Rebecca O'Flanagan and Rob Warpole

Volcano meant road trip from hell for Tribeca Irish filmmakers


Rebecca O'Flanagan and Rob Warpole

The erupting Iceland volcano did not stop two intrepid Irish filmmakers from getting their film to the Tribeca Film Festival.

"I’ve never traveled this long in my life," said Rob Walpole, as he and his co-producer Rebecca O’Flanagan arrived at La Guardia Airport after a journey that took them through three continents. "We’re just excited to be in New York City."

They were carrying the final cut of their festival entry, "My Brothers," but lost their luggage. Fortunately, the final cut was in their hand baggage.

"We’ve arrived with the shirts on our backs," O’Flanagan told the New York Post.

Their journey began when the volcano ash canceled their flight from Dublin to New York and they knew they had the road trip from hell ahead. Only Madrid airport was open in Europe,

"The flights were shut down everywhere else " Walpole said. "There was no sign of the volcano abating."

So they piled in his 11-year-old Opel Astra, and drove on a ferry to Wales.

Then they drove 400 miles overnight to Dover and caught a ferry to Calais in France, drove to Bordeaux, then stayed overnight and drove to Madrid.
In Madrid, they got tickets to Bogota. Colombia, the closest path they could find to America.

"We had 20 minutes to make the connection and we just made it," he said. "On the way to Bogota, we were thinking, ‘What are we doing here?’"

From Bogota they flew to Miami and then to New York a day ahead of the world premiere.


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