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


Jon Hozier-Byrne

In this podcast, Natasha Waugh talks to Jon Hozier-Byrne, a filmmaker from Dublin, Ireland. John has a BA and an MA in Film Studies from University College Dublin, where he taught film until 2014, when he founded Stoneface Films. Since then, he’s had his directorial work featured in the Cannes Film Festival, and created music videos for the likes of We Cut Corners, Hozier, Mick Flannery, and Hometown.




Natasha Waugh, Director of ‘Mother’

Natasha Waugh’s latest short film, Mother, screens at this year’s Cork Film Festival. In the film, hardworking mam Grace, played by Hilary Rose, has the perfect happy family: a loving husband and two wonderful children. But when her husband arrives home one day with a brand new kitchen appliance, she slowly starts to realize that there might not be room for both of them in this house.

Gemma Creagh sat down with Natasha to find out more about her quirky short, her journey into film and her IFTA-nominated 2016 film Terminal.



Mother screens at Cork Film Festival 2018 as part of Irish Shorts 2 – Flesh and Blood at 14:45 on 11th November 2018 at The Gate Cinema.







Natasha Waugh co-founded Fight Back Films in 2013, and has, to date, directed four short films (Food Fight, Running Commentary, Lag, and Terminal) and co-directed another (The Betrayal) with filmmaker Kamila Dydyna. The films have enjoyed success on the festival circuit.

Terminal, inspired by the women affected by the 8th amendment, has gone on to critical acclaim, winning Best Short Film at Indie Cork 2016, Director’s Choice Short Film at the 2017 Irish Film Festival, Boston, the Writers Guild of Ireland Zebbie Award for Best Short Film Script, 2017, and Best Irish Short Film at the 2017 Dub Web Fest.

Terminal has received other nominations for Best Short Film at the Dublin Feminist Film Festival, Irish Film Festival London, Fort Worth Indie Showcase, and played in competition at Manchester International Film Festival 2017. Terminal picked up other prestigious nominations for Best Short film at the 37th London Film Critics’ Circle Awards, and at the 2017 Irish Film & Television Academy Awards (IFTAs).

Natasha’s latest film, Mother, premiered at the 30th Galway Film Fleadh 2018 and screens at Cork Film Festival 2018.


Running Commentary



Film Ireland Podcasts


‘Terminal’ @ Galway Fringe


Natasha Waugh’s short film Terminal screens at the Galway Fringe as part of the SHORTS PROGRAMME 1 – Let the Shorts Begin on 9th July 2:00 pm4:00 pm. 

Terminal is about a girl and a woman who meet in an airport departure gate. Just before they board a plane to Manchester to get abortions, we witness a private exchange as they share the different reasons that brought them to this moment, and the traumatic journey that awaits them.



In The Valley of the Moon (Dir. Brian Rossney)

Proclaim (Dir.Maureen O’Connell)

Contact (Dir. Stephen Brady)

Girls (Dir. Maureen O’Connell)

Amhras (Dir. Sean Wrenn)

Terminal (Dir. Natasha Waugh)

Reflections (Dir. Chris Ozminski)

My Bonnie (Dir. Hannah Quinn)

Kiss Heist  (Dir. Kevin Glynn)



Short Film on Women’s Bodily Rights In Ireland Wraps


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Dublin based independent film companies Fight Back Films, and Hopehapp Productions, in association with Driftwood Doll Films, present Terminal. The film aims to humanise women who face criminal charges for seeking abortions in Ireland, and who therefore travel abroad to have the procedure.

The film is written and directed by up and coming filmmaker Natasha Waugh (Fight Back Films), and produced by David C. Lynch of Hopehapp Productions.

Terminal is about a girl and a woman who meet in an airport departure gate. Just before they board a plane to Manchester to get abortions, we witness a private exchange as they share the different reasons that brought them to this moment, and the traumatic journey that awaits them.

The film was shot over three days on March 4th, 5th and 6th, by a crew including Director of Photography Eimear Ennis-Graham (Shem The Penman Sings AgainToday), Producer David C. Lynch (After; Says; Stay) Writer/Director Natasha Waugh (Food Fight; Running Commentary), and Sound Recordist Dean Murray, (Soulsmith, Late Arrivals). 

The film stars Andrea Kelly, (Lenny Abrahamson’s Prosperity, and Rebecca Daly’s Joyriders.), and Aoife Doyle, a newcomer who has done extensive extra in various productions including the RTE production Whistleblower Moone Boy, Cracks, and Vikings, and was the back up body double for Saoirse Ronan in Neil Jordan’s Byzantium.

Terminal is currently starting post-production and will begin the edit within the next few weeks before entering the festival circuit.


Film Ireland Podcast: Episode 10



In the latest Film Ireland podcast, Richard Drumm and Jonathan Victory are joined by Natasha Waugh, whose short film Food Fight recently screened at Cannes.

In between chatting about film news and reviews, Natasha talks about setting up her own production company, Fight Back Films, getting her film into Cannes and rubbing shoulders with Woody Allen.

Along the way, the trio look at Irish horror The Canal, while Jonathan and Natasha go head to head over Gerard Barrett’s Glassland and catch up on Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Tribe, Mad Max, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and the box-office phenomenon Kung Fury.

Meanwhile, Donnchadh and Ruairí are at large having escaped from the basement leaving only a poster of One Million B.C. in their wake. Gardaí are warning the public not to approach the men if seen talking about film in the Dublin/Limerick area.


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Fruitvale Station



DIR/WRI: Ryan Coogler • PRO: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker  • ED: Claudia Castello, Michael P. Shawver  • DOP: Rachel Morrison • DES: Hannah Beachler • MUS: Ludwig Göransson • CAST: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melanie Diaz


Fruitvale Station tells story of the true story of the shooting of Oscar Grant III, in Fruitvale BART station in 2009. Essentially, Fruitvale Station is a film that depicts the turbulence of a life trapped by circumstance, the ways in which this can be overcome, but also that tragic end that such a life can face, without choice.


With Fruitvale Station, we immediately get to know the steadfast determination of a Oscar Grant, who is encompassed by the consequences of mistakes he has made in his life. This is balanced and parallelled in the film with the positivity that comes from his family life; his mother, young daughter and girlfriend. What drives this positivity, is his determination to make a change in his life. And thus, a clear picture of Oscar is painted, warts and all.


Fruitvale Station is predominantly a melodramatic piece; much of the events we see in the film are centred on domestic trouble, with a lesser focus on other themes such as class issues, crime, racial prejudice. With this, we see what is worth fighting for in the face of these circumstances; family, love, hope, the chance of a better existence, of being a better person.


Michael B. Jordan’s Oscar Grant III is wonderfully likeable. We accept his flaws, which we see include infidelity, prison time, drug dealing, and more minor ones besides, and look past them when we are shown how he is seriously attempting to turn his life around. The film is divisive in this way; for example, Oscar loses his job, and to make ends meet, we are aware that drug dealing will help him bring in money to provide for his young family. And yet, in a scene that follows him unsuccessfully begging for his job back, we see him dispose of a bag of marijuana, turning away from crimes, to follow the straight and narrow track. This pattern continues, and includes a clearly metaphorical scene in which a dog gets run over. This slows the film down, but in a way that works towards the film’s effect.. By the end, Oscar’s shooting justifies the film’s unattached structure, and the way in which Oscar is presented to us through a series of both consequential and inconsequential events over the course of a typical day. They serve to define his character, and we gain an emotional attachment, aided by the presence of his mother, played by Octavia Spencer, and his young daughter, and girlfriend.



And yet, all of the scenes up until Oscar’s shooting seem somewhat pointless; neither one event nor the other seem to lead the plot onwards. Nonetheless, it all adds up with the culmination of his shooting in Fruitvale BART station, something we know from the start of the film. The fact that we get to know Oscar beforehand makes the climax all the more emotional and tragic in its own melodramatic way.


However, what is truly tragic is the realism that surrounds the story; the film is based on fact. Fruitvale Station is not a parable for the American gun culture, police brutality or its victims like Oscar Grant, it is in fact derivative of it. Where Fruitvale Station could be stronger, is in it’s social commentary. It brings a subtle critique to the table, but focuses on the person, and not necessarily the broader picture. It attempts to raise discussion and questions of justice, rather than commenting or defining.


We become privy to the film’s attempted realism from the very opening when we are shown the video of Oscar’s shooting at the train station.


What is most striking about this and the film’s structure is its use of modern technology to silently help tell the story. Not only does the film open with the real video of Oscar’s shooting, shot on a mobile phone by a fellow train passenger, but throughout the film we see Oscar’s text messages pop up on screen. We see every ounce of communication that could be seen; it is all made visual. This kind of true story and it’s background is made all the more diverse, and more real with the inclusion of instant contemporary communication, and the post-911 capture of video evidence that proves witnesses and events more boldly.


What helps this along is the use of handheld camera movements throughout the film that aids the documentary style approach to its cinematography.


Overall, the film is a well told, thoughtful piece. From the way the film is structured and from what we become witness to in Oscar Grant’s life, the film is clearly heartfelt. It’s definitely an emotional piece that targets the heart’s reactions to Oscar’s murder more than anything. Fruitvale Station paints a simple picture of a man, and then shows this picture violently shattered in an instant. By and large, the melodrama succeeds in helping to make a human out of a victim, and in giving both a voice.

Natasha Waugh

15A (See IFCO for details)
84 mins

Fruitvale Station is released on 6th June 2014

Fruitvale Station – Official Website