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Irish Documentaries At Stranger Than Fiction Festival
10 Sep 2007 :
Eleven Irish films will feature at this weekend’s Stranger Than Fiction documentary film festival, which takes place from Thursday 13th September- Sunday 16th September at the Irish Film Institute, Temple Bar.

The festival, now in its sixth year, opens with Cathal Black’s ‘The Undertaking’, at 8.45pm on Thursday 13th September. The film explores the life of American-based undertaker Thomas Lynch, a talented poet and essayist who spends part of the year in County Clare. The evocative doco looks at life and death through Lynch’s eyes.

Steve Carson’s ‘Get Collins’ examines recently uncovered testimonies from those at the centre of the War of Independence and unveils a network of secret contacts made between British officials and Michael Collins himself. Friday 14th September, 1.00 pm.

Jenny Morris’s ‘Now or Never’, looks at the bitter feud of Eamon de Valera and Winston Churchill over Ireland’s neutrality in World War Two. The doco features interviews with a range of Irish and British historians, including Brian Girvin, Diarmid Ferriter and Martin Gilbert. Friday 14th September, 1.00pm.

Barrie Dowdall’s ‘Exile in Hell’ uses dramatic reconstructions to tell the story of seven convicts who escaped imprisonment in the brutal penal colony of Maquarie Harbour, Tasmania in 1822, resorting to cannibalism in order to survive. Only one man emerged from the wilderness after 49 days – Monaghan native, Alexander Pearce. Dowdall explores Pearce’s character, bringing this dark story to Irish screens for the first time. -Friday 14th September, 1.00 pm. ‘The Catalpa Rescue’ follows the escape plan of almost 400 prisoners, including 63 ‘Fenian’ prisoners, on board British convict ship HMS Hougement in 1868. Their intricate plan, involving conspiracies in three continents, saw them take on the British Navy and still escape. Friday 14th September 2007, 2.05 pm.

‘Mise Sean O’Riordain’ explores the life of this intensely private poet on the 30th anniversary of his death. Poet Louis de Paor explores the wealth of O’Riordain’s poetry, visits the sources of his inspiration, and talks to other key figures to unearth the real story of the man. Friday 14th September, 15.10 pm.

George Morrison’s ‘Dublin Day’ is a celebration of Dublin in all its aspects, the city today and as it was at the turn of the last century. Presenter David Norris takes the audience on the 24-hour journey through James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, using a collection of restored photographs and original footage. Friday 14th September, 3.20pm, followed by Q and A with George Morrison and David Norris.

‘Dublin Day’, produced by Ciaran Scott, was funded by the Arts Council and the IFB Dublin Day. DOP was Stephen O’Reilly with editing by Lawrence Fee and music by Simon O’Reilly. Post production by Yard Media, Dublin.

Nicky Gogan and Paul Rowley’s ‘Mosney’ gives an insight into this former family holiday destination 30 miles north of Dublin, now a holding centre for asylum seekers. Over three years, the filmmakers lived in Mosney putting together this doco that reveals the asylum seeker’s trauma of waiting for government officials to decide their fate, while their hopes, ambitions and mental health ebb away. Friday 14th September, 5pm.

‘Flight of the Earls’, starring Stephen Rea as Earl of Tyrone, Hugh O’Neill, focuses on the flight of Ulster’s political elite from Ireland on 14th September 1607. The film focuses on the reason’s for the flight, the journey across Europe and the exile of Hugh O Neill in Rome. September 14th , 9.00pm.

‘Jack Doyle- A Legend Lost’ follows the tragic demise of Irish heavyweight boxing champion Jack Doyle Blessed with a pure tenor voice and rugged good looks ‘The Gorgeous Gael’ hung around with the Hollywood set, marrying starlet Movita Castaneda before she moved on to wed Marlon Brando. Heavy drinking led to his downfall, and he died a penniless drunk in a London hospital in 1978. The film features dramatic reconstruction, archive footage and contributions from friends and family members. Saturday 15th September, 11.00 am.

Ross Whitaker and Liam Nolan’s debut documentary ‘Saviours’, which recently scooped 2nd prize in the Irish Feature Documentary category at the Galway film Fleadh, follows the lives of three boxers from the inner city Dublin boxing club over a two year period. Produced by Ross Whitaker and Liam Nolan, edited by Bob Caldwell at BCTV, Dublin. September 15th, 12.00 noon.



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