Dambe- The Mali Project
2008 — Documentary — 93 mins
The Temple Builder
2006 — Documentary — 54 mins
One Hundred To One
2006 — Documentary
2004 — Documentary
Painting For Miles
2001 — Documentary
- 2009 — Nominee
IFTA — Best Feature Documentary. Dambe- The Mali Project
Dearbhla studied fine art and graduated with merit from Limerick College of Art and Design. She went on to work as a freelance designer and scenic artist for theatre, television and film.
Her debut documentary project involved her walking with her camera five hundred miles across the north of Spain filming the young Artist Corrina Earlie and her creative pilgrimage to Santiago. The film ‘Painting for Miles’ was broadcast on RTE as part of the ‘Townlands’ Series in 2001. Through this project Dearbhla developed her own experiential style of filmmaking, paying the greatest attention to observing her subject matter while maintaining a strong visual impact.
Dearbhla set up Purple Productions with her business partner Aprile. Blake in 2000; she began her second documentary, which was to take her on a three year odyssey in the Nevada Desert. The film ‘Dust Devils’ about the legendary Burning Man festival was broadcast on TG4 in May 2004, and received rave reviews for its style, originality and impact. It has screened in Ireland, London, Amsterdam, San Francisco, L.A., New York, Seattle, Paris, Italy and has recently been bought by the Discovery Channel.
Dearbhla completed her next film in 2006, a co-production with American company Gone Off Deep called ‘The Temple Builder’. A film about the Californian artist David Best; who is the most celebrated artist to come out of the Burning Man festival. This film has screened in San Francisco, Austin, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle, Amsterdam, London, Byron Bay, Dublin, Cork.
In 2005 Dearbhla was awarded a ‘Documenting the Arts’ (funded by The Irish Film Board The Arts Council of Ireland) grant to make the film ‘One Hundred to One’ which documented a most unique theatre show using one hundred actors in one hundred rooms. The film was broadcast in March on RTE 1 as part of the ‘Arts Lives’ Series.
Dearbhla first visited Mali in 2004 when she filmed the ‘Festival in the Desert’. She fell in love with the beauty and the culture of Mali and wanted to make a film that would capture the stunning landscape and captivating people of Africa. She also wanted to make a film that would belie the constant media portrayals of Africa as a dark and hopeless place and rather correctly document it as a continent full of hope and prosperity.
Dearbhla Just completed “Dambé, The Mali Project” which just premiered at the Dublin International film festival and came second in the Audience award.
Dearbhla has recently been filming in Japan with the Irish Band ‘Kila’. They collaborate with and explore the culture and traditions of the Ainu people, the indigenous people of Northern Japan. This is a new feature Documentary which is currently in production.
In 2007 Dearbhla set up a new company, Luachra Productions; this company absorbed Purple productions.
Dearbhla still spends time painting and has a passion for creating art in hospitals, transforming gloomy, high stress environments into peaceful, holistic spaces. In 2005 she painted an entire AE unit in Cork’s University Hospital and she also went on to transform the paediatric unit. In 2006 she completed another project in a child psychiatric hospital in City General Hospital in Cork, the corridors had no windows so she used Paintings to create the allusion of space, and light.