Dermot Breen, Donal Crosbie, John Grierson and Vasgen Badal


Dublin Core


Dermot Breen, Donal Crosbie, John Grierson and Vasgen Badal


Cork Film Festival, Dermot Breen, Donal Crosbie, John Grierson, Vasgen Badal


This is a black and white photo, marked 1958, of Dermot Breen, Donal Crosbie, John Grierson and the Iranian-German film producer Vasgen Badal sitting together at a table in conversation. The festival director Dermot Breen, with his back to us, is leaning on the table with his right arm, listening to Crosbie and Badal. Grierson, with his distinctive dark-framed glasses, sits at the rear of the group drawing deeply on his cigarette. They are all wearing festival pins on the left lapels of their jackets and have papers strewn on the table before them, along with empty glasses and an ash-filled ashtray.

Vasgen Badal was born in 1891, in Tehran, and little is known about him. He was based in Germany and produced a series of films starring popular screen stars including Magda Schneider and Heinz Rühmann who also came to the Cork Film Festival. In 1958 Badal was presented with a statuette of St. Finbarr by Jack Lynch for the film Dreamroad of the World (Hans Domnick, 1958) under his film company 'Badal-Filmproduktion'. He produced a number of films in the thirties and forties including a Nazi propaganda film Roter Nebel (UA, 1941) which was released after the German attack on the USSR in June 1941. Vasgen Badal died in 1959 - a year after this photo was taken. As so little is known about him we are fortunate to have images of him in the archive. 

John Grierson was a Scottish documentary maker who coined the term 'documentary' in a review of Robert Flaherty's Moana (1926). Grierson founded the National Film Board of Canada (NFBC) in 1939 and worked there until his resignation in 1945. He lectured at Carleton and McGill University and his lectures at McGill University would attract up to seven hundred students for his classes. In his time Grierson sat on many film festival juries including Cannes, Venice, and Oberhausen; he was jury president in Cork in 1958 when this picture was taken. Grierson died in 1972 and was cremated and his urn, along with that of his brother who had died the previous year, was placed in the sea off the Old Head in Kinsale, County Cork. The now-prestigious Grierson Award, set up in 1972 by the Grierson Trust and UK Film Council, commemorate his life and contribution to documentary film and is awarded annually.


University College Cork, Cork Film Festival, RW Hammond


Cork Film Festival Collection


University College Cork




RW Hammond


©RW Hammond. All rights reserved. Please credit Cork International Film Festival & provide a link back to this site.




English, eng


Cork, Ireland

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

215 x 167mm



University College Cork, Cork Film Festival, RW Hammond , “Dermot Breen, Donal Crosbie, John Grierson and Vasgen Badal,” Cork International Film Festival Archive, accessed March 5, 2024,