IFTA Award-winning filmmaker Mac Dara Ó Curraidhín was awarded the Special Jury Award at the Learning on Screen Awards ceremony last week for his documentary ‘A Boatload of Wild Irishmen’.
The feature length documentary is based on the life of American filmmaker Robert Flaherty, who worked extensively on Irish-based documentaries, including ‘Man of Aran’. Flaherty’s debut documentary ‘Nanook of the North’ is widely regarded as the first ever commercially successful feature length documentary.
‘A Boatload of Wild Irishmen’ focuses on both the success stories and controversies surrounding Flaherty, in which it is claimed he showed disregard for many of his film subjects.
The documentary was written by Emmy Award-winning scriptwriter Brian Winston (Heritage: Civilization and the Jews), and was produced and directed by Ó Curraidhín, who previously worked on the IFTA Award-winning Irish-language documentary ‘Rí an Fhocail’. Ros na Rún actor and Aran Island-native Macdara Ó Fátharta narrated the Irish language version.
The documentary was previously nominated for a Focal International Award for best use of archive footage in an arts production. In 2011, New York-based Icarus Films picked it up for North American distribution.
The documentary was a co-production between LM DOC of An Spidéal Galway, Bright Spark Studios and Minerva Productions of Lincoln, UK. It was funded by the BAI, the IFB, TG4, MEDIA Europa, and EM Media (UK).