Pages Navigation Menu

Filmbase


Monday 17th RTE2. A short documentary about the peregrines of Poolbeg.

Big congratulations to our Short Documentary class 2015.

Unknown to many Dubliners, a breeding pair of rare peregrine falcons have made their home on Dublin’s iconic Poolbeg chimneys.
The short documentary Quill To Power explores the relationship between the endangered birds and the disused smokestacks that define the Dublin skyline.
The chimneys themselves appeared to be endangered when the ESB questioned the cost of their upkeep, but after much clamour Ireland’s national power company has agreed to preserve the fifty-year-old structures.

After a comeback from the brink of extinction, peregrine falcons – the fastest creatures on earth, reaching speeds of up to 320kph during their hunting dive or ‘stoop’ – remain on the critically endangered list, affording them the highest level of legal protection.
“One of the things that I love about this particular pair of peregrines is that they’re in the city, they’re close to where I live,” raptor aficionado Eamonn Ryan says as he opens the film.
Despite having a similar name to a Green Party TD, Eamonn is not involved in politics. He drives down to the Shellybanks to check in on the birds several times a week with his spotter scope.
“Normally you have to go to places that are inaccessible or hard to get to, then you might see the birds or you might not.”

Directed by journalist Alan Caulfield, the film talks to locals and to the bird enthusiasts who have become the unofficial guardians of the falcons – the fastest animals on the planet – while also inadvertently keeping an eye on the chimneys.
The eight-minute doc has been shown at the Sky Road Film Festival in Clifden; the Dublin International Short Film and Music Festival; and the Clones Film Festival.
Using stunning footage of falcons and of the Dublin’s beloved red-and-white striped chimneys, and made as part of Filmbase’s short documentary course in 2015, Quill To Power asks what should be done with the chimneys now the power station is shut, and how Dubliners would feel if they, or the falcons, were gone.

Broadcasting Monday 17th RTE2 at 23.50

Twitter: @alan_caulfield
Facebook: Quill To Power