Ní Chianáin and Rane: In Loco Parentis

“IN LOCO PARENTIS” is the first Irish documentary that premiered with great success in the main program of the world’s largest documentary film festival in Amsterdam, after which it was selected for the main program of the Sundance Film Festival. Neasa Ní Chianáin is one of Ireland’s most celebrated documentary filmmakers, and her previous documentaries have had considerable international success. David Rane is an experienced producer and director, who received one of the most important European awards, the BAFTA Award. This author and life couple has spent a full year in the school, preparing a project that took a lot of production and creative efforts to achieve its top quality.

This observational documentary follows a year in the lives of two inspiring teachers in the only elementary school with boarding facilities in Ireland. Headfort School, the school not much different in appearance from the legendary Hogwarts from Harry Potter, with its buildings from the XVIII century, with secret doors and magical forests, is the home of John and Amanda Leyden for 46 years and the background of their exceptional careers. For John, rock music is another subject to Math, English, Latin and religious education. He cherishes a special kind of youthful revolution by teaching responsibility and independence in equal respect, wrapped in heavy metal or pop, encouraging the children to play whatever they want in the school basement rock club. For Amanda, the key liaison with children is a book and she uses all ways to catch young minds. The children sit as transfixed when she leads them on magical journeys with fantastic heroes of different stories.

Besides directing, Neasa Ní Chianáin was an inspired and omnipresent cinematographer in this film, and David Rane had a difficult task to record sound discreetly following Neasa, besides his production work and directing. “We wanted to film a year in the life of the school, just to keep track and observe, no interviews, no divine voice that leads the audience… We knew that for us it means full immersion in order to gain access to the intimacy that we wanted to capture.”

Ireland, Spain, 2016, 99 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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