Dingle International Film Festival (Dingle IFF) has announced that Jim Sheridan – the Academy Award-nominated director of My Left Foot, The Field, In the Name of the Father, The Boxer, and In America – will be in attendance to close the 2017 festival with his new film The Secret Scripture, to be screened in the Phoenix Cinema on March 26th. The film includes a fantastic, international-renowned cast and a script from Sheridan and the late Johnny Ferguson.
Adapted from the 2008 novel of the same name by Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture tells the story of an elderly woman, Rose, who keeps a diary of her extended stay at a psychiatric institution. She recounts the story of her life and the events of the 1920s-1930s Irish religious and political upheaval which lead to her incarceration.
Jim Sheridan has been directing and producing Irish classics for nearly 30 years, and his contributions to the Irish film industry have yet to be matched. His latest film, The Secret Scripture, is a welcome addition to his long list of masterpieces that captured the imagination of the nation.
Jim Sheridan began his career writing and directing stage plays, most notably Spike in the First World War, which won him a Fringe Award for ‘Best Play’ at Edinburgh Festival in 1983. His first film My Left Foot, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the disabled artist Christy Brown, was a huge hit and a financial success. The film won two Oscars for Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker; Sheridan was nominated for ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Adapted Screenplay.’ Sheridan convinced the world of his genius with his following magnificent film: The Field, which earned Richard Harris an Academy Award nomination for ‘Best Actor’. Sheridan then wrote the screenplay for the beloved Irish family fantasy Into the West, before return to directing for In the Name of the Father, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including three for Sheridan.
Sheridan’s other films include the knock-out hit The Boxer, the semi-autobiographical In America, the 50 Cent biopic Get Rich or Die Tryin’, the dark war drama Brothers, and the psychological thriller Dream House.
For The Secret Scripture, Sheridan was brought back to the traditional Irish roots of many of his older films, as well as his own upbringing: “I was impressed with the mother/child relationship, the fact that the mother would never let the child go and at the same time the child could be dead, which reflected things in my own life.” He was also delighted at the opportunity of working with an incredible screen presence like Vanessa Redgrave—“Vanessa is a force of nature and, strong-willed and knows what she wants … Everything she says is true. She’s amazing on screen.”
Sheridan has had a proud association with the Dingle IFF and has appeared as a guest several times. In 2009, Sheridan was the recipient of that year’s Gregory Peck Award: For Excellence in the Art of Film. Sheridan also presented The Gregory Peck Award in Dingle to Laura Dern. Festival director Maurice Galway welcomes Sheridan’s return to this year’s festival with open arms: “I had the pleasure of welcoming Jim to Dingle on three other occasions, and I am delighted to welcome him back again.”
The Secret Scripture is out now in cinemas across Ireland.