Saturday 20 January 2018

One million cheers as Glasnevin film wins Boston festival prize

GLASNEVIN Cemetery documentary One Million Dubliners has won the Directors Choice Award this year's Irish Film Festival in Boston.

The documentary about the cemetery and the people who work there won critical acclaim after it aired on RTE last year.

Director Aoife Kelleher revealed her excitement ahead of the film's first international screening on March 20 saying she is "absolutely delighted about it", she told the Herald.

She believes the film will go down well with international viewers.

"There's a big Irish diaspora over in Boston and it's a very Irish story - there's a very Irish tone to it and a very uniquely Irish attitude towards life and death in it," she said.

"There are universal elements to it, such as death, which we all have to face. It's also about how we deal with life so we're hoping it's going to find an international audience."

Glasnevin chronicler Shane MacThomais. Photo: Damien Eagers

Shane MacThomais

The director revealed how the sudden death of Glasnevin historian Shane MacThomais steered the film in a different direction.

"It was a real shock," she said. "We had just began the editing process and had only one day in our budget left and we thought we'd be filming Easter Sunday with Shane, so obviously the ending turned out to be very different to what we were planning."

The documentary has been responsible for a massive increase in visitor numbers. CEO of the Glasnevin Trust George McCullough revealed that, in January alone, visitor numbers were up more than 80pc on the previous year.


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