Saturday 16 December 2017

It's picture perfect as Cathy follows in dad's footsteps

Cathy Pearson, whose debut film was a sell-out at the Jameson Film Festival
Cathy Pearson, whose debut film was a sell-out at the Jameson Film Festival

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

SHE started out working as a location manager for her father and now Cathy Pearson – and not her dad, film producer Noel Pearson – is being feted on the red carpet at the Dublin Film Festival.

The Dublin woman has secured an international distribution deal for debut film 'Get The Picture', which had a sell-out screening at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival on Sunday.

The film tells the story of 'Life' magazine and 'New York Times' picture editor John G Morris, whose career spanned 70 years and involved publishing some of the most controversial pictures of the 20th century.

Among them were Robert Capa's images of the D-Day landings on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, to the photograph of a naked nine-year-old girl fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam in 1972.

"I wanted to make a film that would inspire people to see and understand the world," Ms Pearson told the Irish Independent.

"John often gets referred to as a walking history library. For instance, he is probably the last living journalist to cover the D-Day landings."

It was a chance encounter with the then 92 year old in a Paris restaurant that led to the 70-minute film. "I was out to dinner with a friend when a man sitting at a nearby table asked if he could join our conversation. It was John. He had the most amazing stories about Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Capa, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Cartier Bresson, which we listened to before he invited us back to his apartment in Paris to show us his photo archive," she said.

Fascinated, Ms Pearson then read Morris's memoir 'Get the Picture', which prompted her to ask his permission to make a film about his life.

Cathy's father (who counts 'My Left Foot' among his productions) acted as executive producer on the film.

"Dad has been a huge inspiration for me and helped steer the ship. Instinctively he knows when something is good or crap and he doesn't keep it to himself. He is a straight-talker. But all the time he wanted me to do it my way, and learn from my own mistakes."

Irish Independent

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