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The Terence McDonald Collection

Film Club Antics

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A light-hearted look at an amateur film production.  A film crew acts out a pre-production meeting for a film they declare could be ‘a fundamental experience in existential cinematography’.  Filmed on the Magee Campus of Ulster University the crew, which includes sound, camera and lighting technicians, record three actors (Carmel McCallion, Gerry Downey & Gordon […]

Q&A with Peter McDonald and Sunniva O’Flynn

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Q&A with Peter McDonald, son of filmmaker Terence McDonald, hosted by Sunniva O’Flynn, IFI Head of Irish Film Programming, including discussion on the process of bringing the films into the IFI Irish Film Archive, and Terence McDonald’s filmmaking journey, across various themes and characteristics of his work. A short documentary about Terence McDonald’s life and […]

A City Solitary

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Opening with a quote from Lamentations ‘How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people’ and the melody of Londonderry Air (more recognisable to many as the tune of Danny Boy), this expository documentary is an early collaboration between Terence McDonald and John Hume, based on Hume’s research towards his 1964 thesis on the city of Derry (later published as Derry Beyond the Walls, 2002). By focusing on Derry’s economic and social history, the […]

The Man From A.U.N.T.

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Terence McDonald’s playful homage combines influences such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, with the evident influence of slapstick comedies of the silent era. The Man from A.U.N.T. is a thrilling race through the streets of Derry as a mysterious and mischievous figure makes a daring escape from a calamitous police officer […]

The Fugitive

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The Fugitive is a delightful slapstick comedy involving the pursuit of a runaway pram on the endless hills of Derry, loaded with cinematic references from Battleship Potemkin’s Odessa steps sequence to the US soap opera Peyton Place.  What starts as a pleasant walk in the park becomes a chaotic chase involving a robber, a multiplying mob and even a […]

The Best Man

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A feature-length black comedy drama set in Derry about alcohol and relationships, as heavy drinking and hapless best man Billy tries to corrupt his newly sober friend, the groom, on his wedding day. Produced, shot and edited by Terence McDonald.  Billy (Seamus Ball) is an inveterate drinker and gambler who lives with his mother. The last of his circle of friends […]

Requiem for Sally

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A mother and father’s grief following the loss of their daughter in a road accident is mapped alongside the changing seasons in this contemplative short film written by John McCullagh and produced and directed by Terence McDonald. Each parent narrates their thoughts and emotions over the course of a year from the time of the tragedy. As with several […]


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One of Terence McDonald’s more experimental, darker films, Nebelung centres on the distressed mental state of a German language teacher precipitated by the discovery of an old photograph in his classroom.  A former teacher himself, McDonald captures the disarming stares of the children in the hushed but tense atmosphere of the classroom. On finding the old photo, the teacher suffers from claustrophobic hallucinations […]

Twilight Belle

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‘How do you tell someone they may have been talking to a ghost?’ – The narrator asks throughout Terence McDonald’s uncanny ghost story The Twilight Belle, filmed on the beautiful Five Finger Strand in Donegal.  When a woman discovers a ship’s bell washed up on the shore she is reminded of an earlier experience, causing her to question the existence of ghosts and recall how she first heard about […]

The Stones Will Speak

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Over magnificent images of Irish natural beauty, featuring Ben Bulben, Achill Island and Kylemore Abbey amongst other sites, voices of residents of the west coast tell the stories of their lives – dispelling romantic notions of rural life with tales of immigration, loneliness and hard work.  The first sequence tells the story of an elderly man who recalls memories […]

The Secret

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A spiritual fable, written by Fr Cyril Farrell, about a mysterious Christ-like figure who comes down from the mountain to visit a land shrouded in fog. The stranger remains in shadowy silhouette throughout this allegorical tale told in voiceover, accompanied by stunning images of flora and fauna. The stranger wonders why the communities of giants and pygmies are […]

Long Hard Road

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With opening and closing remarks from John Hume, Long Hard Road is a promotional film designed to appeal to American benefactors, highlighting the social improvement projects that have been aided by funds channeled from the Northern Ireland Resurgence Trust. Hume advocates that the real wealth of Northern Ireland is in its own people and that the people must harness their talents to lift themselves up.  Projects which have secured funding include building […]