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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.

Ross McDonnell is both a photographer and filmmaker, with credits in photography, cinematography and directing on several documentary films. Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1979. As a photographer, his work has been published in The New York Times, Art in America, The Observer, The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Fader magazine and more. A twp-time nominee for Irish Film and Television Awards, his films have screened at festivals around the world, including last year’s Elián, an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival. A frequent collaborator with Alex Gibney, McDonnell worked on the director’s most recent film, No Stone Unturned – a documentary about a flare up of the violence of the Troubles in Co. Down in 1994, released last November.


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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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Director: Terry George Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, Christian Bale Running Time: 134 minutes

Between 1915 and 1923, the Ottoman government systematically murdered 1.5 million Armenians, massacring men and/or working them to death in forced labour while deporting women, children and the elderly into death marches through the desert. It was a genocide that to this day, the Turkish state has refused to acknowledge. As one of the bleakest acts in relatively recent human history, the Armenian Genocide is undoubtedly worthy of being told to a wide audience, which makes The Promise all the more frustrating. Despite having a relatively high budget, talented and well-known actors and someone with a good track record in historical drama behind the camera in Terry George (the Irish director having directed Hotel Rwanda in addition to writing films like The Boxer and In The Name of the Father), The Promise is hampered in its depiction of history because of its choice to set that history as the backdrop to a romance that is not especially interesting.

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