Johnny White: Padraic Ó Conaire –An Fear

I was in Galway, Ireland twice this spring. And had a chance to combine with a couple of days at the sea near Clifden. Yes, sheep and stone walls, small winded roads, pure pleasure to visit.

I met Johnny White, film director based in this part of Ireland. He had just won an award at the Celtic Media Festival for a biography on the author Padraic Ó Conaire, born in Galway, dying in 1928 less than 50 years old. A classical Irish character, who died young, alone and with a life much spent at pubs in Ireland and England. As said, he always had a few.

A man with a hat and a pipe, who liked sleeping under the stars, who joined the IRA in 1913, fought for the freedom of Ireland and who never wrote a happy ending in this voluminious literary production.

The documentary is an absolute success according to the tv standard format that mixes narration and interviews with experts/witnesses, who knew him, supplemented with quotes from his work, a bit of archive and scenes from today with an actor who plays the role of Ó Conaire (Patrick O´Connor in English). It is all in Irish language made (for among others the Irish channel TG4 based in Galway) professionally with humour and without any pretention. Real good Irish storytelling. Entertaining.
Eire, 2007, 52 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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