Oh, what a night!

Written by: Sam

Here’s a report and photos from Wednesday night’s packed special preview of BALTIMORE and a reminder of what’s to come next week at our two Oscar Shorts Nights. We also have a sizzling sizzle reel for you to enjoy to get a flavour of Wednesday’s exciting preview event.

What a great evening we had last night at Riverside Studios for the preview screening of BALTIMORE. An enthusiastic and excited audience gathered in the downstairs cinema foyer for this preview event and to meet our special guests, the film’s directors, Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, and one of its stars, actor Dermot Crowley.

 

4 photos: movie theatre with audience asking questions from filmmakers; people at the bar; directors being interviewed; seated cinema audience

BALTIMORE is a thrilling 98 minutes of tightly constructed drama based around the true story of English heiress turned revolutionary, Rose Dugdale (played with great intensity by Imogen Poots). In 1974, along with three armed accomplices, Dugdale leads her renegade IRA gang on the biggest art theft in the world at that time from Russborough House, Co Wicklow. The film jump-cuts between the violent heist, the gang’s hideout, and Rose’s trajectory from reluctantly blooded fox hunter, through feminist radicalisation at Oxford, and into armed struggle against the backdrop of Bloody Sunday. This is not a biopic; rather an edge-of-your seat period drama with moments of well-placed humour, that explores questions of class, privilege, radicalisation, armed struggle and what it takes for a woman to determine her own fate for good or bad. It feels fresh, relevant and is totally gripping.

Coming direct from their Irish premiere last Friday at Dublin International Film Festival, the directors and co-star of BALTIMORE were welcomed by to the stage for a lively Q&A following the film. The directors, who also write and edit their films, gave a rapt audience insights into their creative process and collaborations with composer, Stephen McKeon (Black Mirror/KIN) and cinematographer, Tom Comerford (Aisha, Rose Plays Julie), whose aural and visual work on BALTIMORE are stunning. Dermot Crowley spoke of this being his first time directed by two people and how the pair work seamlessly to craft shots and scenes. How it was the writing that attracted him to the project as the character of ‘Donal’, an overly friendly local who draws unwitting and dangerous attention to himself from the increasingly paranoid ‘Rose’. Crowley spoke of the meticulous production and costume designs that helped him step straight into this mid-seventies world and character, enabling him to ‘be’ rather than ‘act’ in the role.

Madeleine Casey with Dermot Crowley and Joe Lawlor

LBFF curator Madeleine Casey said, “This was a thrilling night at the cinema. Not only to see such a breathtaking film from these great independent filmmakers, but to hear them and the wonderful Dermot Crowley speak so generously about their process; and to feel and hear the audience enjoy this engaging collective experience so much. Cinema is alive and kicking for sure, and long may that last.”

BALTIMORE releases in UK cinemas on 22nd March. Molloy and Lawlor also directed episodes 2&3 of the second series of Irish crime drama, KIN, which is currently available on BBC iPlayer.

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JULY 15, 2024: LATE DEADLINE