A documentary made in Derry has scooped a top award at the Beverly Hills at Cinerockom International Film Festival in Los Angeles.
‘Paradiso’ was filmed in Derry, in the the predominantly Protestant enclave known as The Fountain. The film follows the ambitious efforts of musical troubadour Roy Arbuckle as he reunites his former show band, ‘The Signetts’, for a major dance event uniting Protestants and Catholics in a community long-divided by fear, politics and sectarian violence.
The film was selected as part of the official festival and was screened in Los Angeles on Sunday and won the Ruby Award in the Best Documentary Category.
Described as a “colourful, melancholic and ironic musical journey”, ‘Paradiso’ was commissioned by the BBC and has won 18 international awards as well as being nominated in nearly 60 film festivals around the world.
“I believe that what makes the film universal, capable of being translated into different cultures is the idea that, everywhere there is a wall, a sharp division between people, there is also the memory of the times when those divisions weren’t there,” said director Alessandro Negrini.
“The idea that the worst possible aspect of any division is not the wall, but getting used to that wall. Then there is also the power of music and dance as an antidote to fear, the fear of “the other,” he added.