Renowned film producer’s Dublin 8 home for €595,000
Charming redbrick is warm and light-filled with original fireplaces and flooring
Katie Holly at her three-bedroom home on Wolseley Street. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Amid the current debate about the under-representation of women in Irish film and theatre, producer Katie Holly is breaking all the rules.
Having risen from head of production at Treasure Entertainment, where she oversaw production of the much-acclaimed Man About Dog, to establishing her own company, Blinder Films, in conjunction with Kieron J Walsh in 2006, Holly was listed as an Irish Producer on the Rise at Cannes in 2010.
Her debut film, One Hundred Mornings, directed by Conor Horgan and starring Ciarán McMenamin, took the Special Jury Award at the Slamdance Festival in 2010 and an Ifta for best cinematography. Holly, who has not yet reached her fourth decade, is also on the Irish Film Board and part of the Dublin Dance Festival.
Her second film, Sensation, gave Domhnall Gleeson his first leading role, while her most recent success is The Queen of Ireland, the documentary about Ireland’s favourite drag queen, Panti, again directed by Horgan.
Next on the horizon is Grace Jones: The Musical of My Life.
“She is groundbreaking,” says Holly of Jones. “Just amazing, vital and powerful: she commands all the attention when she enters a room.”
After securing funding from the Irish Film Board in 2006, “when Kieron and I had just a desk and a laptop”, Blinder Films expanded to produce some of Ireland’s favourite comedies, including The Savage Eye and Irish Pictorial Weekly.
“Without that backing, we would not have grown into what we are today. But funding has fallen from €17 million to €11 million since 2007 and this is critical, especially with remarkable home-grown talent and companies such as Element Pictures, whose work is now being applauded on the world stage,” says Holly.
A busy woman, Holly admits to working up to 12 hours a day, which is the reason she has placed her three-bedroom, 124sq m (1,335sq ft) property at 15 Wolseley Street, just a stone’s throw from Leonard’s Corner, on the market through Felicity Fox with an asking price of €595,000.
The hub of the house is a country-style kitchen, which was extended by previous owners. Complete with a stove for warmth on chilly winter evenings, it features a large utility room and access to a flagged patio. Every room besides the bathroom has a fireplace.
“We have a modern pergola out here,” says Holly, with a smile about a structure laden with coloured lights. While a focal party piece in the dark, the structure fabricated from scaffolding could be planted with climbers to soften its effect during the day.
The two reception rooms with original fireplaces and polished floors, have a southwesterly aspect, which floods the rooms with light. Towering inbuilt bookshelves in both rooms are laden with CDs, DVDs and books giving an insight into Holly’s passions while not at work.
Upstairs there are three fine-sized double bedrooms, with original pine flooring and a large bathroom. The house, with the exception of a few marks on the carpet in the hall, is in perfect condition.
Holly’s new home, a few streets closer to town, has an office and more space in which she and her housemate Michael McDermott, of Le Cool and Doggie Do, Ireland’s first canine fashion show, can work, relax and entertain.
Her latest venture is Love and Friendship, which is in post production and stars Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny and Stephen Fry.
Film-making runs in Holly’s blood: her grandfather William Clarke opened Wicklow’s first cinema, the Excelsior. “My father also told me of how he spent the day I was born watching a double bill in the Savoy, unable to visit me, as I was premature and lay in the ICU of the Rotunda round the corner,” she says .
The name for her company, Blinder, originates from that very Irish term “playing a blinder”. Given the many successes she has notched up in her career, it’s proving prophetic for Holly.