A short film, titled Roadrunner, by award-winning Limerick writer and director Jason Reddan will kick off the series, which sees Hot Press expanding into video, film and broadcast.
The legendary Irish publishing house of Hot Press magazine has announced the first of a new series of film and television productions. The films will fly under the Hot Press Original flag, opening new avenues for the magazine in creating broader content for streaming, video and broadcast.
Roadrunnerthe first film under the brand, will be written, shot and directed by Jason Reddan, the Limerick-based filmmaker who won the Hot Press Write Here, Write Now writing competition in 2018. Floor lamps was the winner of the World’s Greatest Short Film competition in 2016. Jason also produced the music video for the version of “Natalia” performed by Powpig, as part of the acclaimed Rave On Van Morrison project created by Hot Press in 2020 For the past two years, Jason has also been selected as one of the winners of the 2019 American Film Market short story competition, while his recent short film pipe dreams – shot off the coast of Ireland on the Aran Islands – won third prize for comedy at the MyRodeReel international short film competition in 2021.
“We’re really excited to kick off this new strand of our Hot Press work with a film by Jason,” says Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes. “Over the past two years, we have expanded our business into broadcasting and film. In the modern age, with the blurring and merging of lines in all media, it is increasingly important for us as media activists and publishers to have powerful film and audiovisual material – and this is therefore a major statement of intent. . Jason is an extremely talented, energetic and creative character and a great young filmmaker. We believe in him and his work, so I think that’s a really exciting opening for this new initiative.”
The film, titled Roadrunner, is an autobiographical true story set against the nostalgic backdrop of 1990s Limerick, Ireland.
“I’ve been working on this short for six years,” says Jason Reddan. “Although the film is based entirely on true life events, it explores themes and tropes found in James Joyce. Met and also at JD Salinger The Heart Catcher. However, this film is a uniquely Irish story, with moments of dark comedy and personal tragedy. My creative ambition with the film is to explore the power of kindness and empathy and the importance of artistic creativity in the face of childhood trauma. I’m very excited to release the first Hot Press Original short, with Hot Press. I believe this true story will warm the hearts of many and leave a lasting impression on all who see it.”
The broader ambition of the Hot Press Original series is to produce films that will be screened at major film festivals around the world, while providing powerful content for online viewing on Hot Press channels, as well as for streaming services and broadcasters.
“Our determination at Hot Press has always been to deliver great work that has the potential to make a difference,” adds Niall Stokes. “Increasingly, in the modern age, that means using all the channels that are available to us, in print, online, through social media and broadcast. Our core principles will always include a commitment to nurturing and supporting Irish artists and Irish talent. We are also committed to continuing to do things that matter journalistically and creatively – and that advocate for a truly engaged and hopefully liberated and egalitarian view of the way the world should be. These are complicated times, but we are extremely ambitious for the future. This new film series is an important statement in that regard.”
Hot Press currently has the Up Close and Personal series in production, with six programs already filmed for broadcast on the Hot Press YouTube channel – two of which have already aired and are available to watch on the Hot Press YouTube channel.
In Up Close and Personal, filmed live at the Grand Social in Dublin, six top Irish artists talk about classic albums and perform some of the songs live, including Villagers (Awayland, 2010); Gemma Hayes (Night on My Side, 2002); Andy Irvine and Donald Lunny (Planxty, 1973); Ash (1977, 1996); Damien Dempsey (Seize The Day, 2003) and Mary Coughlan (Tired and Emotional, 1985). The series is produced in association with Up Close and Personal Promotions and is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, under the Live Performance Support Scheme.
Since 2020, Hot Press has produced and broadcast 200 live shows from young and emerging Irish artists via Instagram; produced the Backstage At Mike The Pies podcast series; streamed more than 25 exclusive concerts via YouTube; and curated over 75 videos dedicated to Van Morrison by Bob Geldof, Hozier, Damien Rice, Imelda May, Andrea Corr, Glen Hansard and Dea Matrona, as well as Irish President Michael D. Higgins, who performed Rave on , John Donne , with music by Riverdance composer Bill Whelan.
Hot Press recently published the book Why Can’t We: The Story of Cranberries and the Band’s Iconic Vocalist, Dolores O’Riordan, in collaboration with the group. The book is available in two formats, including a platinum deluxe limited edition, signed by band members Noel Hogan, Michael Hogan and Fergal Lawler – as well as Dolores O’Riordan’s mother, Eileen O’Riordan, on behalf of the late singer and songwriter.
Other book, event, broadcast and TV projects are currently in the works.
Roadrunner pre-production begins in February 2022.