Best of Irish Film 2014

 

2014 was a strong year for Irish films released in the cinemas. Alongside a number of successful mainstream releases were some excellent independent features and documentaries. Our Top 5 of the year looks a little something like this:

 

Frank

images

“…sharply-scripted, beautifully-shot…”

Read Ruairí Moore’s review here

 

Out of Here

outofhere6203

“Foreman’s direction is exceptional…”

Read Anthony Assad‘s review here

 

Love Eternal

image

“…its ingenuity and freshness is something [to] be applauded…”

Read Stephen Totterdell’s review here

 

Calvary

calvary-brendan-gleeson-kelly-reilly-02-636-380

“Gleeson’s most compelling performance yet…”

Read Ruairí Moore’s review here

 

Jimmy’s Hall

1400768613560_0560x0254_1400848202580

“…excellent pacing and rich cinematography…”

Read Stephen Totterdell’s review here

Share

Out of Here

A001_C005_0910SK.00013784

 

DIR/WRI: Donal Foreman  PRO: Emmet Fleming DOP: Piers McGrail  ED: Donal Foreman  DES: Erin Hermosa CAST: Daniel Bergin, Kelly Byrne, Jack Dean-Shepher

Twenty-something Clontarf native Ciaran (Fionn Walton) is an art school dropout back to square one in dreary old Dublin after aimlessly bouncing around the globe for the past year. He’s a few hours early and there’s no welcoming party; mom, dad and baby sister oddly contrary, even the family dog is more concerned with getting his forty winks. Jet lag sets in, his bed is sought out and in the few hours of slumber all he’d left behind catches up and haunts him in Donal Foreman’s feature debut, an angst-ridden odyssey of youth and yearning.

All themes and tropes are present and accounted for… Ciaran’s dissatisfied and disillusioned, he’s at a crossroads but every direction feels a dead-end, catching up with friends and family is a chore and he’s even got a beautiful and talented ex he’s (of course) still desperately carrying a candle for. If it all sounds a little too familiar it was probably intended too; what’ll knock you for six, however, is the focused and yet directionless manner in which it unfolds, at a brisk 80 minutes I might add. The devil’s in the details and they’re beautifully rendered – at one point Ciaran slinks into town and stares at a statue of William Smith O’Brien, there’s the obvious and the not so obvious, the latter an image of a man rooted to the ground, standing tall and resolute, his achievements written in stone while Ciaran’s treading water, just trying to keep afloat in treacherous tides. It’s directionless in that we go with the flow, from one vignette to another as we watch Ciaran “take stock and consider options”, some of them more successful than others.

Case in point… we dive right in, curtains rise and Ciaran’s back and catching up with a friend at a house party, its certainly preferable over some conventional scenic shots of Terminal 2 but a duologue including ‘sandpaper assisted anal fisting’ doesn’t make for the best of first impressions. Next stop… we’re in a club and Ciaran’s on the prowl desperately seeking distraction and finds it in Melissa (a brief but memorable-as-always Aoife Duffin). They spend the night together but then the morning after comes around and she’s asking what he’s got planned for the day, Ciaran hasn’t a clue and double takes under her couch cushions for his belongings, having to go but with nowhere to go. It’s glorious little tragi-comic moments like this that colour the drama. What follows is again hit or miss but when it’s good it’s pretty great. After seeking advice from Eckhart Tolle of all people (on Facebook of all formats) it’s a not-so-merry-go-around across the country’s favourite leisure spots… the cinema, the pub, the club and Facebook again to stalk that elusive ex. The macho-fuelled levity of his friends wears worryingly thin and a cringe inducing catch-up with ex-girlfriend Jess (Annabell Rickerby) only reveals she’s sour over his up and leaving and lack of contact.

It’s all very grim but dotted around the drama and stitching the scenes together are some really gorgeous cutaways (courtesy of DOP Piers McGrail) perhaps hinting at the silver linings to come, in any case Dublin’s never looked so good. When Ciaran wakes up to one of his spaced-out friends looming over him seeking a bike ride buddy only to bring him to a secluded spot (away and yet in view of things) for a seaside muse, we realise what it’s all been about by the halfway point.

Everyone’s desperately carrying their heart on their sleeve, all of them an open book (even strangers, drunks and the homeless… oh my) – only the stories all sound the same in a city of lost souls. Just before the conveyor belt of colourful characters reaches full tilt Ciaran’s accosted by some beatnik-like night prowlers and we think… god this could be it, Ciaran’s going to lose it and he does, in a major beat ‘performing’ as one of the film’s many highlights. Gone is the loud and obnoxious façade, the shield we parade in times of weakness exposing here a slam-poetry inspired confession detailing why Ciaran feels in purgatory since coming home.

It’s a bold departure tonally from what’s come before, so much so that even the most seasoned cynic would be hard-pressed not to be won over so late in the game. Remarkably, the scenes that follow only get better, such as when Ciaran makes one last attempt to woo back Jess as she sits suspended in the air by a swing, big kids in a playground after hours, or when discussing the important things in life with one-night stand alumna Melissa, such as why seagulls are so damn big. You might be peeved that after floating about for hour the film fails to land upon a clear-cut climax but the filmmakers aren’t concerned with a ribbon-tied resolution and neither should you.

The cast of bright young things are a joy to watch and Foreman’s direction is exceptional, handling a story about disaffection with meticulous affection, so if you’re young or you’ve ever been young make it your mission to leave your doubts at the door (or upon the shore) and dive in, you won’t be disappointed.

Anthony Assad

 

15A (See IFCO for details)

79 minutes

Out of Here is released 29th October 2014

Out of Here – Official Website

Share

Interview: Donal Foreman, writer and director of ‘Out of Here’

donal2.jpeg

 

Tony Tracy sat down with Donal Foreman to discuss his debut feature Out of Here, which screens at the 2014 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

 

Donal Foreman’s debut feature Out of Here opens on twenty-something Ciaran (Fionn Walton) returning home to Dublin from travels in Asia and follows his experiences over the subsequent days and nights of reconnecting with people and places once familiar. Displaying elements familiar from American ‘mumblecore’ cinema, it shares a kinship with films such as Tiny Furniture, Uncle Kent and Francis Ha (among others) in its sense of liminality – its  POV controlled by a central character at a threshold moment in his life and a loose-limbed, largely plotless narrative of mood and situation. In addition to such comparisons, the film is also an entirely consistant development of stylistic/formal and thematic concerns evident in Foreman’s earlier short films and exhibits filmic properties espoused in his considerable and intelligent written reflections on cinema (see donalforeman.com).

Out of Here marks a considerable contribution to contemporary Irish cinema on a number of levels. Its rejection of traditional narrative practices (particularly ill-fitting genres), its cosmopolitan tone, its sensitive and fresh portrayal of masculinity and relationships, and its use of locations that ‘re-map’ cinematic Dublin, all contribute to a film less defined by a sense of national identity than a sense of place.  Nevertheless, while it avoids being explicitly ‘Irish’ cinema in any narrow or prescriptive sense of that term (beyond its setting), the film’s tentative, only half recognised sense of home seems both specific to the wandering, cosmopolitan Ciaran (a post-modern Stephen Dedalus) and a tonally apt encapsulation of the dazed and confused national condition as we emerge from a decade of awe, then shock.

In the year that the IFB celebrated it 20th anniversary, the conditions of the film’s production – crowd-funded (without development but with some completion funding from IFB), shot on the RED EPIC with a tiny crew but great skill and edited in New York (where Foreman now lives) – also sets it apart from earlier practices deemed essential to the development of a national cinema, while linking it to micro-budget digital narratives from a new generation of feature writer-directors such as Rebecca Daly, Ivan Kavanagh and Mark O’Connor among others. Regardless of its status as a debut feature, Out of Here feels remarkably assured and engaging, suggesting that Donal Foreman will be a film maker to watch in the years ahead.

 

How far back does your ambition to make films go?

 

I started when I was 11. It was a very intuitive kind of thing where one of my friend’s Dad had a video camera and we were playing around with it, making little movies and we just got obsessed with that. So it started as a social activity and after a while we found our roles within that. I became the cameraman and I suppose parallel to that I was starting to watch more films and get interested in them. So at 13 we put a film into the Fresh Film Festival (www.freshfilmfestival.net) and that really ignited our focus to keep going. At 15 I figured out how to edit the films with a VHS recorder instead of just stopping and starting the camera. So that just kept going forward technically.

 

I guess I also had a curious mind about film history and one thing would lead to another. Tarantino was probably the first one who made me think of individual shots and the director’s vision. Then I heard he was influenced by Scorsese, who was in turn influenced by Cassavetes. So I think I was around 15 or 16 when I started reading more film history and criticism like Ray Carney (editor of Cassavetes on Cassavetes), who introduced to me the idea that film could be a way of challenging yourself, exploring the world and figuring out things you didn’t understand. From then on I had a real urge to try and do something more serious that would actually reflect the world around me and my friends.

 

In my early teens, I also got really into writing scripts, initially just because I liked how they looked! I wrote about four ridiculously surreal feature scripts, and then in my mid-teens I started getting into more personal scripts, where the main character would usually be me while all the other characters would be these one-dimension ciphers. It was later on, working with actors, that I learned to put myself in the shoes of each character, no matter who they are. It becomes a necessity because you need to talk to each actor in terms of their character’s point of view. I still think I need to put some part of myself in each character, but it’s actually a lot of fun when there’s differences too, and you’re forced to step outside yourself a bit.

 

Those short films – and now Out of Here ­- tended to leave out a lot of exposition and make the viewer work with the film.

 

I had a sense early on that what I preferred in films were the gaps where things were left to the imagination – like Kiarostami’s idea of an ‘unfinished’ cinema. I try to follow those principles. I’m more interested in images and moments than storytelling per se, so I had no interest in having a moment of exposition which would disrupt the form. I had more of these dilemmas making a feature film. Say someone gets a text message and you cut to a close-up of the text message so that the audience can read it. There’s no real aesthetic value in that. It’s just this ugly totally functional shot there to give you information – I felt more committed to the image… I was like I don’t care if you need to read that text message, I’m never going to put it in!

 

I like the fact that his family aren’t at the airport to meet him when he returns.

 

That’s an example of where the image comes before the narrative. I wanted the scene of him alone at the airport, and getting the bus into town by himself. I didn’t want the sentiment of the homecoming greeting. Once I had the image, I started figuring out how to make it work for the characters and the narrative.

 

I know the screenplay was in development for quite some time. How did you finally get it to production? Did you apply to the Irish Film Board?

 

I never actually applied to the Film Board because I never wanted to do script development with it. I was in an international script workshop called ENGAGE with it shortly after I graduated. It was for writers, directors and producers graduating from Screen Academy Scotland, the National Film School at IADT and the Baltic Film & Media School in Estonia. You’re taken to workshops in each country, and you go in with a project and they try and team you up, and prep you for assembling co-productions. I went in with this project Out of Here and half way through I swapped it and pitched a sci-fi kids escape movie instead, which I felt would be more productive in that context. I felt my project wasn’t going to be helped by pushing it in that forum because there wasn’t much room for co-production unless I filmed his travels or brought in a bunch of foreign characters just for the sake of it. Also a lot of the notes I was getting on it were ‘you need more plot’, ‘the character needs to do this’ – pushing for a stronger narrative structure to the whole thing. That there should be a deadline and a clear tension like ‘is he going to get on that flight to get out of the country…’. I wasn’t interested in fighting those interpretations so I didn’t pursue it.

 

I felt the only way I would do it with the Film Board was if they would not go through the years of script development, which I have seen hurt a lot of projects and filmmakers. I didn’t think I had a chance at bypassing that process without a big company backing me, and I wasn’t having any luck on that front. I was also thinking that if one of my shorts got into one of the bigger festivals that would give me a legitimacy to move it forward. But that didn’t really happen. After pitching it to a few established companies, I tried to find a producer but it was tough because there were no strong independent producers looking for first time writer-directors without a track record. At one point I was thinking I would even try and produce it myself, but that would have been an insanely bad idea because it was already a difficult story for a micro-budget. Eventually I came across Emmet Fleming, who already had some experience with this kind of budget and totally got what I was trying to do.

 

How did you raise the budget?

 

Emmet had the idea to do a crowd-funding campaign based on this investment model that he had seen a Belfast company, Manifesto Films, use earlier that year. We had the option to donate and get a gift in return, as you would with Kickstarter, but we also had a second option where for €150 you’d get a share in the future profits of the film, and that’s where most of the money came from. I put in some cash as well but most of it was from people buying shares. The investment model works well I think because there is a greater sense of ownership for investors and a greater impetus to help the project to succeed.

 

So was the script pretty much there at this stage?

 

Not completely. We started fundraising with a detailed treatment and began casting and then we did two weeks of rehearsals. I wrote dialogue in rehearsals. I would give the actors the premise of the scene and see where it went. So we would workshop like that and then I would write the scenes in the evening. Then we would rehearse the written version and see how that worked. So by the end of rehearsals we had the full script.

 

So you began with a scene by scene treatment?

 

Yes. I had a detailed 30-page treatment which described most things in detail except for the dialogue. I also had older drafts of a full script to draw on, as I had been developing the project over a five year period.

 

What was the starting point of the story?

 

From the very start it was the idea of this guy’s return to Dublin after a time away. The thing that excited me most initially was the shift in his perception of the city on his coming back, that it would be so familiar to him and have all this history, but him stepping away and then coming back would create this sense of estrangement. Like if you walk the same way to work everyday you stop seeing the details around you, but if you were to go away for a year and then come back, all of a sudden it’s a new street.

 

By the time it was in pre-production I had already lived in New York for a year and so I was perfectly poised for it. That first month back after New York, I was finding new ideas for the film everywhere and everyday.

 

Lets talk about casting. How did you find your actors?

 

I had a few people in mind already. I had a whole database of actors in my head of who I would like to work with. If an Irish actor has a showreel online I have seen it at this stage. Part of it was how the characters were going to interact together, but mainly it was the traditional way of seeking out actors from what we had seen them in. Then there were people I knew in Dublin who had never done any acting but who were just characters who I know would be really interesting within a certain scenario. And I tried to collect people from the different worlds in the film like some people from art school and so on.

 

And what about the central character – played by Fionn Walton?

 

Fionn came out of the Actor’s Studio in The Factory. So much of the casting came together quite easily but the lead was the hardest thing by far because he carries the whole film. I wanted someone with a certain kind of charisma who would be compelling to watch. It had to be someone who you would just want to watch even if they weren’t doing much anyway, that they would hold the screen but without being a “pretty boy” or a macho actor. I wanted someone who was still a little bit awkward and boyish. So just finding that balance was tough.

 

What was your experience of the shoot?

 

The shoot was by far the most challenging thing I have ever done, most of all because of the time pressures. It’s not obvious, in the middle of things, what you sohuld compromise on and leave out or what you’re going to regret later. We had 20 days to shoot something that had way more characters, crowd scenes and location changes than is ever advisable for a micro-budget project. We didn’t have a lot of money to throw around so we were often at the mercy of other people’s commitments. As a result, we shot ridiculously out of order in terms of continuity, mainly because of location availability and actors’ schedules. Aoife Duffin, for example, was shooting the second season of Chris O’Dowd’s Moone Boy throughout our production, and was only available on weekends. It was really not ideal for the story, but I think we managed to pull it off, and having rehearsals definitely helped.

 

Was it an obvious choice to shoot on the RED EPIC camera?

 

Yes – that’s the camera my cameraman Piers McGrail owns. He’s shot all my fiction shorts since film school and I knew I wanted to work with him. But the EPIC didn’t make life easy. Sometimes it might take two hours to light and I’d get 10 minutes to do the scene because the EPIC requires more lighting, more equipment and expense in general than the RED. There is so much lighting in the film – apart from the exterior daytime stuff, everything in the film is lit. And it is very exact, so while the film looks fairly natural it is actually quite contrived.

 

Given that stylistic commitment to naturalism, how did you manage sound?

 

For the most complex scenes, we used 2 boom mikes and 4 radio mikes: I wanted these people to be free to interrupt and talk over each other. And we deliberately have no score but there’s quite a bit of diegetic music from local bands at various points. Some people find the lack of a score a bit difficult but there’s a whole visual arc to the film that goes from a cluttered, claustraphobic feeling to a more open, lighter sense and I wanted to reflect that in the sound design imposing it through musical cues.

 

Lets talk about the edit and arriving at your final cut

 

I edited by myself in New York over about six months. The main challenge was that there was a lot of material—30 hours in total. The first assembly was 3 hours and the first watchable cut was 110. I thought I’d never get it down to 80 mins. But the first time I did a test screening (to a group I’m part of in New York, the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective) I cut 20 minutes out the next day. I hadsuch a better understanding of the pacing of it, just from watching it in a room with other people. I could feel people just waiting for the end at a few different points—even I was.

 

The film’s use of location is striking – you manage to add to the cinematic city of recent Dublin-set films like Adam and Paul, Kisses, Once and What Richard Did.

 

I always saw this character and his return as vehicle for exploring the city and explore the different aspects of it. I was asking myself, if you were in Dublin in your early 20s, what possibilities are open to you? What social spaces, domestic spaces, and how do you express yourself in different spaces like the pub, or at dinner with your family or wandering around by yourself. So I was thinking about locations that would help explore those different facets. I also had a bit of a thing about how the city has been represented cinematically – that there has been generally been a failure of representation – with the Dublin often functioning as a backdrop rather than a character. Obviously there are exceptions to this but I wanted to be attentive to the spaces of the city and so I very deliberately mapped the action to reflect that.

 

www.outofherefilm.com

Tony Tracy lectures in film at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway.

www.filmschool.ie

 

Out of Here screens on Saturday, 22nd February 2014 at 8:30PM in the Light House.

Click here for further coverage of the 12th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Share

JDIFF 2014: Irish Film Preview – Out of Here

 

1373-Screen_shot_2013-10-29_at_16.15.46_large

Out of Here

Saturday, 22nd February 2014

8:30PM @ Light House

 

Ciaran is a passionate yet restless college dropout who has returned home to recession-struck Dublin after a year of travelling.

Broke and living with his parents, struggling to re-connect with the ex-girlfriend that he left behind and the friends and social scene that have moved on without him, Ciaran questions whether he should stay or go – and comes to realize the difference between being stuck and being present.

Out of Here is a contemporary coming of age story shedding Dublin and its youth culture in a light not previously seen or explored.

Director Donal Foreman told Film Ireland that, “I’m very pleased to have Out of Here play at my hometown festival, especially as the landscapes and communities of Dublin play such a fundamental role in the movie. Since I was a teenager I’ve been frustrated at the dearth of films exploring the Dublin experienced by myself and others of my generation. I’m glad that my own attempt to fill that gap has found a home at a festival with a strong commitment to arthouse film and such an engaged local audience. (Also hoping they’ll move it to a bigger screen or schedule a second screening so that more people can see it, as I hear it’s already sold out!)”

Tickets are available to book from Filmbase or online here

Director: Donal Foreman

Cast: Fionn Walton, Aoife Duffin, Annabell Rickerby

Duration: 80 minutes

Guest Attending: Donal Foreman

 

Check out the rest of our previews of Irish films screening at this year’s festival.

 

The 12th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival runs 13 – 23 February 2014.

Share

Report: Galway Film Fleadh 2013

galway

 

Matt Miccuci looks back over his 7 days following Irish film in the sweltering heat of Galway for the Fleadh’s 25th anniversary.

“We borrowed the weather from Cannes,” was this year’s joke at the Fleadh.

Indeed, this could easily be remembered as the ‘hottest’  edition of the festival on account of the weather alone. It was hot, very hot, and the unventilated Town Hall Theatre often felt like one big oven. Yet, the programme was too stimulating to give into the call of the beach and strange urges to build a sand castle.

Of course, the people who decided to spend the hottest days Galway has possibly ever seen locked in a theatre were widely rewarded. Just like every year since its birth twenty-five years ago, the festival showcased some of the best home-grown productions today which in turn represented the good health and ambition of Irish cinema.

Things kicked off to a crowd pleasing start with Roger Gual’s Tasting Menu, a very charming comedy of errors telling the story of intertwining lives at the closing night of a Catalonian restaurant, regarded as the best restaurant in the world. Its theatrical approach aided by a good pace and great timing recalled the works of great names from Robert Altman to none other than William Shakespeare! Just as impressively, it closed with the introverted and reflective drama The Sea, in which director Stephen Brown skilfully made the task of turning the famous John Banville novel based on memory and regret look easy in a compact production complete with refined visual touches and compellingly withdrawn performances by Ciarán Hinds and Charlotte Rampling.

There were many different stories told and a wide assortment of styles and genres presented, but the recession inevitably came out as the prevailing theme. Two films in particular, though very different, represented it directly.

Lance Daly’s Life’s a Breeze, billed as a feelgood recession comedy, saw the return of the working class comedy à la Ealing Studios of Passport to Pimlico. This film is quite entertaining and commercially appealing – this is also the reason why it will probably be among the most successful films shown at the Fleadh during its domestic cinema run.

Alternatively, Out of Here used a much more direct and though-provoking approach to capture the essence of the everyday urban monotony and frustration of the life of a young Dubliner. Donal Foreman’s film is nothing short of praiseworthy for its passive anger and realist approach, as well as a visual style that is beautiful in its simplicity. Foreman also represented the kind of independent filmmaking that Irish cinema should thrive on for the way in which he brought Out of Here together through crowd-funding but also through determination, passion and a will to go out there and really make it happen.

The influence of the recession in the new Irish films could also be seen by the vulnerability of a lot of the lead characters, particularly the male characters. In fact, many aspects of masculinity were revealed in original ways. An excellent example is found in Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy’s hypnotic modern noir Mister John with its wonderfully unconventional character study of a man – played by Aiden Gillen in what is hands down one of this year’s most enchanting and haunting performances – whose troubled family life and misery lead him to re-invent himself as his dead brother’s alter ego in Singapore. The film is driven by a unique brand of mystery, with a hypnotic flow and stunning 35mm photography that enrich the experience and take full advantage of the naturally sinister beauty of a humid Singapore.

Similarly, in the documentary Coming Home, Viko Nikci captures the life of Angel Cordero, a man incarcerated for thirteen years for a crime he did not commit and chooses to examine the man rather than the case by focusing on his struggles as he reconnects with the outside world and his estranged daughter. Nikci’s use of narrative filmmaking photography and Angel’s own genuine magnetism as well as a desire to open up to the camera eye made this film very popular and without a doubt the most touching film of this year’s Fleadh. Indeed Nikci’s film was justly rewarded at Galway, picking up the Best Irish Documentary prize at Sunday’s award ceremony.

One could even read a specific viewpoint on masculine stubbornness and how it threatened to end the world in the gripping documentary, Here Was Cuba by John Murray and Emer Reynolds. Muldowney’s beautifully bizarre Love Eternal, on the other hand, is about a necrophiliac – in fact it may well be the sweetest film that could possibly ever be made about necrophilia.

The horror genre was well represented with Rossella de Ventuo’s Irish Italian production House of Shadows, a film which carries many new ideas and a genuine dramatic depth – both things lacking in the vast majority of today’s horror films – as well as an absorbing performance by Fiona Glascott.

My greatest personal regret is that I didn’t get to see the best Irish feature prize by Academy Award nominee Steph Green Run & Jump, though the positive feedback it received will have me rushing to the cinema as soon as it hits the screens. I also regret missing films like Discoverdale and Hill Street. Yet, in the end it didn’t matter that much, as I felt highly rewarded for the time I dedicated to following this year’s festival and highly rewarded by the quality of the many premieres I attended. So, I think it’s fair to congratulate everyone involved on the organising team who was responsible for yet another exciting Fleadh. But maybe let’s get some air conditioning for the Town Hall Theatre for next year, yeah?

Share

Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh preview: Out of Here

out of here

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

Out of Here

Saturday, 13th July

Town Hall Theatre

19.00

This Saturday the 25th Galway Film Fleadh will host the world premiere of Dublin-born filmmaker Donal Foreman’s debut feature, Out of Here. Producer Emmet Fleming and Stalker Films independently raised the money to complete this coming of age story about a young man returning home from travelling to a recession-hit Dublin.

Emmet Fleming told Film Ireland, ‘I’m hugely excited to be premiering Out of Here in Galway, as it’s a festival I’ve always loved attending. We’ve got a great slot in the Town Hall and we’re delighted with the reaction the film’s received so far’.

Donal Foreman talked to us about the influence the Fleadh had on him as a young filmmaker. ‘It means a lot to me to premiere at the Fleadh, especially because it was the first “grown up” film festival that accepted one of my short films when I was 17. I also discovered a lot of great international cinema at the Fleadh as a teenager (Abbas Kiarostami and Alexander Sokurov, for example), and got to rub shoulders (and argue with) pioneers of Irish film like Bob Quinn and Joe Comerford in the Rowing Club, which really left a lasting impression. Considering the Fleadh was really a formative part of my development as a filmmaker, it seems fitting to be back here premiering my first feature’.

Out of Here, which was shot on location around Dublin, stars Fionn Walton (What Richard Did) as Ciaran, a passionate college dropout returning home to contemporary Dublin. Having to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend, his parents and a social scene he left behind, Ciaran questions whether he should stay or go – and comes to realise the difference between being stuck and being present. Out of Here explores the dilemas facing young people in a culture still recovering from the economic crash, and will likely strike a chord with Irish audiences at home and abroad.

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

Share