With the outbreak of COVID-19 continuing to take hold of the world and restricting our movements in day-to-day life, it is not yet possible to gauge what its long term impact will be in the film and television sector in Ireland. The impact is unprecedented and is felt right across the industry, from freelance crew to production companies, to festivals, distributors and cinema owners.
As a response to the current situation, Irish production company Blinder Films has today added a range of titles to which it holds the rights to Vimeo on Demand – opening a new revenue stream and allowing people worldwide to buy or rent a selection of their documentaries, dramas and genre films online from the comfort of their own homes.
In a further gesture, Blinder Films is also offering free viewing to those who find their income affected and who can’t afford to pay but would still like to watch one of our titles. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to avail of this offer.
Blinder Films feel it is important to celebrate Irish film and support the incredible work of Irish creatives and crew. Blinder Films is using this time to try and continue to reach audiences with their productions and also want to help amplify the work of other Irish companies and creatives and hear how they can support the industry during this time. If other companies or rights holders are interested in doing likewise drop them a line and they will be happy to help and share your offerings on their social media.
This is a really uncertain time, but one that is also remarkable to behold as communities, countries and the world are coming together to support the incredible work of those on the frontlines. I know for myself, beyond friends, family and colleagues, it’s all forms of art that are getting me through. It’s a joy and privilege to work in the creative sphere and we want to do what we can for others, so that we can bounce back stronger when this pandemic passes. If you have work you want to share, fundraisers to promote or other endeavours like virtual masterclasses, festivals, watch-a-longs or whatever please email or tweet us and we will amplify your voice. We would love the industry to join us in finding innovative ways to stay connected and support each other through this crisisKatie Holly, Managing Director – Blinder Films
Among the titles available are Sinéad O’Shea’s gripping documentary A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot, which garnered widespread acclaim all over the world, with screenings at BFI London Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, CPH:DOX, where it was nominated for the F:ACT award, and Watch Doc Film Festival where it won a jury prize. It was also nominated for awards at film festivals in Hungary, South Korea, and Romania. Over five years, O’Shea filmed this extraordinary unexpectedly humorous portrait of a post-conflict society which begins when a mother takes her teenage son to be shot in both legs. Oscar-nominated director Joshua Oppenheimer is executive producer. 30% of all profits from the sales of the film on Vimeo will go towards Northern Ireland based mental health charity MindWise.
The recent images of deserted city streets globally are particularly reminiscent of Conor Horgan’s One Hundred Mornings (Special Jury Award at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival). Set in a world upended by a complete breakdown of society, two couples hide out in a lakeside cabin hoping to survive the crisis. Compelling in light of recent changes to how we live, sci-fi drama Rapt is set in Dublin, where, in a single instant, everyone has vanished. Paramedic and single mum Ange Smith finds herself alone in an empty world and desperate to find her way home to her baby daughter.
Further titles available include Come on Eileen, Jump (excluding UK and Ireland) and The Queen of Ireland (limited territories), the feature documentary about renowned drag queen and accidental LGBT activist Panti Bliss.
Blinder Films have been behind recent projects Extra Ordinary, starring Maeve Higgins – now available on Netflix UK & Ireland, period comedy Love & Friendship (available on Curzon Home Cinema) and music documentaries Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami and PJ Harvey: A Dog Called Money.
Blinder Films has seen world premieres for two of their upcoming films affected due to the cancellation of SXSW and postponement of the Tribeca Film Festival, as was the US theatrical release of Extra Ordinary, with impact also felt on the production of upcoming projects.
WHERE TO WATCH
Blinder Films – Vimeo On Demand
A MOTHER BRINGS HER SON TO BE SHOT
Sinéad O’Shea, 2018. Worldwide availability
For five years Sinéad O’Shea has filmed this shocking portrait of a post conflict society.
One-night Majella took her teenage son Philly to be shot in both legs. Majella, Philly and his shooters all live within an extraordinary community in Derry, Northern Ireland. The “Troubles” officially ended in 1998 but this community is still at war. They do not accept the government or police. All this happens within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
How do you bring your son to be shot? What happens afterwards? How does family life continue? How does a community respond When do wars really end?
30% of all profits from the sales of the film on Vimeo will go towards Northern Ireland based mental health charity MindWise / Twitter @MindWisenv
THE QUEEN OF IRELAND
Conor Horgan, 2015.
Worldwide availability excluding Ireland, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand
Pandora ‘Panti’ Bliss is many things: part glamorous aunt, part Jessica Rabbit, she’s a wittily incisive performer with charisma to burn who is regarded as one of the best drag queens in the world. Created by Rory O’Neill, Panti is also an accidental activist and in her own words ‘a court jester, whose role is to say the unsayable’.
Over the last few years Rory has become a figurehead for LGBT rights in Ireland and since the recent scandal around ‘Pantigate’, his fight for equality and against homophobia has become recognised across the world.
The Queen of Ireland is a documentary film that follows Rory’s journey from the small Mayo town of Ballinrobe to striding the world stage.
ONE HUNDRED MORNINGS
Conor Horgan, 2009. worldwide availability
Set in a world upended by a complete breakdown of society, two couples hide out in a lakeside cabin hoping to survive the crisis. As resources run low and external threats increase, they forge an uneasy alliance with their self-sufficient hippie neighbour. With no news from the outside world they can’t know how long they must endure living in such close quarters, and with such limited supplies.
Unspoken animosity fills the air, and a suspected affair is driving a wedge between them all. Poorly equipped to cope in a world without technology and saddled with completely conflicting worldviews, everything begins to disintegrate. Finally, each of them faces a critical decision they never thought they’d have to make.
Kieron J. Walsh, 2015. Worldwide availability excluding USA
Rapt is a science-fiction web drama series developed as part of the RTÉ Storyland scheme in conjunction with the Irish Film Board and is produced by Blinder Films.
When everyone in Dublin vanishes in an instant, paramedic Angela Smith is left entirely alone – but when she starts to receive mysterious messages, she soon realises there are darker forces at work.
COME ON EILEEN
Finola Geraghty, 2009. Worldwide availability
Eileen is a mother of two children, who are both about to fly the nest. Summer stretches out in front of the family who, except for Eileen, have plans to go abroad, to a festival, to their dad’s wedding. A new relationship suddenly comes into her life, and briefly she blooms. However, Bill the new boyfriend, a pot smoking ex cricketer has his own problems.
Their fling opens the door to insecurity and paranoia for Eileen, and one day under the guise of celebrating her new “love” she has a drink. Once she starts, she doesn’t stop …
The film treads a constant line between darkness and humour as it moves from its beginning in a sedate suburban cricket club to its conclusion at a music festival.
Kieron J. Walsh, 2012. Worldwide availability excluding Ireland, UK, USA, Australia, Turkey
Jump follows the lives of four twenty-something’s whose lives collide one fateful New Year’s Eve amidst the ancient walls of Derry, Northern Ireland in a night of fast talk, coincidence and intrigue.
Johnny, a small-time crook, and Marie, a dissatisfied shop assistant, are both looking for a fresh start. Greta is on the verge of taking her own life and Pearse has a bounty on his head for asking difficult questions about his missing brother Eddie Kelly. As the clock ticks down to midnight and the night’s events expertly fall into place, JUMP weaves an existential portrait of our character’s lives as their hopes, fears and secrets are revealed.