Michael Lennox is the director of Boogaloo and Graham, one of the short films in competition at Irish Film Festa 2016. It was nominated for best short film at the 2015 Oscars and won a BAFTA Award for the same category.
Boogaloo and Graham tells the story of Jamesy and Malachy, two young brothers living in Belfast during the 1970s. One day their soft-hearted dad presents them with two baby chicks to care for…
Boogaloo & Graham got a lot of success last year, all over the world: what were the responses of the different audiences to this Northern Irish story?
The responses were amazing and positive. A fear for this type of story was: would it translate globally? And it was exceeded our expectations. That’s the power of cinema.
How did you choose Riley Hamilton and Aaron Lynch, the young boys who play Jamesy and Malachy?
I found Riley Hamilton in a Kick Boxing Club in East Belfast. One of the issues with casting young actors is it can seem forced and theatrical. I wanted to find someone untainted by the acting world and use that rawness as an advantage. I could hear Riley having an argument with his mother after a class and I though he has exactly the naturalness I was looking for. You find gems in the most unusual places. Aaron Lynch is a massively talented young actor. He already had experience on film, so was the perfect counterpart to help young Riley as his older brother in Boogaloo.
What did you love the most about the screenplay by Ronan Blaney?
I love Ronan’s heart in every story he writes. No matter the subject matter or genre, his story has heart. He has a wildly dark sense of humour with his dialogue, which I find hilarious.