Irish Film Festival London announces 2019 programme

Irish Film Festival London announces 2019 programme

The Irish Film Festival London (IFFL), now in its ninth year, returns with an exciting and diverse programme of the latest Irish mainstream and independent films.

The five-day festival, the largest international festival of Irish films in the world, includes numerous UK premieres, panel discussions and directors’ Q&As.

Kelly O’Connor, Director, IFFL, said: “Festival HQ is buzzing with excitement about this year’s festival. We’re putting the final touches on the programme and can’t wait to announce the line-up. Irish film continues to amaze and delight global audiences and the film industry, and it’s our pleasure to be able to present the UK premieres of some of the finest examples of that film-making.”

This year Moe Dunford, one of the rising stars of a new generation of Irish actors, joins the family of IFFL patrons, alongside Hollywood star Colin Farrell, award winning director Lenny Abrahamson, and distinguished film casting director, Ros Hubbard.

Moe said: “Each time I have been to the IFFL, I have thoroughly enjoyed it and felt proud that Irish films are being promoted so strongly. I’m honoured and look forward to attending as a Patron this year.

“A film I did that is very close to me, Patrick’s Day, brought me to this festival for the first time, and since then I’ve been lucky enough to have various films shown at IFFL.

“I’ve been so impressed with the way Kelly O’Connor & the team invigorate & encourage audiences to experience Irish film over the years. As a typical Irishman, I’ve always loved the social aspect of getting together and having the chats and the craic with the diverse audience that London offers. 

Irish Film Festival London announces 2019 programme
Actor Moe Dunford at the Irish Film Festival London

Next year the IFFL celebrates its 10th anniversary, and over the last decade the festival has played a major role in the growing strength and visibility of Ireland’s screen talent in the UK film industry.

Past premieres and screenings at the IFFL include films with Jim Sheridan, Roddy Doyle, Saoirse Ronan, Cillian Murphy, Andrew Scott, John Crowley, Aisling Walsh, Neil Jordan, Martin McDonagh and IFFL patrons Moe Dunford, Colin Farrell and Lenny Abrahamson.

Kelly said: “The current political climate in the UK has created challenging times for Anglo-Irish relations. We’re proud and delighted to bring a programme of new films to London which reflects both a wonderfully progressive modern Ireland, and the long journey we’ve been through to get to this point.” 

To officially launch the Festival, the Irish Film London Awards returns to the beautiful setting of the Ballroom of the Irish Embassy on 12th November. The awards honour world-class Irish feature films, shorts, documentaries and music videos, alongside Irish acting and film making talent. 

Among the awards will be the annual Ros Hubbard Award for Acting, which identifies the performance of the year as well as the much-coveted Súil Eile Award.

The Festival returns to its spiritual home, Regent Street Cinema, regarded as the capital’s oldest and most historic cinema. During the festival, the venue is transformed into a Festival Hub, where visitors can enjoy an Irish welcome, and find out information about many of the other Irish goings on, and many organisations in London.  

 Kelly said: “As well as curating and showing excellent films, we’re proud that the IFFL has developed a reputation as one of the friendliest film festivals in the capital; we get great audiences that run from the Irish diaspora seeking a taste of home to a wide diversity of Londoners looking for new cultural experiences; from serious film buffs to people who just want to see a damn fine film.”

One of the films we are delighted to feature this year is Dark Lies The Island, a dark, comic melodrama about a family spinning out of control in a small Irish town. Two brothers try to crawl out from the shadow of their domineering father while his young wife is trapped in a whirlpool of sexual jealousy. Dark Lies The Island comes from the fertile imagination of award winning novelist, playwright and screenwriter Kevin Barry (City of Bohane). It is directed by Ian FitzGibbon (Perriers Bounty, Death of a Superhero) and produced by Michael Garland (The Legend of Longwood, Death of a Superhero). Cast includes Pat Shortt (Garage, Queen and Country), Peter Coonan (Penance, The Drummer and The Keeper), Moe Dunford (Handsome Devil, Patrick’s Day), Charlie Murphy (The Foreigner, Philomena), Tommy Tiernan (Derry Girls, Dave Allen at Peace) and Jana Mohieden. 

Irish Film Festival London announces 2019 programme
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn, screened at the Irish Film Festival London in 2015

Part of Irish Film London’s mission is to support Irish filmmakers from the beginning of their careers, and this year’s line-up includes a number of short films from excellent emerging filmmakers, alongside some of Ireland’s better-known cinematic talents. As example of this excellence is Carol Freeman, a graduate of Ireland’s National Film School. Her extraordinary animated short film The Bird and the Whale, which is comprised of 3,400 beautiful paintings on glass, reflects the exciting new talent coming out of Ireland today. 

IFFL is a truly people’s film festival and tickets for all film showings will be available via the IFFL website and Regent St Cinema website in mid-October. To be the first to know, sign up to the IFFL mailing list at www.irishfilmlondon.com.

Trailer for Dark Lies The Island starring IFFL patron Moe Dunford, which will be shown at the festival

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