Date Posted: September 20, 2018
We were deeply saddened to hear this week that Jo Gilbert died prematurely after battling serious illness. Jo flew a staggeringly energetic flag for the potential of the film industry for Northern Ireland long before anyone else would take it seriously. Indefatigable in her belief that a film industry could thrive in Northern Ireland, Jo delivered two of the most critical and earliest developments in the screen industry’s growth. In a whirlwind style that was all her own, Jo turned the old Paint Hall at Harland & Wolff into a film studio for Terry Ryan’s film adaptation of the Spike Milligan comedy novel, Puckoon (2002). It would be 2007 before City of Ember followed her lead. She also produced Richard Attenborough’s last film, Closing the Ring (2006) which in many ways marked the beginning of international screen industry figures working in Northern Ireland. Jo was not always on the best of terms with Northern Ireland Screen but her contribution to the development of the screen industry was immense and we are thankful that she chose to align her energy and belief with Northern Ireland.
Closing the Ring (2006)