“It changed the whole thing. After that we could make films about ourselves. It destroyed all the perceptions of Hollywood that we were making ‘oirish fillums’. And it brought an enormous amount of work as other companies came and made films.” — producer Noel Pearson, on My Left Foot
A six-time Academy Award nominee and winner of the Golden Bear, Jim Sheridan is an undisputed heavyweight of Irish and world cinema. Born in Dublin in 1949, he began his career directing and writing plays for the stage. In 1982 he left Ireland, initially for Canada and subsequently for New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Upon returning to Ireland in the late 80s he announced himself, and Irish cinema, onto the world stage with the extraordinary My Left Foot, which garnered five Academy Award nominations, two Baftas and widespread international critical acclaim. Though My Left Foot made Jim Sheridan a Hollywood darling, he remained resolute in his commitment to making films in Ireland. He followed up with The Field, another success, and in 1993, he released In the Name of the Father, which was a fictionalized re-telling of the case of the Guildford Four, the group wrongly accused of an IRA bombing. The film won the Golden Bear at the 44th Berlinale and was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Since then he has directed The Boxer, In America, and has teamed up with rapper 50-cent for Get Rich or Die Trying. He is currently completing an adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s novel, The Secret Scripture
There will be a short intermission between the interview and the screening.
Jim will be interviewed by Seán Rocks for Arena, RTÉ Radio One for broadcast the following evening, Monday 11 July.
2002 / Ireland, UK / 105min
To begin all over again is a classic American dream. But it is remarkably hard to do, as Irish immigrants Johnny and Sarah discover when they hit New York City with their two spunky young daughters in the mid-80s. In pursuit of a dream, the family uses ingenuity and sheer strength of will to make the most of their new life. The Sullivan family emigrates from Ireland to New York as father Johnny chases his dream of being an actor. Living in a small Hell’s Kitchen apartment, the family settles into American life despite their deplorable living conditions. Wife Sarah works at an ice parlor while Johnny looks for work as an actor, both haunted by memories of their dead son, Frankie. Daughter Christie documents the family’s American journey with a video camera.
Director Jim Sheridan
Cast Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Sarah Bolger, Emma Bolger, Djimon Hounsou
Script Jim Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan, Kirsten Sheridan
Producer Jim Sheridan, Arthur Lappin
Print Source IFI Irish Film Archive