Film on Joanne’s life premieres this weekend

A film about an inspirational Cork teenager who was born with no limbs premieres tomorrow and will be screened across Ireland and possibly abroad as early as next month.

The documentary, No Limbs, No Limits, chronicles the extraordinary life of Joanne O’Riordan, 17, and will be shown at the Cork Opera House.

Joanne’s older brother Steven, who spent the past two years making the film, said he expects to learn next week whether the €100,000 documentary will be released in cinemas across the country.

Executives from Element Pictures, Ireland’s largest film distributor, will watch the 75-minute movie on Monday, after which they will make their decision.

But Steven said he has wider ambitions for the project and hopes film chiefs find the life story of his sister — one of just seven people in the world with the condition total amelia syndrome — powerful enough to give it an international release.

He has already submitted the movie for consideration for January’s prestigious Sundance film festival in Utah. Steven said if the project gets the green light for the festival, it could lead to a wider release across the US.

Meanwhile, Grammy winner Julie Gold, most famous for her track ‘From a Distance’, is being flown in by Aer Lingus for the premiere. Steven said: “We asked Aer Lingus could they help us get Julie over and I must say we were all delighted to learn that Aer Lingus not only agreed but said they would sponsor the flight, too.”

In 2012, Joanne met with Ms Gold in NYC when she was about to address the UN on how technology has enhanced her life.

Joanne learned that Ms Gold had penned a special song for her entitled ‘No Limits’ and wanted to meet up. The song and scene will be revealed at Sunday’s launch.

“I can’t believe a Grammy award winner will be attending the launch of the documentary,” said Joanne.

“This is really cool and of course I have to say thank you to Aer Lingus.”

The documentary also includes Joanne’s address to the UN conference in New York over a year ago and footage of her recent meeting with fellow total amelia syndrome sufferer, Tina Stark, 28, in the UK.

*Just over 200 tickets remain available for tomorrow’s premiere. To book, see corkoperahouse.ie

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