The rise and rise of Irish film
This year’s Irish Film Festival London put to bed any question that it’s the largest international Irish film festival in the world.
With over 35 films across ten venues in five days, this celebration of Irish entertainment and creative endeavour rivals its sisters in The States and across Europe. The Chicago and Boston Irish Film Festivals are the eldest with 17 years each, under the direction of Jude Blackburn and Dawn Morrissey respectively.
Meanwhile New York, San Francisco and LA have recently merged under the umbrella of Irish Screen America, run by Niall McKay. Enda Murray’s Sydney Irish Film Festival is the latest to emerge and also the further from Ireland.+12
The London festival has grown steadily over the last few years, but this year has seen its most significant hike in profile. Its glitzy awards ceremony at the Irish Embassy in early November certainly helped on that front. There they honoured four films, and two young actors; Alex Murphy and Chris Walley, who received the inaugural Ros Hubbard Award for Acting.
Subsequent highlights from the 6th Irish Film Festival London included an audience with Jim Sheridan at Tricycle Cinema in Kilburn, just a stone’s throw from the Sir Colin Campbell, where he shot his latest film 11th Hour with Salma Hayek this autumn.
Other guests included multi-Oscar nominated director Lenny Abrahamson, break through acting talents Iseult Casey and Shane Murray-Corcoran and the cast and crew from Emerald City, who flew in from New York for their Global Premiere.
Next up for the Irish Film London team is a children’s shadow animation workshop at Birkbeck Cinema on Saturday 10th Dec, and then the planning begins for the three day St. Patrick’s Irish Film Festival in March 2017, which IFL programmes for the Mayor of London.
• For more info go to www.irishfilmlondon.com