30 October 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Lomax In Éirinn Picks Up Spirit of the Festival Award at Celtic Media Festival
10 Jun 2019 : Nathan Griffin
Lomax In Éirinn
‘Lomax in Éirinn’, the TG4 commissioned feature film, was announced as the recipient of the ‘Spirit of the Festival’ award at the 2019 Celtic Media Festival.

Winners were selected from a range of programmes and films submitted from six Celtic countries.

Other Irish winners at the festival included: Frank Shouldice’s feel-good documentary ‘The Man Who Wanted to Fly’, produced by Loosehorse Productions; RTÉ’s Fatual Entertainment programme ‘The Rotunda’, produced by Scratch Films; and BBC Northern Ireland’s hit comedy series ‘Soft Border Patrol’, produced by The Comedy Group.

‘Lomax in Éirinn’ features Clannad’s Pól Brennan brings the audience on an emotional journey through stunning locations in the Mississippi delta, as it explores how Lomax’s vocation was forged there as a teenager when he discovered iconic artists whose music later laid the seeds of rock and roll such as Muddy Waters, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Jelly Roll Morton.

Taking advantage of two new inventions in technology (the LP and magnetic tape), he was determined to record and to preserve the folk music of the world before it was smothered by the new corporate and monotone mass-media. His mission brought him to Ireland, leading to the first LP of Irish traditional music in 1955. 20 years later, his recordings inspired the 1970s revival by the likes of Planxty, The Bothy Band and Clannad.

Directed and producer, Declan McGrath, told IFTN:

“It is a great honour to win this award at this festival, especially considering the high quality of entries from all the countries involved, including some brilliant entries from Ireland. It is always good to see a film continue to make an impact. Especially, for me, when it is a film in Irish that is essentially about the importance and value of preserving our cultural traditions, and how those traditions can become even more valuable when we share them and let them grow.”

The documentary features exclusive musical performances from contemporary artists paying homage to the music that Lomax preserved. Steve Earle, Clannad, Slow Moving Clouds, The Tulla Ceilí Band, Mississippi bluesman Sam Mosely and the youngest ever winner of sean-nós competition Corn Uí Riada, Nell Ní Chróinín all make significant contributions throughout. The film’s soundtrack also includes some of the best recordings made by Alan Lomax throughout the world.

‘Lomax in Éirinn’ screened at the IFI and the Galway Film Fleadh last summer before its transmission on TG4. It has since been invited to screenings and festival appearances in New York, Washington, Seattle, Liverpool, Wurzberg (Germany), Alberta and Liverpool.

The film was produced and directed by Declan McGrath (‘Mary McAleese & The Man Who Saved Europe’, ‘A Woman’s Place’, ‘Tír Eoghain: The Unbreakable Bond’). It was shot by Colm Hogan (‘Klondike’, ‘Murdúir Mhám Trasna’), edited by Dermot Diskin (‘Love/Hate’, ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘Sacred Scripture’) with sound by John Brennan (‘Song of Granite’). It was written by Felim Mac Dermott and graded by Eugene McCrystal at Outer Limits.

‘Lomax in Éirinn' was made by Aisling Productions for TG4 with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Irish Language Broadcast Fund of Northern Ireland Screen.

Director Peter Mackie Burns discusses Rialto
Director Ciara Hyland discusses Cogadh ar Mhná
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