5 things you need to know about... Glassland director Gerard Barrett 7 years ago

5 things you need to know about... Glassland director Gerard Barrett

You're going to be hearing a lot about this guy in the coming years.

Glassland, a Dublin-based drama starring up and coming Irish actor Jack Reynor and Oscar nominee Toni Collette, goes on release in Irish cinemas today.


The film received rave reviews after a screening at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and will hopefully act as a springboard to bigger and better things for director Gerard Barrett.

Here are a few things you might not know about the man from north Kerry.

1. He wrote, scripted and directed his own movie aged just 21

At 27, Barrett is still pretty young for a director, but anyone following his progress will know he was destined for bigger things since he was barely out of his teens.


In 2009, Barrett wrote, scripted and directed 'The Valley of Knockanure' a 35-minute film detailing the murder of three IRA Volunteers in north Kerry and west Limerick in 1921.


The entire film was made on a budget of €1,500, but so impressed by it was Eoghan Harris of the Sunday Independent at the time that he wrote: "Barrett made it for buttons but it looks a million dollars... [he] will go on to bigger things."

High praise.


2. His mantelpiece must be struggling under all the awards he's won in recent years

Plenty of acclaim is likely to come Barrett's way for Glassland, but praise is something he's accustomed to at this stage.

Barrett won a host of awards in 2013 for his directorial feature film debut Pilgrim Hill, which he also wrote, including *pauses for breath* a Rising Star award at the IFTAs, Best Irish Film & Best New Talent at the Galway Film Fleadh, ‘Great Expectation’ at the Telluride Film Festival in America and Rising Star of the BFI London Film Festival *exhales.

He also shared the Best Irish Feature Award at last year's Galway Film Fleadh for Glassland along with Patrick's Day.


3. He's going to be working with Charlize Theron, Dakota Fanning and Leonardo di Caprio in the near future

The Kerryman's star is rising at an incredible rate and having already worked with Toni Collette, he'll soon be rubbing shoulders with more members of Hollywood's elite.

Shooting on Brain on Fire, a movie based on a New York Times bestseller of the same name, is due to take place in New York over the summer, with Charlize Theron, Will Poulter and Dakota Fanning already attached.

Following that, Barrett is set to team up with Leonardo di Caprio for a film based on an Irish novel that came out last year, but details are thin on the ground for now.

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How Martin Scorcese will deal with Barrett stealing his golden boy remains to be seen, but those are the circles Barrett will be mixing in from now on.

4. He hails from a creative hotbed in north Kerry

A talent like Barrett would have flourished in any environment, but he couldn't help but be influenced by his surroundings growing up.

Barrett hails from near Listowel in Kerry in an area that is home to esteemed writers such as Brendan Kennelly, Bryan McMahon and the great John B Keane, while Barrett has cited Listowel cinematographer PJ Dillon as a huge influence on his work.

Interestingly enough, JOE's own Joe Harrington grew up in Causeway only 20 kilometres or so over the road; a creative hotbed indeed.

5. You can take the man out of Kerry...

What other award-winning film director is still bringing in the bales on the family farm?