Cut! The Legendary
Jim Sheridan
Talks Movies, Inspo & More…

As far as film in Ireland is concerned, nobody has had an impact quite like Jim Sheridan. The director of My Left Foot, In The Name Of The Father, In America and The Boxer is widely regarded as the grandfather of Irish cinema, scooping six Oscar nominations and worldwide acclaim from audiences and critics alike.


And so, when it came time to launch Virgin Media’s sponsorship of the Dublin International Film Festival, there was only one man for the job! We caught up with the great man to look forward to the festival, look back on its impact over the years, and discuss the rude health of Irish cinema.


“DIFF has always had that international vibe,” he says. “[Festival Director] Gráinne Humphreys has brought huge stars here many times, it has a worldwide profile, and it’s shown a lot of great Irish films. It started out with Michael Dwyer – the great Irish Times film critic who everybody loved – who was in charge of film in the Project Arts Centre. This year it will have a host of Irish movies, and hopefully we’ll get plenty of people to come out in February and March – so let’s hope it’s not snowing! 


And he’s pretty chuffed to see Virgin Media Ireland come on board as sponsors of the festival for the next three years. “I think Gráinne wanted Virgin Media Ireland as a sponsor more than anybody because they can understand what she is doing. It’s a media sponsor, and there are tie-ins for films having life beyond the cinema.”


Of course, the strength of DIFF is another indicator that film is alive and kicking in this country – not that an icon of Irish cinema needs telling! “I think the talent in Ireland has a real breadth to it – very diverse and very talented. We have great actors, great directors, great cinematographers. The talent base is huge.”


In celebration of the new partnership, the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival will host the European premiere of Lenny Abrahamson’s new effort The Little Stranger at a gala screening at The Lighthouse Cinema this week – and Sheridan admits that when it comes to inspiration, his fellow Dub is amongst those he looks towards.


“I’m inspired by the Irish guys right now; Lenny, John Carney and a few others. I’m dying to see Neil Jordan’s new movie, too. It’s strange the way it goes – you’re both in competition with, and inspired by, the people closest to you!”


Aspiring auteurs can head straight to Virgin Movies to check out some of the work that gets Jim excited; Room, What Richard Did, Sing Street, and a host of other quality Irish flicks from Abrahamson, Carney and more are available to rent right now, from €2.99. 


As for Mr. Sheridan himself, what would likely be on the box were we to pop round for a cuppa unannounced? “Probably the football!” he laughs. “I even watch golf from time to time. But it’s soccer most evenings for me.”


Perhaps even the grandfather of Irish cinema needs a night off once in a while!



Bag a red-hot bundle from Virgin Media, with superfast broadband, TV and home phone – click here to find out more.