Irish Film Festival London reveals 2017 line-up

Irish Film Festival London reveals 2017 programme
The Drummer and the Keeper – Opening Night Feature at IFFL 2017

The world’s largest Irish Film Festival returns to the UK capital

Wednesday 29th November – Sunday 3rd December

Back for their 7th year, the Irish Film Festival London presents Ireland’s latest mainstream and independent films over 5 days across London with exclusive previews, panel discussions and director’s Q&As.

IFFL 2017 opens with , directed by Nick Kelly, telling the touching story of an unlikely friendship that develops between the bipolar drummer of a rock band and an institutionalised teen suffering from Asperger’s syndrome.

The closing film is The Farthest, a stunning, award-winning documentary from Emer Reynolds, about the men and women who built the Voyager spaceships – one of humankind’s greatest achievements.

Female Filmmakers in Focus

IFFL 2017 celebrates women filmmakers, with four of Ireland’s finest female directors engaged in screenings and discussions. The Breadwinner (directed by Nora Twomey and executive produced by Angelina Jolie) and The Farthest (directed by Emer Reynolds) are both being screened at the festival with Q&As (Sunday 3rd December).

Irish Film Festival London reveals 2017 programme
The Breadwinner, screening at the IFFL 2017

Regent Street’s private screening on Friday 1st December of a stunning upcoming feature is directed by one of Ireland’s rising female directors.

Aisling Walsh () joins the line-up of the festival’s Female Focus Forum along with Celine Haddad (Irish Film Board), Roisin Geraghty (GAZE), Aoife McCardle (Kissing Candice) and Anne Marie Naughton (Women in Film and Television Ireland / WFT.i) (Thursday 30th November).

There will also be a panel discussion on Irish Screen Industries, the UK and Brexit, featuring speakers from the Irish Film Board, the BFI, Ateliers du Cinéma Européen (ACE), and Northern Ireland Screen discussing how Brexit could affect the Irish Film and TV industries (Thursday 30th November).


Sean-nós fans will love Song of Granite from acclaimed director Pat Collins, which brings the dramatic life story of legendary sean-nós singer Joe Heaney to the screen with an audacious exploration of the man and his music on Saturday 2nd December.

Irish Film Festival London reveals 2017 programme
Song of Granite, based on sean-nós singer Joe Heaney, screening at the IFFL 2017

Further feature film screenings include Maze by Stephen Burke, inspired by the true events of the infamous 1983 prison breakout of 38 IRA prisoners from HMP, which was to become the biggest prison escape in Europe since World War II (Friday 1st December); The Secret Scripture, Jim Sheridan’s heart-wrenching tale of a woman who resides in a psychiatric hospital recounting her youth of romance, obsession and chaos, starring Rooney Mara, Jack Reynor, Aidan Turner, Vanessa Redgrave and Pauline McLynn (Saturday 2nd December).

The penultimate festival screening, Maurice Fitzpatrick’s documentary In The Name Of Peace: John Hume in America, tells the story of John Hume who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1998 as well as the Martin Luther King Award and the Gandhi Peace Prize, the only person to have been awarded all three.

Narrated by Liam Neeson and featuring interviews with presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as Irish leaders, U2’s Bono and Prime Ministers John Major and Tony Blair (Sunday 3rd December).

Supporting New Filmmakers

Irish Film London’s mission is to support the work of Irish filmmakers both established and emerging and this year presents two afternoons of screenings of Irish Short Films (Friday 1st and Sunday 3rd December), jam packed with up and coming Irish filmmaking talent.

GAZE International LGBT Film Festival Dublin celebrated its 25-year legacy of LGBT inclusivity, visibility, celebration, activism and progress this year. Here the IFFL joins them in marking this Silver Anniversary with a collection of LGBT Irish shorts screenings (Saturday 2nd December).

The next generation can enjoy a festive screening of The Star, in which the lovable donkey Bo and his friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas. This is accompanied by a Shadow Animation Workshop for creating fantastical characters and bringing them to life on-screen.

Irish Film Festival London reveals 2017 programme
Maze, screening at the Irish Film Festival London 2017

Kelly O’Connor, Director of Irish Film Festival London said, “We are delighted to be bringing another monster batch of Irish films to London for the festival.

I’m particularly looking forward to having a festival hub, at Regent Street Cinema this year, where we will spend 3 of our 5 day’s and screen the majority of our programme. London is a big city, so it’s great to be able to offer our guests and audience somewhere where there will always be a friendly Irish welcome, and plenty of film chat!

I’m also very proud to have such a strong line up of women on our female focus panel, because of whom it is sure to be inspirational and insightful. These women are at the forefront of the industry and their successes are a testament to the ambition and exceptional talent among Irish female filmmakers.”

Follow the festival on social media: Twitter, Facebook & Instagram #IrishFilmLondon

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