‘Cardboard Gangsters’ on DVD

Following its theatrical run in Irish cinemas, Cardboard Gangsters will be released on DVD in Ireland on October 6th.   The DVD release boasts an exclusive documentary ‘Shooting in the Hood: The Making of Cardboard Gangsters’ which will offer viewers an insight into the behind-the-scenes action during the making of the film.

Directed by Mark O’Connor and starring John Connors (‘Love/Hate’, King of the Travellers), Fionn Walton (Out of HereWhat Richard Did) and Kierston Wareing (Fish Tank, ‘East Enders’) Cardboard Gangsters follows a group of wannabe gangsters as they attempt to gain control of the drug trade in Darndale, chasing the glorified lifestyle of money, power and sex.  Jay Connolly (Connors) is a part-time DJ and low-level drug dealer.  When his welfare is cut off he decides it’s time for him and his gang to enter the big leagues. This attracts the attention of the local King Pin and sets Jay down a violent and bloody path.

Mark O’Connor commented “After such an incredible reaction from Irish audiences to the film in cinemas, we’re delighted that fans of the film have a chance to catch up with the behind the scenes documentary so they can get a sense of how the project came together.  The entire project has been an unbelievable journey for all involved, and I’m delighted that it will continue to have a life on DVD and beyond.”

The film was produced for Stalker Films and Five Knight Films in association with Filmbase and with the support of the BAI, Egg Post Production and TV3 and was distributed theatrically by Wildcard Distribution, with the DVD being distributed by Precision Pictures.


Interview: Richard Bolger, producer of ‘Cardboard Gangsters’



Stalker Films and Five Knight Films in association with Filmbase present Mark O’Connor’s latest feature Cardboard Gangsters. The film introduces us to a group of young men who attempt to gain control of the drug trade in Darndale, chasing the glorified lifestyle of money, power and sex.

Film Ireland caught up with producer Richard Bolger ahead of the film’s premiere at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.


Described in the Galway Film Fleadh programme as “an intoxicating blend of high-octane violence and crime and a sobering condemnation of the circumstances that trap people in the lifestyle with no hope of escape”, Richard Bolger, the producer of Cardboard Gangsters, explains that the film is “the story of four best friends who form a gang in Darndale. They start off selling marijuana before things start to get a bit more serious and the main character Jay, who has a kid, has to get out as the situation becomes more dangerous when they start stealing heroin.”

Jay is played by John Connors, who was involved in the script with writer/director Mark O’Connor. The pair had originally worked together on Stalker and King of the Travellers. “The original idea for Cardboard Gangsters was John’s,” Richard explains. “Mark came on board and the two of them co-wrote the script. John was thinking that maybe he would do it himself and then the idea got bigger and bigger and he brought the project to Mark. Both of them have a huge love of the gangster genre. John started writing it around King of the Travellers in 2012 and we started shooting  in September 2015 for just over 3 weeks.”

The film boasts an impressive cast alongside John. Fionn Walton (What Richard Did) plays fellow gang member Dano. Irish rappers Lethal Dialect and Ryan Lincoln complete the gang. Kiersten Warren (Fishtank) is joined by Damien Dempsey and Jimmy Smallhorne who plays Derra – Jay’s nemesis. The cast also includes Stephen Clinch (Love/Hate), plus Gemma-Leah Devereux, Corey McKinley Lydia McGuinnessand Graham Earley amongst others.

“It’s a huge and talented cast, “Richard says. “The first AD, Craig Kenny, said to me that we probably had more in the movie than you’d have in a season of Game of Thrones. That’s down to the story and the different characters the guys meet along the way, be it opposite rival gangs, friends, and the like. Obviously, the guys are dealing drugs so through that there’s a lot of people that they meet for small periods in the film.”

The title of the film is a Dublin phrase for wannabe gangsters. Richard explains that the gang “are not really gangsters; they just want the lifestyle. They are not the most organised professional outfit. They are not like the Joker’s gang at the beginning of the The Dark Knight. These guys couldn’t come up with a plan like that!”

The look of the film was created with the assistance of Irish cinematographer Michael Lavelle, who Richard is quick to praise. “He’s done such amazing stuff. He worked with Terry McMahon on Patricks Day and that’s how Mark got to work with him. Terry just said you’ve got to work with this guy. The visuals were a huge concern for Mark on this project. Gangster films look a certain way. They need to look slick and we knew these characters wanted to be like them so they had to be shot and had to be framed in a certain way. Getting Michael on board was a huge step to achieve that. He knows what is going on and the dynamic of a scene and he can figure how to work it. Mark and him watched an awful lot of films together discussing things that they felt would work for this film.”

Talking about the music, Richard says, “we were blessed on this film. We have Darklands Audio. There’s a real talented guy there called Daniel Doherty who composed the original score for the film which uses a huge amount of rap music. There’s a really interesting scene in Dublin at the minute and some of these musician are in the film and they’ve been working with Mark making tracks for the film. What these guys are coming up with and with Dan producing is amazing. He’s engineering a whole feel to the film. Mark wanted the music to reflect the realism and grittiness of the film and show what life is like for these cardboard gangsters in Dublin.”

And for Richard himself working with Mark O’Connor, “I’d always admired Mark’s work and it was great to get a chance to work with him. He has a special voice and is a real talent in the industry. He makes films that nobody else does.”


Cardboard Gangsters screens at the Town Hall Theatre on Saturday, 9th July at 22.00.

Director Mark O’Connor and cast will attend.

Buy tickets here

Take a look at our preview of all the Irish films ascreening at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh

The 28th Galway Film Fleadh runs 5 – 10 July 2016








‘Stalker’ Available on DVD


Stalker, the Irish psychological thriller by director Mark O’Connor, is now available to buy on DVD.

The film stars John Connors (Love/Hate, King of the Travellers), who co-wrote the film with Mark O’Connor, as Oliver, a volatile homeless man who wanders the streets of Dublin at Christmas time. He forms an unlikely relationship with the disaffected young Tommy, played by Barry Keoghan (Between the Canals71), whose uncle Rudyard, played by Peter Coonan (Love/Hate, The Guarantee), is a local drug dealer.

The feature is O’Connor’s third after Between the Canals and King of the TravellersMusic for the film comes from singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey.


‘Stalker’ to Screen at Capital Irish Film Festival


Stalker, directed by Mark O’Connor and written with John Connors, will premiere in the US at this year’s Capital Irish Film Festival on 5th December 2013.

The film stars Barry Keoghan, Peter Coonan, and John Connors as Oliver Nolan, a volatile homeless man who wanders the streets of Dublin at Christmas time. After an unusual encounter with a priest, Oliver believes he is sent on a mission from God to clean up society. When he saves a disaffected young boy named Tommy from some local bullies an unlikely friendship is formed. Tommy’s mother is an addict and his uncle Rudyard a local drug dealer. Oliver takes it upon himself to get even with Rudyard and his gang of petty criminals for taking advantage of his only friend, Tommy.


The Capital Irish Film Festival takes place in Washington, D.C. 5 – 8 December, 2013.


‘Stalker’ at the Killer Film Festival



Mark O’Connor’s Stalker has just been selected to have its international premiere at the Killer Film Festival (25 – 26 October) in Boston.


O’Connor’s third feature stars John Connors as quiet homeless man Oliver Nolan who wanders the streets of Dublin and starts a friendship with a young disaffected teenager named Tommy (Barry Keoghan). Tommy’s mother is an addict who owes money to Tommy’s Uncle Rudyard (Peter Coonan), an upper class drug dealer. When Oliver learns that Tommy is dealing drugs for Rudyard he begins to stalk Rudyard and his gang of criminals. Through flashbacks to Oliver’s childhood we learn how he became homeless and mentally ill. As Tommy’s mother’s drug habit increases Oliver finds himself having to rescue Tommy from his situation while also facing up to his past demons




‘Stalker’ wins Best Film at Underground Cinema Film Festival



The 4th Underground Cinema Film Festival came to a close this weekend with the screening of the Irish fantasy film adventure The Shadows, directed by Colin Downey plus the festival party in Dun Laoghaire.

This year’s winners at the festival were:

Stalker, Mark O’Connor’s latest film, won Best Film, following on from being runner-up Best Feature Film at the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year. O’Connor’s film has just secured a cinema release for the New Year.

Richard Wolstencroft’s documentary, The Last Days of Joe Blow, was awarded Best International Film.

Maurice O Carroll’s version of the classic Bryan MacMahon story Windows of Wonder won Best Short Film.

Hannah Finlay’s Éimear won Best Student Film for its study into the representations of women in Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ films.

And Best Music Video was awarded to Razorblades and Ashtrays (We The People), directed by Paul Lynch

Check out the trailer for Stalker below.


‘King of the Travellers’ released on DVD


Mark O’Connor’s King of The Travellers is now available on DVD.

The film follows John Paul Moorehouse as he falls in love with the daughter of the man he suspects killed his father.

Peter Coonan (Love/Hate), Michael Collins (Man About Dog) also star among a large ensemble of non-actors from the travelling community.

O’Connor said: ‘We made a film which I hope is entertaining for audiences, as well as being of cultural importance to the traveller community. It was a big risk casting traveller non-actors in the film, but I felt it was necessary to give the film real authenticity.’

King of The Travellers is produced by Cormac Fox and John Wallace for Vico Films, and supported by the Irish Film Board, the BAI and TV3.