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This Friday, the Irish documentary Revolutions opens in cinemas. Engaging and accessible, Revolutions offers a look into the rough and tumble world of the unconventional sport of roller derby, as well as a look into the lives of the women who play it. Beginning in 2011, the film follows the players and coaches of Dublin Roller Derby and the Cork City Firebirds, both competing separately and coming together to make up most of the Irish national team that travels to their first roller derby World Cup in Canada, competing against the likes of England and Argentina. Director Laura McGann has been promoting the film – her debut feature after numerous credits on TV shows and documentary shorts – ahead of a special Q&A to launch the film at the IFI on Friday. Film In Dublin spoke to Laura about the allure of roller derby, tension in the teams and the importance of keeping your distance when drinking coffee around athletes racing at high speed on skates.

 

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The summer season may not be delivering much thus far in terms of the big blockbusters, but thankfully as ever, anyone interested in supporting Irish cinema has plenty of options. Today sees the release of Darndale crime movie Cardboard Gangsters, but next week will deliver independent Irish cinema too, in the form of Twice Shy, a romantic drama by director Tom Ryan that has had success on the film festival circuit, including a screening at the Galway Film Fleadh, and a showing at the Irish Film Festival Australia that bagged Ryan an award for Best Young Director. Twice Shy tells the story of two young people falling in love, taking them from the debs in Tipperary to life attending college in the big smoke, interspersed with a car journey with a very important destination for them. Film In Dublin spoke to Tom Ryan about directing the film and the challenges of balancing its love story with more serious topics.

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In Direct Line, Film In Dublin cuts to the chase, asking 20 questions of Ireland’s directors to get a brief look into their outlooks, influences and inspirations.


You may not be familiar with the name Dermot Malone, but chances are you’ve seen some of what the director has done in the last few years. A Dublin-based director of advertisements, in 2014 Dermot founded his own production company Banjoman Films and since then has progressed rapidly, from making free online content, to online advertising, to the short film Runner Up which caught the eye of Lovin Dublin and Joe.ie among others, and lately to ‘No More Nice Car’, the widely seen and discussed Nissan advertisement about bullying, sibling bonds and young girls’ empowerment. And about Micras of course.

 

The likes of Lenny Abrahamson have gone on from making acclaimed adverts to acclaimed feature films, so it will be interesting to watch how Dermot Malone and Banjoman Films continue to develop. In the meantime, Film In Dublin spoke to Dermot to get the Direct Line on the up and coming director.

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Rick O’Shea is a familiar name to anyone regularly tuned into the Irish airwaves. A radio presenter with RTÉ 2FM since 2001, Rick also regularly introduces movie premieres in Dublin and has conducted public interviews at the Dublin International Film Festival for the last few years with the likes of Richard Dreyfus, Danny DeVito, Michael Madsen and Harry Shearer. Film In Dublin caught up with Rick to talk about the changing landscape of Dublin cinemas, the problem with book adaptations on the big screen and more.

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Robert O’Brien has been working in the Audio Visual Industry for over 10 years, a love affair that was sparked by his time working in Dublin’s first IMAX Cinema. Sheridan’s theatre was opened in 1998, in the same location where Cineworld currently stands. The iconic cinema was a testament to Dublin’s vibrant film culture which has been a major feature of the city since Jame’s Joyce first opened the Volta Picture Theatre. But just like the Volta, perhaps Sheridan’s IMAX theatre was ahead of its time.

We spoke to Robert about his experiences with the theatre, as well as his crowdfunding campaign to produce a documentary about the theatre from its conception to its unfortunate closure in 2000.

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You may or may not be familiar with #FilmDis, a discussion about portrayals of disability in the media facilitated by Dominick Evans (and guests) on Twitter. Dominick is an aspiring filmmaker and passionate disability rights activist. We are delighted to share that FilmDis has recently gained non-profit status as a media monitoring organisation. We asked Dominick about the organisation’s plans for the future.

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The Rehearsal follows an exclusive, kind of pretentious, acting school for young adults in New Zealand. This runs parallel to the story of a teenage tennis star who sleeps with her Coach, causing a scandal that ripples through the local community. I Blodet (In the Blood) follows a group of four Danish students, trying to navigate through adult life. Both of these films slot into Male Melodrama, and in both the main protagonists start off as Toxic Men. Do they manage to redeem themselves?

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Considering all that’s going on in the media with identity politics and fragile male egos, I decided it was high time to revisit the Male Melodrama.  In Burnt, Adam Jones (played by Bradley Cooper) is built up as a culinary God. His reputation is the only thing sustaining him and those around him. That’s a hell of a lot of pressure! But if you can’t take the heat…

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2016 was a weird year for cinema goers. With action-packed blockbusters crashing at the box office and long-awaited sequels falling seriously flat with both critics and fans alike, it seemed as if the smaller, more indie and low-key pieces of cinema would finally get the public acknowledgement they deserved. This did, for the most part, come true with critical darlings such as Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Witch, Manchester by the Sea and Hell or High Water becoming commercial hits as well as serious award contenders. Although positive steps have been made, there seemed to be an uncontrollable level of noise in 2016 (whether it be as a result of buzz or critical backlash!), which resulted in other genuinely brilliant movies going unheard. As such, we here at Film In Dublin have decided to fly the flag and lend a voice to those brilliant films that you may have missed in 2016.

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Dublin-based director Natasha Waugh has been steadily creating a collection of short films over the last few years that tackle important topics. Her latest, a self-funded short titled Terminal, is about two women of different ages holding a conversation at the airport, both awaiting their plane to the UK for abortions. Last year, We Face This Land showed how shorts about this topic can capture the attention of the public, and Waugh’s film received validation of its own effectiveness in being nominated for an award at the London Film Critic’s Circle Awards, a notable stop in the awards season that takes place on January 22nd. Waugh spoke to Film In Dublin about the making of her shorts and the lessons she’s picked up in her early years in the directors chair.

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