Meet the Filmmakers

Dingle International Film Festival (Dingle IFF) has always attracted esteemed guests and their acclaimed films from the world of cinema, and 2017 promises to be the most diverse and talented yet. Running right through the festival weekend, audience members will get the opportunity to meet and hear from these acclaimed filmmakers themselves. Special feature films will have introductions and insightful Q&As with the director and/or producers of their film at our festival venues (The Phoenix Cinema and St James’ Church). Many of these filmmakers will also be attending the Dingle Pow-Wow at The Blasket Centre on Saturday 25th March, which is bringing together professional industry leaders from Ireland and abroad to discuss their careers. Supported by Screen Training Ireland, this is an unmissable opportunity for the general audience and aspiring filmmakers to gain advice and knowledge about the industry and the art behind making a film.

We have an incredible line-up of participants coming to the festival to represent their films:


Ben Wheatley, writer and director of Dingle IFF 2017’s opening film, FREE FIRE.

Ben will introduce FREE FIRE at The Phoenix Cinema on Thursday 23rd March. Following the screening, Ben will attend a Q & A session, along with John Maguire, film critic for the Sunday Business Post.

Ben has become one of the most celebrated filmmakers in Europe, with many award winning adverts and six feature films made in the past seven years. From humble beginnings as an online animation creator and short filmmaker, Ben Wheatley’s carefully edited YouTube video, Cunning Stunt, hit over 10 million views and catapulted him into viral fame. In 2006, Ben won a ‘Lion’ award at Cannes advertising festival for his AMBX viral for The Viral Factory.

In May 2009, he directed his first feature film, DOWN TERRACE, in eight days. The film won the ‘Next Wave’ prize at Fantastic Fest in Austin, and ‘Best UK Feature’ at Raindance in London. In 2010, Ben completed his second feature, a horror tour-de-force KILL LIST. Wheatley’s third film was the black comedy SIGHTSEERS (2012), written by its stars, Alice Lowe and Steve Oram (with additional material by Amy Jump), and was chosen for the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. His fourth film, A FIELD IN ENGLAND (2013) was financed through the Film4 talent and ideas hub, Film4.0. Ben also directed the first two episodes (DEEP BREATH and INTO THE DALEK) of Peter Capaldi’s current reign as DOCTOR WHO. This was followed in 2016 by his fifth film HIGH RISE, a stylistic adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel of the same name.

FREE FIRE closed The BFI London Film Festival and won The Audience Choice Award, and Midnight Madness at Toronto International Film Festival 2016.


Stephen Cookson, director of STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY, and Peter Keegan, producer of STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY.

Stephen and Peter will introduce their film and participate in a Q & A following the screening at The Phoenix Cinema on Friday 24th March. The chair of this Q & A is Gerard Stembridge, screenwriter of ORDINARY DECENT CRIMINAL, and THE RANDOMER, which will be screening in St James’ Church on Sunday 26th March. Stephen and Peter will also be attending an Independent Journeys panel at the Dingle Pow-Wow on Saturday 25th March.

Stephen Cookson is an English film director/writer based in London. Some of his most notable feature films have been MY ANGEL (2011), starring Oscar-nominee Brenda Blethyn, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie and Mel Smith—MY ANGEL won ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Director’ at the Monaco International Film Festival. Stephen directed the musical JOURNEY TO THE MOON (2008), the first movie since Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone to feature an entire cast of children playing adults. Cookson also directed THE MUMBO JUMBO (2000) starring Joss Ackland, Brian Blessed and Richard O’Brien. He directed and co-wrote STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY (2016), starring legendary British actor Timothy Spall. Stephen is currently in post-production on Edgar Allan Poe’s TELL TALE HEART starring Steven Berkoff, Henry Goodman and Dudley Sutton. He is also shooting a feature length documentary about film actress Sarah Miles, the star of Ryan’s Daughter.

Peter Keegan has produced many of Stephen Cookson’s films, including JOURNEY TO THE MOON (2008), MY ANGEL (2011), STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY (2016), and the upcoming features TELL TALE HEART and SHAKESPEARE’S HEROES AND VILLAINS.


Cass Warner, director and producer of HOPPER: IN HIS OWN WORDS.

Cass will introduce the Irish premiere of her documentary HOPPER: IN HIS OWN WORDS at St James’ Church on Friday 24th March. She will also participate in a Q & A after the screening with the festival director Maurice Galway.

Cass is a third-generation filmmaker—her writer/producer father, Milton Sperling, was nominated twice for an Oscar; and her grandfather, Harry Warner, was the President and one of the Founders of Warner Bros. studios.

Cass carries on the original Warner Bros. motto by making films that “educate, entertain and enlighten” with her independent production company, Warner Sisters. While raising her four children, Cass authored a definitive, best-selling biography, “The Brothers Warner,” on the Warner family. The award-winning feature documentary, THE BROTHERS WARNER (2007) was directed, written, produced and narrated by Cass.


Eamonn Norris, writer, director, and producer of MAKING IT.

Eamonn will introduce the film at St James’ Church on Sunday 26th March. He will also participate in a Q & A with members of the film crew after the screening. The chair of this Q&A is Brian MacEvilly a screenwriter based in Dingle. His feature scripts ‘INDEPENDENCE PASS’ and ‘THE FULL IRISH’ garnered him the Grand Prize in the 2015 Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. His short script ‘FIRE’ also made the Final 5 out of over 1,000 entries at the 2015 Austin Screenwriters Conference.

Eamonn’s first feature film, MAKING IT, premiered in Ireland in October 2016 as the opening night film of the Kerry Film Festival. Eamonn has written and directed several short films that have featured at festivals around the world. He is also a director on TG4’s Irish language drama Ros na Rún. He won ‘The 50 Hour Film’ competition at the Kerry Film Festival in 2014 for the short film THE DEADLINE. In 2015 he won ‘The Audience Award’ at the Oddalenia short film festival for his short film THE COUNTRYMAN. He was a finalist at the ‘Live Life’ video awards in 2015.

He has worked on Irish TV shows such as THE LATE LATE SHOW (RTÉ), SINGLE HANDED (RTÉ), MATTIE (RTÉ), ÚDAR (TG4), and the award winning NA CLOIGNE (TG4). He has also worked on the CBS TV drama BLUE BLOODS (2010—) in New York City.


Tom Ryan, director of TWICE SHY.

Tom will introduce the film and participate in an after-screening Q & A alongside the film’s producer Fionn Greger at The Phoenix Cinema on Sunday 26th March. This Q & A will be chaired by Mandy Kean, a board member of Dingle IFF and Director of Cinema Europe for Soho House, programming the Group’s members clubs in the UK as well as their two public cinemas, the Electric Cinema Portobello and Electric Cinema Shoreditch.

Tom Ryan began his career in New York on the set of Todd Solondz’s DARK HORSE (2011) at the age of 23. Moving to America after finishing college, Tom became a camera intern under the tutelage of acclaimed cinematographer Andrij Parekh. After working on US indie movies, Tom developed his craft as a camera assistant on shoots in London and Dublin, before writing and directing his first feature film TRAMPOLINE at the age of 25. TRAMPOLINE was made on a budget of less than €1000. Premiering at the IndieCork Film Festival, TRAMPOLINE has since gone on to receive wide acclaim. Tom’s second feature TWICE SHY has recently being completed and is playing the festival circuit. He won the ‘Rising Star award’ at the Irish Screen America festival in Los Angeles in September 2016.

Fionn Greger has worked on many Hollywood productions; he is credited as a production runner on Johnny Depp’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (2007), and Nicolas Cage’s NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (2007). TWICE SHY is the first feature film that Fionn has produced.


David Noel Bourke, director and writer of BAKERMAN.

David will introduce the Irish premiere of his atmospheric thriller BAKERMAN at St James’ Church on Friday 24th March. David will also attend a Q & A after the screening, and will also participate in the Independent Journeys panel at Dingle Pow-Wow on Saturday 25th March. The chair of David’s Q & A is Brian MacEvilly.

An efficient writer, director, and editor, David has made three independent feature films: LAST EXIT (2003), NO RIGHT TURN (2009), and BAKERMAN (2016). These films have been launched around the world from US, Germany, Sweden and Denmark. BAKERMAN was screened at CPH:PIX 2016, the biggest film festival in Denmark.


Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer, director and producer of LATE BLOSSOM BLUES.

Wolfgang will introduce the Irish premiere of LATE BLOSSOM BLUES at The Phoenix cinema on Sunday 26th March. He will also attend a Q & A after the screening with Philip King, an Irish musician and filmmaker who has recorded seven albums, is the maker of the acclaimed music television series OTHER VOICES, and has a regular radio programme, SOUTH WIND BLOWS, on RTE Radio 1.

Late Blossom Blues is Wolfgang’s first movie project. He has 17 years of experience in music, event and multimedia work. Wolfgang has discovered, supported and promoted many award-winning artists in his home country Austria. He is currently working as freelance curator and artistic director of a big open air festival called Linzfest. Wolfgang holds a Master’s degree in Film & TV-Production and in Business Administration and has done minor work as actor, location scout and consultant on local film productions. Wolfgang lives and works in Vienna.


Caoimhe Clancy, co-director of THE RANDOMER, and Aisling O’Halloran, producer of THE RANDOMER.

Caoimhe and Aisling will introduce their film in St James’ Church on Sunday 26th March.

Caoimhe Clancy graduated from Trinity College with a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies. She has directed, performed in and stage-managed many theatre productions, including THE OPEN COUPLE by Dario Fo, and FRANCA RAME in the Samuel Beckett Theatre. Her work in multi-media performance has evolved from theatre into feature film production.

Aisling O’Halloran is from Cork, Ireland. She has an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Structural Engineering, subsequently gaining extensive experience in event management and human resources in the IT sector in Munich, Germany.

Aisling has always been passionate about film and storytelling, and decided to make the leap to film and follow her dreams. In 2014, she returned to Ireland to study Film, TV & Video Production in St. John’s Central College Cork and onto the Masters of Digital Feature Film Production in Filmbase.


Claire Dix, director of WE ARE MOVING.

Claire will introduce her film WE ARE MOVING at St James’ Church on Friday 24th March.

Claire is a Dublin-based filmmaker. She has won awards for many of her narrative and documentary film projects. Most recently, her feature documentary, BROKEN SONG, won the Audience Award, and the Dublin Critic’s Circle ‘ Discovery Award at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in 2013. Other works include the short films FREE CHIPS FOREVER, which won Best Irish Short at Cork Film Festival in 2009, and DOWNPOUR, which was nominated for an IFTA Award for ‘Best Short Film’, and won ‘Best Irish Short’ at the Fastnet Short Festival in Schull, Co. Cork, in 2012.


Mieke Vanmechelen, director, writer, and producer of RATH.

Mieke will introduce her film and participate in a Q & A session after the screening at St James’ Church on Thursday 23rd March. Chairing this Q & A is Brenda Ni Shuilleabhain, director of DO MHARAGADH DÉANTA, which will be showing at our ‘Dingle Women in Film’ screening on Sunday 26th March at St James’ Church.

Mieke is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, BA. (1996) and CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, MA. (2014). With a background in painting, Vanmechelen increasingly works in film. Her works evolve from a combined affinity for the psychoanalytical and a deep sense of connectedness to the cycles of nature, the artist lives and farms on the Beara Peninsula. A sense of place pervades her practice and she draws on the imagery of cultural history and an inherent connection between living beings and the natural world.


Neil Fox, writer and producer of WILDERNESS.

Neil Fox, writer, will introduce his film WILDERNESS, an Irish premiere, at St James’ Church on Saturday 25th March. He will also attend a Q & A alongside Gerard Stembridge after the screening.

Neil has written three short films—CLANDESTINE (2006), IT’S NATURAL TO BE AFRAID (2010), and A PASSING PLACE (2012). WILDERNESS is his first screenplay for a feature film.


Juan Gamero, director, writer and producer of THE KARAMAZOFFS (A walk on the SoHo years), and Carmen Rodríguez, director, writer and producer of THEKARAMAZOFFS (A walk on the SoHo years)

Juan Gamero and Carmen Rodríguez, directors, writers,and producers will introduce their film THE KARAMAZOFFS (A walk on the SoHo years), an Irish premiere, at St James’ Church on Saturday 25th March.

Juan Gamero is a long experienced director working in television and cinema. He is also cameraman, screenwriter, editor and independent producer. He was born in 1952 in Madrid and moved after two weeks to Barcelona, were he studied law and cinema. He participated in the Festivals of Berlin (1982) and Donostia-San Sebastian (1983) with two short films (4Km and Hop!). Director of art documentaries about Plensa, Mariscal, Riera i Aragó; in the early 90s he directed Prisma for TVE (Spanish public TV), a series of 26 documentaries and fiction films selected for the INPUT 1990 (Edmonton), Prix Futura Berlin 1991 and exhibited at the Expo Sevilla’92 and Centre Pompidou (Paris). Some of the Prisma works are Turkana, The Beach, Galápagos, the Darwin’s journey, A-Tila, Barcelona 1800-1900, Is land, Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tourist, Costa Brava or Ireland, stone over time. He participated at the closing ceremony of the Barcelona’92 Olimpics with the film of the Games (RTO, Olympic TV). Director and screenwriter of the documentaries Living the utopia (1997, 94 min., anarchists remembering their revolution during the spanish civil war. Arte-TVE) and “Carme Riera, landscapes for happiness” (2001, 50’, super16mm, TVE). With his company Paradocs he has been producer, director, screenwriter, photographer and editor of documentaries filmed in Bali, Ecuador, Cuba and Mali. Director, co-screenwriter, cinematographer and editor of Searching for the first european (58′, Turkana films. Roma Docscient 2011, best documentary on science and gold medal World Media Festival, Hamburg 2012). In 2011 some of his works were exhibited at the Arts Sta. Mónica Museum in Barcelona. Since 1997 he is member of the EDN (European documentary network). His most recent work is The Karamazoffs (A walk on the SoHo years).
And finally, the prestigious ‘Dingle Women in Film’ event will have a Q & A panel chaired by Majella O’Sullivan, a Kerry-based journalist. The remarkable local directors at this screening and Q & A are:

  • Brenda Ni Shuilleabhain, director of DO MHARAGADH DÉANTA
  • Elaine Kennedy, director of UISCE BEATHA
  • Colleen Grace Herlihy, director of LIFE IS SHORT
  • Áine Ní Chíobháin, director of A TRAGEDY IN KERRY

Dingle IFF 2017 is a fantastic and unique opportunity for the new generation of filmmakers and audience members to seek advice from experienced professionals and to hear them in our special venues to discuss their work. The festival also allows the international film community attending the festival to see and experience Ireland’s most beautiful Gaeltacht areas, and will greatly promote rural Ireland as a filmmaking destination. Our visiting filmmakers are all experts in their craft, and are the best possible means to help stimulate growth and love in the Irish film industry.

The Dingle International Film Festival will run March 23-26, 2017. Housed within this Gaeltacht area, Dingle IFF is proud to promote the Irish language and is the only festival offering an award for Irish Script writing with its Físín event. Dingle is home to many filmmakers, one of Ireland’s only independent cinemas, is a known film location (Star Wars, Ryan’s Daughter, Far and Away) and a major tourist destination making it the perfect home for our festival.

For more information on this year’s line-up, click Here!


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