Irish Documentary ‘Here Was Cuba’ Screens on More 4

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Screening on More 4 this Saturday, 16th November at 9pm, Here Was Cuba is a landmark documentary exploring what happened over 13 days in October 1962 when the fate of the world lay ultimately in the hands of just three men.

The documentary screens as part of More4’s  season of films around the JFK Assassination. The film is listed as Kennedy’s Nuclear Nightmare.

Directed by Emer Reynolds and John Murray, the doc tells the inside story of the Cuban Missile Crisis, delves into how, in October 1962, the earth teetered on the very brink of nuclear holocaust. In the first major feature documentary on the subject, the film brings to life the three central characters Kennedy, Castro and Khrushchev and explores how the world’s most powerful men fell into an abyss of their own making and what courage and luck it took to climb out again. With nuclear brinkmanship high on the international agenda today, the events of October 1962 hold invaluable lessons for a generation too young to remember just how close we came to the end.

 

Click here for an interview with Emer Reynolds, one of the film’s directors

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Preview of Irish Film at IFI Stranger Than Fiction: Here Was Cuba

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IFI Stranger Than Fiction (26 – 29 Sep, 2013)

Here Was Cuba

Sunday, 29th July

18.15

Directed by Emer Reynolds and John Murray, Here Was Cuba tells the inside story of the Cuban Missile Crisis, exploring how in October 1962 the earth teetered on the very brink of nuclear holocaust. In the first major feature documentary on the subject, the film brings to life the three central characters Kennedy, Castro and Khrushchev and explores how the world’s most powerful men fell into an abyss of their own making and what courage and luck it took to climb out again. With nuclear brinkmanship high on the international agenda today, the events of October 1962 hold invaluable lessons for a generation too young to remember just how close we came to the end.

Emer Reynolds told Film Ireland: “We are thrilled to be screening Here Was Cuba at the wonderful, eclectic and educational Stranger than Fiction Festival. It’s the film’s first outing in Dublin, and we are very excited to be showing it to an audience of documentary-lovers.”

 

There will be a post-screening Q&A hosted by Alan Maher with directors Emer Reynolds and John Murray.

 

Tickets for all IFI Stranger Than Fiction films and panel discussions are on sale NOW at the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 and can also be booked on www.ifi.ie/stf where you can find out full details for all the films and events in IFI Stranger than Fiction.

 

You can read an interview with Emer Reynolds here

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Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh preview: Here Was Cuba

Here Was Cuba

The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

Here Was Cuba

Thursday, 11th July

Town Hall Theatre

17.00

Emer Reynolds and John Murray’s documentary, Here Was Cuba, screens tomorrow, 11th July, at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh. It is the first major feature documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis.

On screening the documentary at the festival, the Dublin-based director and triple IFTA winning editor Emer Reynolds told Film Ireland, ‘We are looking forward very much to screening Here Was Cuba at the Fleadh. It’ll be our first screening here in Ireland, and we are very much looking forward to hearing the home-crowd response. The audience in Galway are always very receptive, enthusiastic and vocal, and it’s very exciting to be able to present the film there. ‘

Here Was Cuba explores how in October 1962 the earth teetered on the very brink of nuclear holocaust. The documentary brings to life the three central characters Kennedy, Castro and Khrushchev and explores how the world’s most powerful men fell into an abyss of their own making and what courage and luck it took to climb out again. Featuring revealing interviews with key witnesses and experts, including Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet Premier, and, in one of his last-ever interviews, Kennedy’s trusted advisor Ted Sorensen, Here was Cuba is an edge-of-your seat tale of espionage and intrigue at the highest level, offering a fascinating perspective on one of the most harrowing times in modern history. With nuclear brinkmanship high on the international agenda today, the events of October 1962 hold invaluable lessons for a generation too young to remember just how close we came to the end.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777 or at www.tht.ie.

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ISSUE 133 – The Producers

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Everyone knows how essential a good producer is – but what do they actually do? Film Ireland got producer VANESSA GILDEA on the case.

Most times when you tell someone that you’re a producer, the first thing they ask is ‘What exactly does a producer do?’. The reason the question is so often asked and why the answer is so complex is that producing can encompass so many facets of the filmmaking process – it’s almost impossible to define succinctly. But we decided to give it a go anyway and talked to four established Irish producers working across a variety of genres: Macdara Kelleher, Martina Niland, Cathal Gaffney and John Murray.

Macdara Kelleher is managing director of Fastnet Films. He produced the award-winning feature film Kisses (an Irish/Danish/Swedish co-production) and was also selected as Ireland’s Producer on the Move for Cannes in 2008.

Martina Niland is a producer with Samson Films and among her many credits are the multi award-winning feature Pavee Lackeen and the Oscar®-winning film Once. She has also worked on Carmel Winters’ new feature Snap.

Cathal Gaffney established Brown Bag Films with Darragh O’Connell and currently executive produces. Brown Bag has been twice nominated for an Oscar® for the short films Give Up Yer Aul Sins and Granny O’Grimm and they also make several international animation series.

John Murray is managing director of Crossing the Line Films and has produced and directed over 100 documentaries. He has a passion for adventure, exploration and travel docs and recently produced The Yellow Bittern, the Liam Clancy documentary.

How would you define what a producer is and does?
MACDARA KELLEHER: Start with an easy question why don’t ya? It’s almost impossible to answer that, there’s so many different types of producer out there. Sometimes you originate the idea or come up with the initial concept or sometimes a writer/director comes with an idea and it’s your job to realise that. In one way you could say that the producer is the person who brings the project to life. Some days you’re a lawyer or an accountant and some days you’re creative, it’s hard to define…

What training or experience really helped you become a producer?
MK: I started working on films when I was about 18. I think just being around films and filmmaking gave me a good understanding of how it works. If you’re shooting a film in the North Pole, and you haven’t done it before, no amount of training or experience is going to prepare you for that. Every time you do a co-production with a new country it’s a whole new set of rules. It’s kind of like a game of chess, you’re always developing new strategies.

What’s the most unusual way you’ve ever funded a film?
MK: I funded one with credit cards, I wouldn’t recommend it. Sometimes you might come across a private investor who happens to be a philanthropist but it doesn’t happen very often. Also, taking private money for features and promising to give it back can be a dangerous process. In America they’re quite canny about funding, largely because outside of tax credits they have no public film funding like in Europe.

Do you find raising finance the hardest part of producing?
MK: It depends. If you have a director that people know or you have a great cast attached then it might not be so hard. If you’re working with a first-time director it can be difficult, but in that case you have to set the budget to an achievable level. Budget levels are coming down across the board and that’s proving difficult.

What has been your proudest achievement as a producer?
MK: To be still at it, I think. I’ve been doing it for ten years now. I’m still at it and I’ve kept a company going. The film that I’m most proud of having made would definitely be Kisses.

The full article is printed in Film Ireland 133.

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