4 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish-Shot Documentary Wins At London Film Festival
22 Oct 2012 : By Eva Hall
Alex Gibney at the London Film Festival
Irish-shot documentary ‘Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God’ has won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary at the London Film Festival.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, the Irish Film Board-funded project explores the abuse in the Catholic Church with links to Ireland, the US and Italy.

The film received €50,000 from the IFB last April, as well as funding from HBO Documentary Films, which co-produced with Belfast’s Below the Radar production company.

Gibney, who won an Oscar in 2007 for his documentary ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’, filmed ‘Silence in the House of God’ all over Ireland, both north and south, as well as the US.

The documentary followed four men who spoke out about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, subsequently leading Gibney on an investigative journalism trail to the US and the Vatican, where secret documents, involving a number of authoritative priests, were uncovered.

The documentary received its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival in September, and screened at the London Film Festival last week.

For Below the Radar, Trevor Birney and Ruth O’Reilly produced, with Eimhear O’Neill the associate producer. Ross McDonnell was the cinematographer.

Additional Irish-based crew included Colm O’Meara, David Kilpatrick and Kevin McCarthy, who were in charge of audio; location scout Cathy Pearson; production assistant Catherine Madden, and researchers Chris Moore and Michael Pello.

The London Film Festival awards ceremony took place at London’s Banqueting House in Whitehall on Saturday night (October 20). Comedian and ‘The Great British Bake Off’ co-presenter Sue Perkins hosted.

As well as ‘Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God’, also triumphant on the night were Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, who received BFI Fellowships; Jacques Audiard’s ‘Rust and Bone’, which was awarded Best Film; Sally El Hosaini, director of ‘My Brother the Devil’, who received Best British Newcomer, and ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ director Benh Zeitlin’s, who picked up the Sutherland Award.

In total, 14 Irish-attached films screened at the London Film Festival, which ran from October 10 to 21.

Element Pictures will distribute ‘Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God’ in Irish cinemas next spring, while HBO Documentary Films will release it in the US in November.

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