Cork Film Fest 2013

IMG_0885The sun was blazing down on the River Lee as we drove into Cork City yesterday afternoon and it seemed to be the perfect omen to kick off our annual visit to one of Ireland’s most cultural cities and the 58th Cork Film Festival. First stop was the guest offices where we caught up with old friends, most especially Dawn McAllister and Ruby Moore who always treat us like American royalty, and got the inside scoop on festival and industry happenings we didn’t already have on our agenda. After posing for a jet lag picture to post on the “look who’s in Cork” wall we turned and there was the new festival director James Mullighan who was absolutely charming and most welcoming.

Dark TouchNot wanting to miss a single Irish film we have a quick dinner and then headed to The Pavilion for a screening of Luno Valleti’s The Invention of Failure…both the film and the space were quite interesting, the film a huge montage of vintage clips showcasing mankind’s missteps accompanied by live music and the space an old movie house broken into a bar and a dance club, strobe lights and all…we were warned. Then it was off to a midnight screening at Triskel Christchurch for a midnight screening of Marina DeVan’s Dark Touch a film that brings to mind Carrie and Firestarter featuring some brilliant special affects and acting by its young stars with absolutely no shortage of blood curdling screams and curdling blood. A good first day and no shortage of nightmare producing images…thank goodness for jet lag.

Colin DowneyThis morning we were in our seats for the 10 am screening of Colin Downey’s The Shadows, a small budget, but well executed, revamping of an old Scottish fairy tale by George Macdonald about a witched queen and the shadow people that help keep her evil designs in check over the centuries. Although the film may not have the rapid action and techno wizardry of most of today’s children’s films it was still really enjoyable and well received by the 100+ Jr. high students we viewed it with. Their Q&A after the screening with the director certainly proved that it held their attention and they were very interested in learning about “green screen” filming and the make-up used to create some of the characters.

The day is ending on high note with the first of eight shorts programs…tonight will be Cork Shorts I and we are very excited as always to see what’s new in a city that seems to have a young filmmaker standing on every corner. So we are off to grab a pint and hopefully snag the first of many great Irish shorts for our fest.

Back tomorrow with another festival update and hopefully a few films in hand.

 

Award winning Irish short CODA @ 50th Chicago International Film Festival : October 17th at 5PM

coda_1Alan Holly’s animated film CODA will screen as part if the festival’s Shorts 2 Program: Animation -Squash and Stretch!

Click for TicketsTrailer

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The film tells the story of a lost soul who stumbles drunkenly through the city. In a park, death finds him and shows him many things.CODA is the culmination of two years of painstaking work by a small team of animation artists and is voiced by Brian Gleeson (How to be Happy, Stag) and Orla Fitzgerald (The Wind that Shakes the Barley).

CODA has been screened around the world winning numerous awards including:

  • Audience Choice at SICAF 2014
  • Joint Best Animated Film Award Kratkofil Plus 2014
  • The Anča Award at Fest Anča 2014
  • Most Creative Short Award at The Edinburgh Short Film Festival 2014
  • Best Animated Short at SXSW 2014
  • The FICC Don Quijote Award

STILL starring Aiden Gillen @ Chicago International Film Festival

still_3English director Simon Blake’s debut feature, STILL, starring Aidan Gillen, has its North American premier at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival on today at 5:30P.M. @ the AMC : River East. (additional screenings: 10/12 at 5:15 PM and 10/15at 2:30 PM).
Click for Tickets
Trailer

Tom Carver (Gillen Game of Thrones, Calvary) is a man stumbling blindly towards a crossroads in his life, thrown out of focus by the death of his teenage son a year earlier in a car accident. He is a talented photographer whose career has largely been unfulfilled. A chance and seemingly unimportant confrontation between Tom and a fifteen year old boy brings his life and responsibilities to the fore. A battle of wills between Tom and the gang of kids develops, seemingly trivial and childish altercations begin to take a considerable sinister direction. Tom retreats ever inwards as his life starts to unravel, until at last it reaches its painful and shattering climax.

In an recent interview Simon Blake noted that “of all my projects, STILL is the film I am most deeply attached to, the one that refused to go away. Written during a six-month period soon after I had lost my mother but gained a beautiful son. Experiencing first hand a deep sense of grief and yet at the same time the intense love you have for your child – realizing how vulnerable you are as a parent. The themes in STILL of parental responsibility, loss, youth crime, alcoholism and how men deal with failure all seem as pertinent now as they were then. I cannot imagine anything worse than to lose a child, nailed to a future without end. It is that element that tips STILL into the horror genre of films like Don’t Look Now. I wanted to investigate the way grief can imprison you, Tom is utterly blocked and that inertia is the trigger for events to begin to spiral out of control”.

Director Simon Blake and producer Colette Delaney-Smith will attend the screenings on October 11th and October 12th.

Still-3Winner of the Best International First Feature Award at the 2014 Galway Film Fleadh the film has been described by audiences as: Hauntingly beautiful * Dark and brilliant * Compelling * The uncomfortable truth about modern urban England * Get Carter for the Noughties

In Competiton: New Directors

THE IRISH SCREENING SERIES : OCTOBER 2ND – 5TH @ CANTOR FILM CENTER

downloadThe Irish Screening Series, presented by Irish Film New York  and Glucksman Ireland House, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear award winning director Jim Sheridan discuss some of the most important Irish films of the last 25 years, MY LEFT FOOT, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER and IN AMERICA,  which are screening as part of “A Talk with Jim Sheridan”. Also screening in the 3 day series is the U.S. premiers of POISON PEN and BROKEN SONG….click here for a complete list of films and tickets

THE YANK

@ The Chicago Comedy Film Festival October 17 @ 8:00 PM : Showplace ICON Theater 150 W. Roosevelt Road – Chicago

Shot on location in Cleveland, Dublin and County Clare, Ireland, THE YANK is the story of Tom Murphy, a middle-aged Cleveland bachelor. For Tom, “the perfect woman” is beautiful, hard-working, family-oriented and (like his parents) 100% Irish! So when his best friend, Marty, decides to get married in Ireland, Tom’s family and friends send him off on a side splitting epic adventure. Tom does not know it yet, but he’s about to come face to face with the real Ireland…Ireland 2013 the year of THE GATHERING!!! Written and directed by Sean Lacky the film stars Colm Meany, Fred Willard, Keven P. Farley, Nicole Spiridakos, Charlotte Bradley and introducing Sean Lacky as Tom Murphy.

Trailer           Tickets 

Winner Best Comedy Feature
Manhattan Film Festival 2014
 

CELTIC ARTS RISING! October 3-5, 2014

A celebration of artists, musicians and authors taking place at the IRISH AMERICAN HERITAGE CENTER. Highlights of this year’s festival include:

MUNDY, ROONEY & STANLEY: Comedy & Music Show Friday, Oct. 3rd

iBAM GALA AWARDS DINNER: Honoring John Mahoney, Performing Arts; Frank Delaney, Literature; Barry “Jazz” Finnegan, Visual Arts,; Paddy Reilly, Music; and  Martin Healy, Person of the Year. Saturday, October 4th

THE HIGH KINGS : Irish Folk Band Sunday, October 5th

For more information and tickets visit  iBAM Chicago 2014

A TERRIBLE BEAUTY Aille An Uafais September 26th & 28th @ The Siskel Center

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The center piece of a multi-media project that documents the events of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising, A TERRIBLE BEAUTY is a 93 minute docudrama which takes a unique look at one fateful week in Irish history. Focusing on the two most ferocious battles, one on Mount Street  the other on North King Street, the film uses first hand accounts of Irish Volunteers, British soldiers and innocent civilians caught up in the fighting to tell the stories of the ordinary people who took part in the Rising. A TERRIBLE BEAUTY  captures the reality of the young soldiers and puts a focus on the tragic loss of life on both sides and it is to the film’s credit that it never seeks to extol the spoils of battle.

                     Tickets             Trailer                         

Tickets are $11.00 / $6 (GSFC members)

Gene Siskel Film Center    164 N. State Street  

The film is part of A TERRIBLE BEAUTY 1916-2016 a “Living History” project that will consists of a digital portal for the collection and presentation of stories of the participants and living relatives of those that were involved in the Rising. By producing new material such as short documentaries, audio and text records, it will chronicle and preserve vital individual stories as a resource for all. 

The director, DAVID FARRELL, will be present for a Q&A after both screenings.

Award Winning Film : THE MISSING SCARF

TMS_1One of the most successful short films of the past year gears up for online release.
‘The Missing Scarf’ experienced a roller-coaster year, clocking up 16 festival wins along with a nomination for the upcoming European Film Awards and we are proud to say an award winner at the 15th Chicago Irish Film Festival.

The project’s most notable triumph came in early 2014 when it secured a place on the Academy Awards’ shortlist. After which the film was selected to participate in the Oscar theatrical release, screening in more than 300 theatres throughout N.America.
The film boasts the voice work of renowned actor, activist and Facebook megastar George Takei, the imaginative animation of director Eoin Duffy and was producer by Jamie Hogan. Eoin and Jamie first approached George with the project in early 2013, he agreed and they recorded him shortly after in his hometown of Hollywood California.
The multi award winning animated comedy is now set for online release. The film will premiere via Shortoftheweek.com on September 29th. #TheMissingScarf – Sep 29
Check out the trailer

Award Winning Film : THE MISSING SCARF

TMS_1One of the most successful short films of the past year gears up for online release.
‘The Missing Scarf’ experienced a roller-coaster year, clocking up 16 festival wins along with a nomination for the upcoming European Film Awards and we are proud to say an award winner at the 15th Chicago Irish Film Festival.

The project’s most notable triumph came in early 2014 when it secured a place on the Academy Awards’ shortlist. After which the film was selected to participate in the Oscar theatrical release, screening in more than 300 theatres throughout N.America.
The film boasts the voice work of renowned actor, activist and Facebook megastar George Takei, the imaginative animation of director Eoin Duffy and was producer by Jamie Hogan. Eoin and Jamie first approached George with the project in early 2013, he agreed and they recorded him shortly after in his hometown of Hollywood California.
The multi award winning animated comedy is now set for online release. The film will premiere via Shortoftheweek.com on September 29th. #TheMissingScarf – Sep 29
Check out the trailer

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh: Day 5

boogaloo_and_grahanW.C. Field one said “never work with animals or children” because you will be totally upstaged and that is certainly the case in BOOGALOO and GRAHAM directed by Michael Lennox. When two young brothers, in 1970s Belfast, are denied a puppy due to space and family finances, they get pet chickens. Totally delightful from every angle! Also stealing screens, in Ruaidhi Conroy’s JUSTLIKEABITCH, is Diana the beloved dog of a homeless man who’s life is turned upside when she mysteriously disappears one morning. Sad, funny and filled with more than a few surprises and a couple more dogs.
a_city_dreamingA CITY DREAMING, directed by Mark McCauley, is a stunning tribute to Derry, a city that once housed thriving industry, multiple rail yards and a bustling harbor, but during the last half century has suffered steady decline with the lost of lives and trade punctuated by sectarian violence and mass immigration. However, Derry never lost its spirit and with a beautiful and fascinating script written by Gerry Anderson, a BBC Radio Ulster personality who grew up in Derry and also narrates the film, the documentary unravels like an epic poem to a city that may have stumbled but never fell.
patrick's_dayNormally films about mental illness don’t play in prime time, but Terry McMahon’s PATRICK’S DAY not only played in prime time but received a standing ovation as the credits rolled. An amazing movie starring Moe Dunford as Patrick a young man with schizophrenia who falls in love with a flight attendant he meets on one of his rare visits to the city with his over protective mother. What then unfolds is a story of family, trust, intimacy and sanity as Patrick tries to balance what he’s told from what he feels. An extraordinary film that makes an honest attempt to present a very complex issue.
Next up Day 6…