North Circular – Director Luke McManus

Director Luke McManus’ rousing and sublime documentary NORTH CIRCULAR is a musical ode that travels the length of Dublin’s North Circular Road, from the Phoenix Park to Dublin Port, exploring the history, music and streetscapes of a street that links some of the country’s most beloved and infamous places. Told in black and white 4:3 Academy ratio, the film evokes many narratives from the history of the city and nation, from colonialism, to mental health, to the struggle for women’s liberation while also engaging with urgent issues of today, including the battle to save the legendary Cobblestone Pub, centre of Dublin’s recent folk revival, from destruction at the hands of cynical property developers. The film also includes musical performances from artists local to the North Circular, including John Francis Flynn, Séan Ó Túama, Eoghan O’Ceannabháin, Ian Lynch & Gemma Dunleavy. Director Luke McManus joins us for a conversation on the personal connection that he has to this historic roadway, how the road has played into the history of Dublin, highlighting the vital role that traditional Irish music has in the life of this community, what makes the Cobblestone Pub the most essential venue on North Circular and how stumbling upon Music Night at the Pub changed the course of the film, and the importance of contributing to the local economy.


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About the filmmaker – Luke McManus is a filmmaker based in Grangegorman, just off the North Circular Road. Luke has produced and directed award-winning documentary projects for NBC, Netflix, RTÉ, Virgin Media Television, TG4, NDR/ARD, Al Jazeera and Channel 4, winning four IFTAs, one Celtic Media Award and the Radharc Award in the process. His debut feature as producer was The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, which premiered in the Main Competition at IDFA in 2018, won the George Morrison Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Irish Film & Television Awards and the Best Irish Film Award at the Dublin International Film Festival.  North Circular is his debut feature documentary as a director.  For more go to:


100% on RottenTomatoes

“A love letter to hard-scrabble North Dublin” – Will Hermes, The New York Times

“Resonant, vivid and beautifully shot… pregnant with images and ideas… a film made with real artistry” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

“Insightful, exquisite…beautifully observed and evocative.”-  John Maguire, Business Post

“A fascinating psychogeography… captivating, positively operatic.” – Donald Clarke, Irish Times

“A glorious documentary… brilliant… told with beautiful photography and glorious music… I love this film! …A gorgeous, beautiful, important story… a glorious trip!”, – John Fardy, Newstalk

“Beautiful, visually and sonically striking…A heartfelt love letter to Dublin.”- Leo Barraclough, Variety

“A film full of astonishing imagery…a remarkable contemporary document of places, people, lives and times” – Luke Maxwell, Dublin Inquirer

“A time-capsule charmer…beguiling…If ever a film was a rallying cry against isolation, it’s this one.” – Harry Guerin, RTÉ