We are delighted to welcome you to the 18th Chicago Irish Film Festival and are looking forward to sharing with you a program of amazing stories. This year we were once again overwhelmed not only by the number of entries, but also by the diversity from across Ireland and beyond. And we are doubly thrilled that several of this year’s filmmakers, that had screened at the festival in the past, are back again, including the Consulate of Ireland award winner, David Quin, with his brilliantly animated social satire Proceeds of Crime and Len Collin’s remarkable and ground-breaking debut feature film Sanctuary which will be having its US premier.
A few years back we began presenting short films by filmmakers with Irish heritage and it comes as no surprise that this wealth of talent has created many amazing stories this year highlighted by Ken Womack’s Reel Time which captures the vibrant spirit of Celtic music and dance and the collective effort of four young documentary directors, Rachel Lattin, Michelle Sahlin, Brett Melnick and Peter Heres to capture the struggles and hopes of the Killary Sheep Farm in Walk On.
And a love of Ireland is front and center in films by filmmakers that have immigrated to Ireland judging by the films More Than A Barbershop directed by Xandru Ramirez and Fernando Perandones about the unique barbershop slash music venue, Abner Browns, in the Dublin neighborhood of Rathmines and Alessandro Negrini’s Tides: A History of Lives and Dreams Lost and Found (some broken) a poetic journey on the River Foyle.
No festival can survive without sponsors who share our vision of presenting unique, challenging and extraordinary Irish films and so we are very grateful to this year’s festival sponsors. Please do take a moment to check them out as they are as diverse as our program spanning unique Irish gifts at Biddy Murphys, to financial planning with Doder-Wash and one of Chicago’s most iconic bar’s Butch McQuires.
We would also like to say thank you to all our many cultural sponsors including Culture Ireland, Ireland Film & Television, The Irish Consulate of Chicago, Ireland Network-Chicago, The Irish American Heritage Center and our media sponsors the Irish American News and Windy City Irish Radio.
Finally, but with no less gratitude, thank you to the amazing people who have worked tirelessly to make the festival a success, from the board of directors, the 2017 Festival Committee, the volunteers and finally, those of you who have come to enjoy the best in indie Irish cinema.
THANK YOU AND ENJOY THE FEST!
Board of Directors
2017 Festival & Program Committee
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18th Chicago Irish Film Festival