Short Film Showcase: 1916 Shorts At Fingal Film Festival

As the centenary year of the 1916 Easter Rising enters its final quarter, it was marked at the Fingal Film Festival with a special 1916 screening. A showing of The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Ken Loach’s film about the tumultuous years in Ireland that followed the Rising, was preceded by a trio of short films set during that fateful week in Irish history. In a year that’s seen the most famous names from the Rising plastered all over the city, it’s refreshing that all of these shorts focus on more unsung participants. As part of our coverage of the Festival, Film In Dublin takes a closer look at these shorts.

Summon Her Children


Director Wesley O’Duinn tells the story of the Laois Volunteers and their less heralded contribution to the Rising. As British soldiers began responding to events in Dublin, the Fleming brothers Eamon and Paddy, the Muldowneys and the Bradys, along with Paddy Ramsbottom, Michael Gray, Colm Holohan and others set out to destroy the railway line at Colt Wood near Portlaoise to prevent British reinforcements travelling to Dublin in response to the Rising. O’Duinn capably puts us into the period with visuals that would not look out of place on RTÉ television and performances that sell the gravitas of the situation in these men eyes. Unfortunately, poor sound design does its work to take us back out of it again. Stock sound effects and occasionally hard to hear actors mar what is otherwise an effective short.

A Soldier’s Rising

Image result

A Soldier’s Rising is directed by Mick Rochford, featuring still images (art be Dee O’Shea) narrated over by Joe Duffy to tell a tragic story from the other side of the fighting on 1916. While former comrades of soldier Thomas joined the Volunteers, he remained in the British army and he leaves his wife and two young sons for Sackville Street to take it back from those he once fought alongside. Yet one of those he ends up shooting turns out to be one of his own sons, and poor Thomas doesn’t last much longer himself after this realisation. The subject of children dying during the Rising is one close to Duffy’s heart, (his book Children of the Rising is devoted to them) and his narration, combined by a listing of the children’s names following the short, is suitably poignant.


Writer and directtor Maureen O’Connell ensures Proclaim! adds some levity to the sombre (if merited) dedications to the past. The short tells the true story of three Dublin printers tasked by James Connolly himself with printing the now iconic image of Ireland’s first proclamation, having to do so in secret, overnight. With the clock ticking and a shortage of resources (the ‘c’ in ‘Republic is a smeared ‘o’), the men scramble across Dublin to get the job done, aided by two women shopkeepers, an English printer and anyone else willing to lend a hand. The film has enough energy and fun to it to balance out the slightly preachy reading of the proclamation to close things out. O’Connell’s confident direction helps to make Proclaim! the strongest of the three shorts.

Luke Dunne
About me

Luke is a writer, film addict and Dublin native who loves how much there is for film fans in his home county. A former writer for FilmFixx and the Freakin' Awesome Network, he founded Film In Dublin to pursue his dual dreams of writing about film and never sleeping ever again.


iffy short film festival
The iffy Short Film Festival returns this July
June 24, 2019
IFI Family Film Festival 2019
Take your kids around the world within a cinema screen at IFI Famlily Film Festival 2019
June 19, 2019
CIIFF China Ireland International Film Festival
The China Ireland International Film Festival brings the best of China to Irish shores and screens
June 10, 2019
Moe Dunford
Southern California Film Festival to Honour Irish Actor Moe Dunford with Breakthrough Artist Award
April 03, 2019
Dublin Smartphone Film Festival 2020
Submissions open now for Dublin Smartphone Film Festival 2020
March 12, 2019
Catcalls, screening International Women's Day 2019 at the Irish Film Institute
Women in Film & TV showcased for International Women’s Day at the IFI
March 04, 2019
The Hole in the Ground review
The Hole in the Ground digs deep in the mind and strikes terror in the heart
March 01, 2019
The New Music Table Quiz
March Table Quiz aims to secure release of The New Music
February 21, 2019
Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2019
Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2019: 5 things to watch out for
February 20, 2019


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *