The stunning new feature film JUMP - which was filmed right here in the city - is released into cinemas this Friday, April 26. Its glittering premiere on Friday past at Brunswick Moviebowl proved a huge hit with Derry audiences. ‘Journal’ reporter Julieann Campbell was one of many bowled over at the Moviebowl...
‘JUMP’ began life as a stage play, written by Derry-born writer Lisa McGee, with its big screen adaptation creating one of the best Irish films I’ve seen in years.
From its poignant, strangely-familiar beginnings right through until its finale, JUMP never fails to keep its audience on the edge of its seats.
Friday’s premiere was given the red-carpet treatment at the Moviebowl, and also in attendance were the film’s principal actors Nichola Burley (‘Donkey Punch’) and Ciarán McMenamin (‘Sunday’) as well as its director, Kieron J. Walsh, and producer, Brendan J. Byrne, and many others of its crew.
An illuminating Q&A followed the screening, with the film’s director and main actors answering questions from the audience and from Peter Curran, their Q&A host.
The film drew various reactions from its first Derry audience, with one contribution in particular proving very powerful, as Fr Paddy O’Kane, Holy Family Parish Priest, stood to commend the filmmakers for their sensitive handling of what is undoubtedly a difficult subject.
Describing the filmmakers as “very brave”, Fr O’Kane said: “Suicide is something that is all too familiar in this town... I think your film is very brave and it sends out the right signals. If someone watching your film thinks twice about suicide, then you will have saved a life.” Fr O’Kane’s observations drew huge applause from the audience.
Director Kieron J. Walsh also praised Derry for its help and goodwill when the film was in production.
“The Council even put up the Christmas lights for us in the middle of March!” he said.
Billed as a ‘modern day Brief Encounter’, JUMP follows the lives of four twenty-something’s whose lives collide one fateful New Year’s Eve amidst Derry’s ancient walls in a night of fast talk, coincidence and intrigue. As a backdrop, Derry works superbly well on film, with Shipquay Street, Strand Road and the Foyle Bridge all featuring heavily. The film also records Hallowe’en in Derry, and fair-play to any director who will brave the madness of Hallowe’en in Derry - it looked amazing on celluloid!
The movie centres around a gangland boss’s much-misunderstood daughter, Greta, who is saved from suicide by a stranger, played by Martin McCann (‘Clash of the Titans’) and follows the pair as they try to make the best of a terrible situation. A wayward corpse and the busy intrigue of New Year’s Eve all compose the jigsaw puzzle of this out of sequence, multi-stranded story. And as the night’s events expertly fall into place, JUMP weaves an existential portrait of our characters’ lives as their hopes, fears and secrets are revealed.
A superb Derry-based crime-caper with touches of sadness, sentiment and outright comedy, JUMP was amazing. I highly recommend that everyone go see this feature film that plays out on our own familiar streets and city.
JUMP goes on general release throughout Ireland this Friday, April 26.