Report: at ‘Cherrybomb’ Premiere at Dublin Film Festival

published 22 February 2009
written by Ivana

I arrived to Dublin on Friday morning, and immediately went looking for the festival PR Jenny Sharif. Fortunately, the office was close to my hotel and I found the place easily. Jenny was not in her office, however her colleagues were there to help me. A few days before the trip Jenny had told me that only Lisa Barros D’Sa, one of the Cherrybomb directors, would attend the screening, and that there would be no questions & answers afterwards.

However, the PR team informed me that the plan had changed! It turned out that both Lisa and Glenn Leyburn would attend the screening, as well as actors Robert Sheehan (Luke) and Kimberley Nixon (Michelle), and that they would all participate in the Q&A session! Rupert Grint (Malachy) could not join them this time because he had already started working on Deathly Hallows; but even without him around, the day promised to be an exciting one indeed. I was given the press tickets, and the instructions how and when to arrive to the venue. I also texted Kat Kirk (Sharon in Cherrybomb), just to confirm that we would meet after the screening, as previously arranged.

I should mention that James Nesbitt (Crilly) was also in Dublin, however he was penned, alongside Liam Neeson, to attend the premiere and the Q&A session of their movie Five Minutes Of Heaven.

The screening took place at Cineworld, venue No. 17 on the top floor. When I arrived there, the first person I met was one of the Cherrybomb extras. Then, a huge surprise: enter Soph, aka Fugitive Star, one of groupies! She travelled all the way from Los Angeles just to see the movie, but she hadn’t told anyone that she would be coming because she didn’t want to jinx herself! (Completely understandable if you ask me!) I was extremely happy to meet her, to have someone to squeal with!

Anyway, it was time to get in for the screening, and Soph and me were among the first people to enter, because we wanted to grab the front row seats (and we did)! The actors and directors entered the venue together with the rest of the crowd, and they sat among the spectators, so the screening acquired a special, intimate atmosphere from the very beginning. The projection started about 15 min late, because people were still arriving after 6pm, but in the end the huge venue was packed.

And then the Cherrybomb exploded… You can read my full review below, but let me state here that that the movie did live up to our gigantic expectations!

The audience’s response was very enthusiastic. Everyone laughed out loud during the funny scenes (Nesbitt’s Crilly had some hilarious lines), but the movie is predominantly rather dark. I have to admit that Soph and I couldn’t really observe all audience’s reactions because we were sitting in the front row – besides we were focused on what was happening on the screen! Unlike Berlinale, where the film was screened in the 14plus category, the Dublin festival rules made it impossible for anyone under 18 to see the movie – and I suppose the film is more suitable for audiences slightly older than 14. After the movie ended, there was a long applause, and then one of the festival people announced the Q&A session. Unfortunately it was rather cold in the venue, the air conditioner was blowing mercilessly, so some people left before the Q&A – presumably to warm up!

The actors and directors came to the stage. The first batch of questions was asked by the lady moderator – I forgot her name, but you’ll see her in the video from the Q&A session. Then it was the audiences’ turn to ask questions, but everybody seemed to be pretty shy, so I ended up asking three questions in a row! Then another gentleman asked a funny question, and suddenly the lady moderator announced that this was the end of the session, because another movie was supposed to start soon.

Afterwards, we got a chance to chat up with the filmmakers and the actors in the lobby. I was very happy to discover that the directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn are not only very creative and talented, but also genuinely nice and sweet people! Lisa is very beautiful in person, and Glenn is charming as well. We received a first hand information that the movie would be screened in at the Belfast Film Festival next month. Lisa informed us that the final festival dates hadn’t been released yet, but that they should be revealed by the end of February, and that Cherrybomb would most likely be screened on 30 March.

I also chatted with a few other lovely Cherrybomb people, namely the actors Robert Sheehan and Kat Kirk, and the stills photographer Helen Sloan. Helen sent greetings to the staffers whom she had met in Berlin; Kat gave us an in-depth interview, which will be published soon. Both Helen and Kat said that they frequent to read all the latest Cherrybomb news, and wondered: “How come you people know all these things?!” They all thanked us for the support, and they were stunned by the fact that Soph travelled all the way from LA just to see the movie!

Robert Sheehan is just like Jo, Karo and AJ had described him – a very talkative, funny, bouncy, energetic bloke! It is hard to believe that this cheeky chappy could portray a moody, disturbed character such as Luke so convincingly.

Finally the actors and directors went to have a well deserved dinner, while Soph and myself found an authentic Irish pub and indulged in Guinness. 🙂 We were full of impressions, we talked about the movie and the entire Cherrybomb experience until the late night hours.

On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank everyone who made this Dublin screening such a memorable experience for me: Lisa Barros D’Sa, Robert Sheehan, Kat Kirk, Helen Sloan and everyone else involved with this movie, as well as the festival PR team. Allow me also to copy here a few words from the email that Lisa has sent to us:

I know your website and must tell you how thrilled and delighted I’ve been by the wonderful support you’ve given to Rupert, Cherrybomb and our whole film team. I’ve very much enjoyed reading your thoughtful and detailed coverage of the Berlinale. Thank you for making the effort to travel so far to see our film; it’s truly appreciated.

The pleasure is ours, Lisa! And see you all in Belfast soon!

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