Local audiences will have the chance to see the documentary film Together in Pieces, which has been receiving rave reviews at major international film festivals, at a special Culture Night screening in Derry this Friday evening at the Nerve Centre.
The film, shot in Derry by local film makers Eileen Walsh and David Dryden of Foxwall Films, was commissioned by the Community Relations Council. John Peto, Director of Education at the Nerve Centre, was Executive Producer.
Together in Pieces documents the changing political landscape of Northern Ireland. The film examines how political murals and sectarian slogans are prolonging the healing process in Northern Ireland and how they sit cheek by jowl with a new wave of street art and graffiti.
The film makers are just back from the USA where the film screened at the first ever Hip Hop Film Festival in New York, which took place at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.
Producer Eileen Walsh said: “We’re really looking forward to showing our film in our home city. We’ve had a great response to the film internationally. Earlier this year in March the film was selected for a primetime screening at the biggest Irish film festival in the US, the Capital Irish Film Festival in Washington DC. Myself and David went over for the premiere and were overwhelmed by the response the film got. Audiences over there loved it.
“The Hip Hop Film Festival was simply amazing. We hadn’t realised what a big deal it was until we arrived in the US. Everyone was talking about it. The festival was listed in Time Out magazine as one of the top ten things to do in New York. And the fact that the film was selected for the first ever hip hop film festival in New York, which is the birthplace of hip hop and graffiti, was amazing. We felt so honoured as white people from Northern Ireland to have the film at a festival for black film and music, especially in light of the political situation in the U.S. at the moment.”
Co-Director of the film David Dryden said: “We have screened the film lots of times on the island of Ireland and it has done really well internationally. But we originally made it for a local audience, so we are really looking forward to our Culture Night screening this Friday at the Nerve Centre.
“The documentary has been successful as a springboard for creating debate around the use of sectarian symbolism in public spaces. The original concept of the film involved showing the film and having a panel discussion and audience Q & A afterwards. This format has worked so well that discussions have lasted for up to 2 hours, even though the film itself is only about 25 minutes, signifying a strong desire both locally and internationally to share and understand the issues expressed in the film. At one venue the staff actually asked us to leave as they wanted to lock up the premises and go home.
“There will be a similar format this Friday at the Nerve Centre. Myself and Eileen will present the film and join the panel afterwards, which will be chaired by Caitriona Mullan, Chair of the International Centre for Local and Regional Development and will also feature Michael Doherty of Mediate NI and Linda Watson of the Caw Nelson Drive Action Group.
“Michael and Linda are both in the film, and have very interesting stories to tell. The film features international graffiti artists and local street artist Donal O Doherty of UV Arts, as well as young people from youth clubs and community centres in the area. We also managed to film former US President Bill Clinton on his last visit to Derry. And he had a very powerful message for the city. We’re hoping for a good crowd on Friday and a very interesting audience discussion afterwards."
Admission is free and everyone is welcome. We’ll have a reception beforehand with refreshments from 7-7.30pm which will be followed by the screening and Q&A panel discussion which runs until 9.30pm. And if it’s like previous screenings, we may have to continue discussions afterwards at another venue.“
Pictured above are local film makers Eileen Walsh and David Dryden of Foxwall Films at the New York Premiere of their film Together in Pieces at the first ever Hip Hop Film Festival NYC.