Irish-Spanish short film ‘The Rattle of Benghazi’ is to receive its premiere next Tuesday (April 24) at Dublin’s Instituto Cervantes.
Written and directed by Dublin-based Spaniard Paco Torres (The Magic Of Hope), the short is a co-production between Video Lunch and The Element and will be screened at 6pm.
Set in Benghazi, Libya, in March 2011, it tells the story of a brother and sister playing outside a school and the challenges they face surrounded by gun fired and bombs.
The 10-minute short was shot in Arabic using a Canon 5E over three days last February, and used Dollymount Strand, Clontarf Baths and St Anne’s Park in Clontarf, Dublin, to portray Benghazi.
The multicultural crew and cast included the acting talent of Nouseba Abdurrazag Nami, Ahmed Nafa Bader, Francis Usanga, Bola Ogumdegi and Mohamed Lakeb.
Privately financed, the short was produced was produced by Element’s Chriona O´Sullivan and Torres himself. The project was supported by Dublin City Council and the National Islamic Community in Ireland and will be distributed internationally by the Freak Agency. Mook Vignes was the director of photography while the short was edited by Diarmuid Kelly at The Element. All post-production was carried out by The Element.
Speaking to IFTN Torres said that he hopes to take the short to the Venice Film Festival in August, before bringing it to a host of other international festivals.
He said: “I just decided to do the film last January after returning from a festival in India, where ‘The Magic of Hope’ was screened. It came together very quickly and we just did it. I think it’s a very pretty story. It’s set in war time but it’s really about the innocence of children in the war scenario.
“I think that’s why people have been connected to it, kind of like John Boyne’s ‘The Boy In The Striped Pjammas’. I think those stories are lovely when you try and tell the personal story rather than focus on bombings and that. The film’s only 10 minutes but you get a lot of emotion there.”
Torres also added of the shoot: “It happened very quickly - this international story. It just shows that you can make lovely films in Ireland. It showed me how easy the integration of Irish crew with international crew was and the fact, that we can make films in difficult times. All you need is a good script, good team and to work hard. We shot with Cannon 5D and in only two months, the film is completed and ready to go.”
Seville-born Torres, who first moved to Dublin in 1997, is currently finalizing the script of his next feature film ‘Blue Guitar’, which he is co-writing with Johnny Ferguson (Gangster Number One) for Grand Pictures. It will be produced by Michael Garland (Death of Superhero) and Paul Myler (The Guard) with pre-production tentatively penciled in for late this year.