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Esras Films win ESB National Media Award
26 Nov 1998 :
Esras Films recently won the ESB National Media Award for "outstanding work in Irish Journalism in the Category TV Features and Documentaries" for its major documentary film in two parts (each of forty minutes duration) exploring the McQuaid papers. The two films were written and presented by broadcaster and historian, John Bowman, who has a particular interest in archive research. 'John Charles McQuaid - What the papers say' is directed by Peter Kelly, produced by Fintan Drury, edited by Dáibhí Doran with camera by Neal Boyle.

No history of twentieth century Ireland could ignore the often controversial significance of John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin from 1940 to 1972. More than any other figure, he represented the tensions between church and state, liberal and conservative, old and new Ireland.

April 1998, marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Archbishop McQuaid. On the occasion of the anniversary, Archbishop Desmond Connell of Dublin decided to relax the notional 30 year rule and open the McQuaid Papers to the public. Esras Films was granted special access to the collection ahead of their release - a preview of the 700 boxes that make up this most extraordinary collection of personal papers, correspondence, reports, memos and documents on a breathtaking array of subjects.

The documentary aimed to provide insights and perspectives on the character and style of this churchman and reveals how McQuaid had views on everything, from the Mother & Child Scheme to priests playing rugby for Ireland. The programme features interviews with people who had either a direct personal connection with McQuaid or particular knowledge of events featured in the papers. Along with the essential biography, the films follow the unfolding chronology of issues in McQuaid's Episcopacy.

Esras Films is a Dublin based company which has produced a number of broadcast and non-broadcast productions. The company employs a full-time staff, which is unusual - very few production companies employ a full-time cameraman for instance. Freelance crew and specialist talent are also engaged for particular projects. Production hardware to the highest industry standards is owned, operated and maintained in house - everything from location camera gear to state-of-the-art digital editing technology. This mode of operations allows a highly flexible approach, and enables Esras to conceive, produce and deliver from a one stop shop on a cost effective basis.

The company is responsible for the 1997 RTÉ series 'Communities Of Faith' and the 1998 socio-economic series 'The Last Resort'. Esras Films also produced the broadcast elements for one of the largest public information campaigns ever undertaken in the history of the state. Within a six week time-frame the Esras team conceived, produced and delivered 19 different public information films and 10 Radio features on behalf of The Referendum Commission for the two referendum campaigns - The Amsterdam Treaty and The Referendum on Northern Ireland.

The same Production team successfully completed a large video project for the Office of Public Works on the restoration of Kilkenny Castle. The project required the production of an hour long documentary for specialist audiences, a historical and general interest television documentary and an Audio Visual presentation for the Castle's visitor centre. Shot over three years, the complete dismantling, reconstruction and refurbishment of the castle was documented and the video reveals a fascinating transformation.

The company has also produced a number of broadcast and non-broadcast productions for other clients including:

  • Drury Communications who commissioned Esras Films to produce a video highlighting the methodologies employed on behalf of a number of high profile clients in a variety of publicity and corporate communications campaigns.

  • A half hour documentary for American TV presented by the actor Martin Sheen.

  • A half hour information video for a national Non-Governmental Organisation.

  • An educational course incorporating a set of five 30 minute videos with an instructional literature pack presented for retail distribution.

  • A twenty minute promotional video for a food produce company produced in multi-lingual versions.

For further information contact:

Mary Brophy,
Esras Films Ltd.,
43 Mount Merrion Ave.,
Co. Dublin.

Tel: +353 1 288 1939
Fax: +353 1 283 6253

Email: esras@iol.ie

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