Paula Kehoe is the Galway-based filmmaker behind the TG4-broadcast documentary Assimilation, which was the commended entry in the Minorities in Society category of this year’s Prix CIRCOM.

Tell us about your Prix entry?

In the documentary Assimilation the Irish poet Louis de Paor returns to his once adopted homeland to explore the complex relationship between Indigenous Australians and the Irish in Australia, examining the role the Irish played in the dispossession of the Aboriginal people. At the heart of this exploration is the story of the Stolen Generations, mixed race children who were taken away from their families under assimilation policies, and an Aboriginal resistance lead by 'Shamrock Aborigines', who saw theirs as a shared struggle against a common oppressor. Weaving social and personal history with poetry, Assimilation reveals the hidden story of the Irish in Australia.


Tell us about yourself?

I am an Irish Australian filmmaker who has spent nearly two decades living and working in Ireland. I have written, produced and directed television programmes and series for RTÉ and TG4, BBC Scotland and Current TV in the US. Assimilation is a story I've wanted to tell for a long time and in 2012 I established Saoi Media to begin making independent projects.

If I'm not making my own feature documentaries I am a freelance director and my work making television programs focuses on the environment, culture and society.

I learned Irish as an adult and learning a minority language has had a huge impact on my life, on my work and on my world view.


What is next for you?

There's a lot of interesting projects coming up and a lot to look forward to. I'm working on a feature documentary about an Irish poet's life and work, and I'm currently developing a series about food, culture and the environment along Ireland's west coast.


Tell us one thing you’re putting in your suitcase for Cavtat?

A Croatian phrase book. Govorite li engleski?

You can find Saoi Media on Twitter and Paula's blog here