ digital, scheduler, RTÉ Pulse) and JP Coakley(Director of Operations, RTÉ Radio)

12.30pm, Tuesday 19th, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase

Working in animation in Ireland has changed rapidly in recent years, with both the big , mainstream success for Cartoon Saloon and Brown Bag, and the small , Andrew James and Chris O’Neill’s incredible successes on youtube, showing the strength of the industry in Ireland. This event features professional animators discussing their careers and the best way to break into and survive in an incredibly competitive market.

Guests Include: Noel Donnellon, co-founder of VoodooDog, an animation company whose work features is Scott Pilgrim Versus The World, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Smokin’ Aces,Nanny Mcphee and many more.

9pm, Tuesday 19th, Free, The Festival Club @ The Church
Love/Hate creators Stuart Carolan and David Caffrey take time out from shooting season 4 of the phenomenally successful  RTÉ series to take part in special event devoted to breaking down Love/Hate from script to screen, and exploring what their success means for their future, and for Irish television.

SCREEN TEST Stunt Workshop
12.30pm, Wednesday 20th, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase
Aimed at aspiring filmmakers as well as people looking to work as stunts performers, this workshop will show you how to fall with style as well as cover important aspects like fight preparation, actor training, camera angles and set etiquette.
Guest: Roger Yuan has worked as a stunt performer and fight choreographer onBatman Begins, Skyfall, The Tudors,Black Dynamite and is a triple black belt, one third of which is a black belt in Chuck Norris’s Chun Kuk Do.

A European Perspective: Conversations with Leading European Directors
2pm, Wednesday 20th, Free, Light House
Featuring guests both from the festival and the Irish film industry, this event, coinciding with Ireland’s presidency of the EU, brings leading european directors together to discuss where European cinema is, the cinematic implications of working in a more open Europe and where European cinema is likely to find itself.

SCREEN TEST Cinematography Workshop
3pm, Wednesday 20th, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase
Presented by the Irish Society of Cinematographers, this class will discuss every level of working right behind the camera, from how to get the best out of digital to shooting on film to the Holy Grail that is working with a RED camera. If you want to make a short feature or would just like to shoot better wedding videos, come let the pros teach you how.
Screenwriting with Tobias Lindholm
12pm(Midday), Thursday 21st, €25, The Festival Club @ The Church
One of the chief writers of Borgen, writer of the Palme D’or nominated The Huntand writer/director of the incredible A Hijacking, Tobias Lindholm has achieved a remarkable amount in his 35 years. In this masterclass hosted by Mark O’Halloran(Garage, Adam & Paul, RTÉ’sProsperity) he discusses the differences in writing for television and film, auteur theory versus writing partnerships and why he considers directing his little thing on the side.

SCREEN TEST Producer’s Panel
12.30pm, Thursday 21st, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase
Featuring three guests with work in the festival, this producer’s panel serves as an introduction to the person who lives with and beside a film for its whole life. From the first draft through production into post and beyond, an experienced producer creates the world in which a film lives.
Guests include:
Andrew Freedman, (Kelly and Victor, which screens in JDIFF 2013, His and Hers, which won the audience award at JDIFF 2010), Martina Niland(Miloscreening at JDIFF 2013, Once,Grabbers, Pavee Lackeen) and Liam Ryan(Scratch,  featuring in the 2013 JDIFF Shorts, Pairs and Spares)

Casting with Margery Simkin
2pm, Thursday 21st, €25, The Odeon
Hosted by casting director Maureen Hughes(Casting Director on Once, Disco Pigs, This Must Be The Place), the woman responsible for casting Top Gun,12 Monkeys, Avatar and Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming Pacific Rim discusses her role on a film, why casting directors are essential, and how casting works internationally

SCREEN TEST The Economics of Youtube
3pm, Thursday 21st, €11(€7 Concession), Filmbase
This panel features David McWilliams and The Rubberbandits and discusses webcasting, its impact and going from a viral video to Channel 4. Bringing together the respective authors of “The Pope’s Children” and Bags of Glue might seem an odd mix, but with online marketing becoming ever more prominent and Horse Outside going viral from Cairns to Queens it seems fitting that the man who first warned about the bubble bursting can help us appreciate the significance of Blindboy Boatclub and Mr Chrome.

SCREEN TEST Making Your First Feature
1pm, Friday 22nd, Free, Light House Cinema
Graduates of Filmbase’s MA in filmmaking will screen their feature length film, Keys to The City and will follow this screening with a panel discussing what they learned in making in this film, from the difficulties of working with actors to being behind on a shoot before you’re started. Chaired by Managing Director of Filmbase, this is the final event of Screen Test and is open to all holders of a Screen Test ticket, free of charge.
This event will be followed by representatives of the colleges presenting information on their respective courses.

4pm, Friday 22nd, Free, Light House Cinema
Now in its third year, Untitled is a unique competition run in conjunction with The Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hEireann where screenwriters can win €12,000(or €16,000 for writing partnerships) towards the development of their film. Nearly 200 entries were received this year alone.

Film Reviewing: The Dark Arts
11am, Saturday 23rd, €30, Light House Cinema
Hosted by Paul Whitington of the Irish Independent, Mark Adams, chief film critic for Screen International helps budding critics sharpen their critical faculties and discusses writing for different publications, the growth of blogs and the importance of long form

A exhibition of prints inspired by films in the festival, Brainbelt is an incredibly talented artists collective whose work will be on display in Filmbase and other festival venues for the run of the festival.

The 11th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival will take place from the 14th – 24th February 2013. The full programme is available via the festival website jdiff.com. Tickets can be booked via the website, facebook, Entertainment.ie or in person at the Festival Hub in Filmbase from 24th January, or at Ticket Offices in Cineworld or the Light House from 4th February.


Jameson Dublin International Film Festival would like to thank its funders and sponsors: Jameson, The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board, Cineworld, Renault, The Merrion Hotel, The Irish Times, RTÉ, Windmill Lane, Wells Cargo, Entertainment.ie, Film Base and The Church.


Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

Ticket Office: Filmbase, Curved St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Phone: 01 687 7974

Web: www.jdiff.com

Email: info@jdiff.com

Facebook: Jameson Dublin International Film Festival – /Dublinfilmfestival

Twitter: @DublinFilmFest