Diamond Valley

Films in the Valley of Diamonds
Overlooking the Valley of Diamonds (and the Diamond Valley apartments) from the other side of the river Dargle, is Ardmore Studios, internationally renowned centre of film-making excellence.

Well over 100 films have been shot at Ardmore since the studios first opened in 1958, featuring a roll call of directors and stars that reads like a who's who of cinematic talent.

Julie Andrews, Fred Astaire, Richard Burton, Katharine Hepburn, John Mills, Robert Mitchum, Peter O'Toole and Peter Ustinov were among the famous names who worked in Ardmore during its early years.

In more recent times, the studios have hosted stars like Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Sean Connery, Tom Cruise, Richard Dreyfuss, Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Richard Harris, Dennis Hopper, Nicole Kidman, Ben Kingsley, Daniel Day Lewis, Matthew McConaughey, Colm Meaney, Liam Neeson, Meryl Streep and many more.

Top directors working in Ardmore have included John Boorman, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Crichton, Stephen Frears, Mel Gibson, Ron Howard, John Huston, Neil Jordan, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, Pat O'Connor, Alan Parker, Kevin Reynolds, John Schlesinger and Jim Sheridan.

Ardmore Studios has always been associated with award-winning excellence, from Katharine Hepburn's Oscar for Best Actress in 1968's The Lion in Winter to the five awarded to Mel Gibson's Braveheart in 1995, including Best Picture and Best Director.

My Left Foot was another big winner in 1989, taking Oscars in two categories for Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis) and Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Fricker), and nominations in another three for Best Director (Jim Sheridan), Best Adapted Screenplay (Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan) and Best Picture.
Several other Ardmore-based films have been nominated for Academy Awards over the years. Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965), Peter O'Toole in The Lion in Winter (1968) and Richard Harris in The Field (1990) were all nominated for Best Actor in their respective years.

Many more have been nominated for Oscars or won awards at various film festivals around the world including The Boxer, The Butcher Boy, The Commitments, Da, Dancing at Lughnasa, Excalibur, In the Name of the Father and The Snapper.


Films with outdoor scenes shot in and around Bray:

  • Far and Away starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman - Kilruddery House
  • Henry V - starring Laurence Olivier - Powerscourt.
  • Michael Collins - starring Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts - Carlisle Grounds.
  • The Commitments - directed by Alan Parker - Bray Head Hotel.
  • The Miracle- directed by Neil Jordan - The Promenade.
  • My Left Foot - starring Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker - St. Kevin's Square.

 

Éamon de Buitléar
Éamon de Buitléar is an independent filmmaker and has been involved in natural history programmes for many years. He was born in 1930 and spent most of his life living and working in the Valley of Diamonds on the River Dargle.

A Life in the Wild

His series Amuigh Faoin Spéir (Out Under The Sky) gave audiences their very first opportunity to watch programmes on Ireland’s wildlife. He has had a regular series of programmes on the home station ever since his early days of broadcasting.

His award winning wildlife TV series, Ireland's Wild Countryside, was consistently in RTE's Top Ten programmes. A later 24 part series Wild Islands, was commissioned by RTE, STV and S4C. These programmes featured the wildlife of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. His films on Ireland for the BBC’s Natural History Unit have been seen coast to coast in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Éamon de Buitléar has written several books, including one having the same title as his TV series Ireland's Wild Countryside, which was published by Boxtree. His autobiography 'A Life in the Wild', which includes a captivating account of his childhood living on the River Dargle at the Valley of Diamonds, was published by Gill & McMillan in 2004.

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