5 July 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
New Boomtown Rats feature doc from Sideline Announced by BeyondTNC
16 Oct 2019 : Nathan Griffin
New feature doc, Boomtown
‘Boomtown’, the new feature documentary from Billy McGrath’s Sideline Productions has been unveiled as part of the launch of new music banner, BeyondTNC.

The film will see Bob Geldof and his reformed Boomtown Rats reflect on the legacy of one of Ireland’s finest punk bands. Boomtown features exclusive interviews with band members Bob Geldof, Pete Briquette, Garry Roberts and Simon Crowe, as well as insight from international artists including Sting, Bono, Sinead O’Connor, and Dave Stewart.

Boomtown is one of two films on the slate of the newly formed producer-distributor BeyondTNC, which was formed by Beyond Entertainment and TNC Media.

Filmed across Dublin, London, and New York, Boomtown will be launched to international buyers in Cannes alongside BeyondTNC’s other feature doc, Waiting: The Van Duren Story. Billy McGrath directs and produces the project through his company, Sideline Productions.

Speaking with IFTN, director Billy McGrath said:

“I got into the entertainment business because of The Boomtown Rats. After a year as UCD Ents Officer, I organised with Bob The Falling Asunder Rock Revue in 1975 - the 1st ever tour of Ireland with local bands. That’s how we ended up sharing a house. One black phone and tons of ambition.”

“The Rats headlined and, after they went to London later that year, I returned to Limerick and Galway to open up weekly rock venues and that led me into a decade of managing bands, opening comedy clubs and running a PR company. One band The Atrix toured the UK with the Rats in 1981.

“Three years later I was on a 6-month trainee TV producer/director course in RTE. In my first year, I studio directed the RTE side of Live Aid (with Declan Lowney) and my first documentary credits were the Self Aid concert of 1986 (where the Rats played their final show), Bowie in London and U2 at Croke Park. I love music and the characters around it - and I left RTE in 1988 to direct all the location films with international music series Wired (Ch4/CBC Canada & USA Network) and later directed 16 mm films with The Pogues and Clannad with Windmill Lane before I got sucked into execing, commissioning and running a company.”

“The Boomtown Rats film was a labour of love. Compelling stories, great guests and dramatic layers. You couldn't have made it up.”

Boomtown will be introduced to international buyers in Cannes.

Over €4.6m allocated by Creative Europe to Irish screen industry in 2021
Director Gary Lennon discusses Irish documentary Castro's Spies; currently on limited release in IFI
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