Eli Dolliver is the director of Best of Cork Short ‘Lovestruck’ and was a former Youth Jury member at the Cork Film Festival
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born in Australia and my family moved to Ireland when I was three years old. I grew up in Turner’s Cross with two fantastic sisters, one beautiful dog, and one very spoiled cat. I have just graduated from UCC with a BA in Film and Screen Media. Since then, I have been busy working on film projects, and as a freelance videographer, producing promotional videos and advertisements. I’ve also been setting up a business with my classmate for all our freelance work, Wishbone Media, which we will be launching soon. However, my real passion is cinema. My biographical documentary short Chloe, did the festival circuit last year, and I’m delighted that my fiction film Lovestruck will be featuring in the 64th Cork Film Festival, which runs from November 7 to 17. I couldn’t be more excited!
What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?
A quiet pint and a catch up with the girls in Fionnbarra’s is always on the cards, but I love to go to the cinema or theatre if there’s anything good on. Lately, I was fortunate enough to catch an amazing play called The Misfit Mythology, starring locals Irene Kelleher and Eanna Hardwicke, as well as the beautiful Loch na hEala in the Cork Opera House. Now we have the Cork Film Festival coming up. We are so lucky that there is such a thriving arts scene in Cork. You are never hard pressed to find something to see.
Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?
If I get up after 9 o’clock I feel terribly guilty, but it very much depends on the evening before.
Does work creep into your weekend at all?
When you’re self-employed it’s hard to separate work and free time. The borders are definitely blurred, and my weekends aren’t necessarily time off. I usually just work as hard as I can when there’s work to be done, and make the most of it when there isn’t.
If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?
I would take my mom and sisters to Hoi An in Vietnam. We all love Vietnamese food, and it’s a trip we’ve been wanting to do for years. My mom works incredibly hard, and if I had my way she would be on holiday forever.
Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?
We have a caravan on the beach in a town in West Cork called Allihies. We’ve been camping there as long as I can remember, and it’s heaven on earth. Even if it’s raining, you can hop in the car and hide out in the caravan, escaping the world for a while.
Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?
It’s harder to keep in touch with my friends now that we’re all graduated and working, so lately we’ve taken to making the most of the weekends by going on little trips together around the country. We’ve been to Galway, Dundalk, and the Clonakilty Guitar Festival in the last few weeks. We forget how beautiful Ireland is sometimes. I can’t believe there’s so much I still haven’t seen.
Do you get to indulge in any hobbies? Even as a spectator?
I draw and paint as often as I can. Last month I took on “Inktober”, where you do a drawing every day for the month of October. Art is a wonderful way to forget your ego and pour your focus on to something entirely outside of yourself. I took a minor in English in college, and I also read constantly. I’ve just finished Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I am about to start a historical account of the Salem witch trials. I like to merge the two, and draw my favourite literary figures. I’ve never been sporty, but I go to yoga classes in the Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre every week so at least I can say I do some form of exercise. My favourite part is the nap at the end.
Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?
I can cook three things and two of them are pasta, so I definitely prefer to be entertained. My good friend Saoirse is a fantastic chef working in Miyazaki, so somehow we always end up in her house for dinner…
We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?
If we’re treating ourselves, our family love the Indian restaurant Iyers, or The Good Day Deli, which is right around the corner from us. When I have a sweet tooth there’s nothing like the mini salted caramel donuts from Sonny’s Deli.
I also worked in the English Market all throughout college, and I can’t stay away from the Real Olive Company’s amazing salad bar for too long without getting cravings.
When meeting a friend for coffee we sit outside Alchemy or The Roundy and watch the world go by (people watch and gossip).
Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?
Old habits die hard, and the routine of doing all my college work at the last minute before Monday has persisted, even though I’ve graduated. I need a productive blast to offset the guilt of enjoying myself over the weekend, so I often end up frantically cleaning at midnight.
What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?
Usually, my alarm goes off at 8am.
MORE ABOUT THE CORK FILM FESTIVAL
The 64th Cork Film Festival runs from November 7–17. More than 300 films and events are included in the jam-packed 2019 programme with 90% of the features, documentaries, animations and shorts having their first screening in Cork. Tickets are available at corkfilmfest.org.