By Shelley Marsden
THE eclectic Irish Film Festival London returns for a third year later this month.
The festival, from November 20-24, features dramas, documentaries, animations, comedies and real-life tales – screened at The Tricycle in Kilburn, The Riverside Studios in Hammersmith and the Institute of Contemporary Art on The Mall. There will also be several exclusive directors’ and cast Q&A sessions for film buffs to enjoy.
Opening night is at The Tricycle on Wednesday 20with The Irish Pub, a documentary lovingly filmed in some of Ireland’s most famous pubs. Described as “a joy from start to finish”, it pays tribute to one of Ireland’s greatest institutions. The screening will be followed by a Q&A, hosted by the Irish World’s Shelley Marsden, with director Alex Fegan and one of the film’s star publicans.
On Thursday November 21, the action moves to The Riverside for Silence. Recently voted Film of the Week by the British Film Institute, the Irish landscape is the star in this beautiful film about sound recordist Eoghan, who returns to Ireland and his childhood home on Tory Island after an absence of fifteen years. Director Pat Collins will attend for a Q&A.
The festival takes a whimsical turn on Friday 22 when Fionuala Flanagan and Pat Shortt star in Life’s A Breeze at The Tricycle. The fortunes of a recession-hit family are on the line in this feel-good comedy caper, with a Q&A following the screening with award-winning director Lance Daly (Kisses).
Flanagan is back on Saturday afternoon when she narrates (in English and as Gaeilge) Men At Work/Lon sa Speir as part of the festival’s Irish language selection. The documentary tells the story behind one of the 19th century’s most iconic images – Lunch Atop A Skyscraper, taken during the construction of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The IFTA award-winning film was produced and directed by brothers Eamonn and Sean O’Culain – Eamon will attend the Riverside for a Q&A session.
An Bhean A Shuil Trasna Mheiricea/ The woman who walked across America is a 52-minute bilingual documentary telling the story of Mary Devine, who crossed America on foot with her four year old daughter during the 1860s in a desperate attempt to return home to West Kerry. Director John O’Donnell will attend for a Q&A.
Saturday’s bill draws to a close with a selection of short films from the Irish Film Board’s Short Films Schemes.
Sunday 24 is family day at the Riverside Studios from1pm with a workshop in shadow animation and animated shorts for young movie fans. Later that afternoon, the festival moves over to the Institute of Contemporary Art for Art Will Save the World, a documentary on the life of the enigma that is Luke Haines. Director Niall McCann will be in attendance.
Those with an interest in London-Irish history will enjoy Breaking Ground, the story of the London Irish Women’s Centre. Made by an all women crew, it features unique archive material and intercuts eighteen different interviews with women involved in the organisation over its rich 29 year history. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Michelle Deignan and representatives from the LIWC/ Mind Yourself.
The festival’s finale is the inspiring Run and Jump, an unconventional love story which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and features Maxine Peake as the optimistic heart and soul of a family facing all the odds. Oscar-nominated and award-winning producers Tamara Anghie (New Boy) and Martina Niland (Once) will attend for a Q&A.
For more and to buy tickets, see www.irishfilmfestivallondon.com