Friday 18 January 2019

Film about Herald sellers is a headline act at movie festival

Herald street vendors depend on a Bloody Good Headline to drive their sales, a new documentary of that name has found.

Five vendors talk openly about their work in the city's rush-hour as they move among cars and vans selling the latest news.

And one speaks of the importance of having "a bloody good headline" to ensure he sells plenty of papers.

Tom Burke, who directed the film with Paul Quinn, said it's very much a Dublin story .

"People will recognise the locations in Tallaght and in the city centre," he said.

"Nearly everyone seems to have their own favourite Herald seller and they are very much a feature of the city. The Herald is such a massive part of Dublin culture.

"They stand out in their high-viz jackets, but nobody really hears them speak when they're working. There's no English spoken in the film as the five sellers are from Poland, Brazil and Venezuela, so subtitles are used.


"The men wear the news headlines on their chest. Often they don't speak English, so they don't understand the headline - but they know if it's a good headline when sales are good."

The film was made by Areaman Productions with funding from Bord Scannan na hEireann/Irish Film Board as part of the board's Reality Bites short films scheme.

It will be shown at the Irish Film Institute's Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival in Temple Bar at 5pm today.

Produced by Shane Horgan, the film focuses on the tricks of the trade the men use when selling to commuters in the morning and evening six days a week.

"It shows there's a very good relationship between sellers and their regular customers," said Mr Burke.

"The sellers recognise specific cars that appear at the same time each day and they have the newspaper ready for them.

"Speed is very important when handing over the paper and giving change, and sellers have evolved ways of keeping the papers dry on rainy days."


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