North Circular – A musical trip through inner city Dublin.
North Circular is a multiple award-winning documentary musical that travels the length of Dublin’s fabled North Circular Road, from the Phoenix Park to Dublin Port, exploring the history, music and streetscapes of a street that links some of the country’s most beloved and infamous places.
Dublin’s North Circular Road defines the working-class north inner city as it curves from the Phoenix Park in the West to Dublin Bay in the East, passing parks, barracks, asylums, stadia and prisons along the way. Local characters share their powerful and emotive stories, accompanied by traditional ballads and folk music that help to tell these stories. North Circular conjures the ghosts of the past while engaging with the conflicts and celebrations of today, with a little bit of Dublin humour thrown in. North Circular is an ensemble documentary featuring disparate, marginal urban characters, which explores numerous themes and histories as it progresses along the street.
The film is shot in black and white Academy ratio (4:3), an aesthetic choice made to bind together the disparate tales and reference the echoes of history. The film evokes many narratives from the history of the city and nation, from colonialism, to mental health, to the struggle for women’s liberation while also engaging with urgent issues of today, including the battle to save the legendary Cobblestone Pub, centre of Dublin’s recent folk revival, from destruction at the hands of cynical property developers. The film also includes musical performances from artists local to the North Circular, including John Francis Flynn, Séan Ó Túama, Eoghan O’Ceannabháin, Ian Lynch & Gemma Dunleavy.
And…it’s a musical where the folk music of the area is employed as a narrative storytelling device.
North Circular is directed by Luke McManus, an Irish director and producer based in Dublin. He has directed numerous award-winning documentary and drama projects for NBC, Netflix, RTE, TG4, Virgin Media TV, TV3, Al Jazeera, the Irish Film Board and Channel 4, winning four IFTAs, one Celtic Media Award and the Radharc Award in the process.
Directing credits include North Circular, Jump Girls, I Am Immigrant, Crainn na hEireann, Jump Boys, Arkle, Making a Museum, Dermot Bannon & The Big Build and Féile Dreams.
Winner of Best Documentary Award – Louth International Film Festival 2022
Winner of The Spirit of IndieCork Award – IndieCork Film Festival 2022
Honourable Mention in Best Documentary Award – IndieCork Film Festival 2022
Special Mention in Best Documentary Award – Dublin International Film Festival 2022