Here our colleagues Eavan King, Film Education Programme Manager and Bernie McLaughlin, Foyle Film Festival Director share their memories of working with Flynn and his impact on Foyle Film Festival in particular.
James chaired our Shorts to Features Conference for many years as part of Foyle Film Festival. He was generous with his time and his expertise to new and emerging filmmakers, chairing Industry panels on feature film and TV productions that he led and developed, while always shining a light on Irish and UK talent. He was a great interviewer, well researched, engaging and curious, welcoming many guests to the festival over the years including Jeff Pope, Mat Whitecross, Orla Brady, Maeve Murphy, Aardman Animation and many more.
Flynn produced The Door, directed by Juanita Wilson, which won the Best Irish Short award at Foyle Film Festivals Light in Motion competition, this led to an Oscar nomination for Best Short Film at the 2010 Academy Awards. Both he and his wife Jaunita returned to the festival over the years with their own works as well as supporting their son Alex with his short films in competition. He was kind, unassuming and a giant of the Irish Film and TV industry. He will be greatly missed, our sincere sympathies extend to Juanita, Alex, Anna, his family, friends and colleagues.
I am genuinely saddened to learn of the passing of James Flynn. During my time as Director/Programmer at Foyle Film Festival James became a tireless supporter of the festival — particularly the Shorts To Features Conference which he chaired for many years. Regardless of his busy schedule whenever I asked him to be involved he did everything he could in order to participate, many times arriving really late the night before or early on the morning of the conference due to other work commitments, so as not to disappoint. Despite this busy workload he always arrived fully organised and briefed in order to deliver his usual high standard of professionalism.
Other guests would be impressed that the Oscar nominated producer James Flynn would be chairing their talk. But James was low-key and modest and was always generous to everyone with his time and expertise, giving his personal contact to anyone who wanted to follow-up with help and advice.
I will forever be grateful, professionally and personally, for his help and support. James was a distinguished Irish film producer, but beyond that he was an extremely kind, modest, and generous man. I extend my deepest and heartfelt sympathy to his wife Juanita, son Alex and daughter Anna, and the rest of his family and friends.
Image courtesy of RTÉ online.