Boston’s Irish Film Festival announces 2012 Lineup

Boston’s 13th annual Irish Film Festival will be underway from March 22-25 2012, and as always, they’ve selected an interesting lineup featuring a number of premieres, as well as two different shorts programs and more. Screenings will take place at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge and the Somerville Theater in Somerville.

Among the highlights are the New England premiere of the 2012 Academy Award winner for best live action short, The Shore, starring Ciaran Hinds, and the 60th anniversary celebration of the classic John Ford film The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, along with a New England premiere documentary about the classic film.

You can find the full schedule and showtimes, and a line up of parties, mixers, and special guests, at

This years’ features are as follows:

US Premiere
DIRECTOR’S CHOICE AWARD, proudly presented by BA Events
Duration: 100min (plays with DOWNPOUR)

A small town cinema in rural Ireland becomes the setting for a dramatic struggle between faith and passion, Rome and Hollywood and a man and his conscience. STELLA DAYS is the story of a man, a story about the conflict between love and duty, hope and faith, and between the excitement of the unknown and the security of the familiar. It encapsulates the dilemma of Ireland in the mid-1950s – on the cusp of the modern but still clinging to the traditions of church and a cultural identity forged in very different times.
Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan (in person at Festival)
Starring: Stephen Rea (in person at Festival), Martin Sheen, Amy Huberman & Marcella Plunkett

Spotlight on Northern Ireland
Duration: 85min (plays with Academy Award-winning live action short THE SHORE)

Behold the Lamb is a darkly comic road movie that follows Eddie, a fifty year old, depressed accountant and Liz, a young tearaway as they travel across Northern Ireland to pick up a lamb.
Director: John McIlduff (in person at Festival)
Starring: Aoife Duffin (in person at Festival) & Nigel O’Neill
2011/Northern Ireland

Duration: 54min

John O’Donnell, director of the critically acclaimed documentaries The Last Waltz and A Call to Arms, brings us Hot Press: The Write Stuff, a story about music and politics, principles and ambitions, and, above all, a story about being young and just going for it. In 1977, when their hair was shoulder-length and the lived in a country of soaring unemployment and inflation, where contraception was illegal and divorce was banned, Niall Stokes and Mairin Sheehy founded Hot Press. It was a music magazine that became a political and cultural rallying point for alternative ideas. The documentary tells the tumultous story of those early years through the memories of its writers and staff who tapped phones, biked checks from bank to bank and drove in relays to the Kerry train to catch the printers, after long, caffeine-powered nights of putting the magazine together. They were united by the music and by their writers’ and readers’ different visions of an Ireland in which they could feel at home, in which they could be free to be themselves.
Director: John O’Donnell

Duration: 72min

Music teacher Ron Cooney has been working in the Republic of Ireland’s only high-rise housing estate for fifteen years. During this time he has seen the area undergo a dramatic transformation, including the demolition of six of it’s seven tower blocks. The young people of Ballymun have had an extraordinary experience, and Ron sets out to produce a collection of music that gives voice to their story. Working with composer Daragh O’Toole, Ron’s ambition is to create a ‘world class’ collection of music for his talented students to play and write lyrics for. This music will challenge the negative views many still hold of the area – views that have the potential to hold his students back, and undermine the aims of the Ballymun Music Programme. The music that is produced attracts the attention of the RTE Concert Orchestra, and is soon recorded by them in a unique collaboration with the students. A dynamic funny and driven man, despite his own health problems, what Ron and his students have achieved is simply amazing. ‘Ballymun Lullaby’ is a story that needs to be heard.
Director: Frank Berry (in person at Festival)

Duration: 89min

Mark is having a bad day. His long-suffering girlfriend is about to walk out, his landlord is ready to evict him. He’s only got his best mate Pierce & their ambition of writing a career-breaking film to sustain him. Life’s not easy, but things are about to get worse…much worse, & then someone dies & things get really bad.
Director: Ian Fitzgibbon
Starring: Dylan Moran, Mark Doherty, Keith Allen & Amy Huberman

US Premiere
Duration: 56min

An hour long documentary about Barack Obama’s long lost cousin, Henry Healy (who will be attending the Festival!), and his efforts to bring the American president to visit him in the  remote Irish village of Moneygall. Filmed with empathy and full-access over the course of nearly four years, this is the story of how the most famous man of the 21st century came to the village that time forgot.
Director: Ed Godsell (in person at Festival)

Duration: 58min (plays with PENTECOST)

The dramatic historical connotations and true story behind the epic world featherweight title match that took place between Barry McGuigan and Eusebio Pedroza, a now legendary fight that gripped an entire Irish nation on one hot summer’s night in 1985.
Director: Andrew Gallimore

Duration: 50min

On the 75th anniversary of the biggest disaster ever to hit Arranmore Island, Donegal when 19 people drowned just a few hundred feet from shore after returning from the tattyhoking season in Scotland, the islanders who witnessed the after math, re-visit the pain of that dreadful day. A moving and gripping film on the 75th anniversary of the Arranmore Disaster which claimed the lives of 19 islanders when a boat carrying islanders returning from the tattyhoking season hit rocks a few hundred yards from the shore .
The only survivor, Paddy Gallagher lost 7 members of his family and was unable to speak about the horror of that night for 50 years, two years before his death. Much of the documentary was filmed in the house where Paddy spent months recovering before returning home.

BERNADETTE: Notes on a Political Journey
Duration: 88min

This remarkable documentary, made over a nine year period, charts the story of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey’s political journey since her explosive entry into the public arena in the late sixties. Combining archive footage with a series of intimate interviews conducted with Devlin McAliskey, director Lelia Doolan perfectly encapsulates the idiosyncrasies and rebelliousness which has fuelled her subject’s pivotal role at the heart of civil rights, feminism and socialism in Northern Ireland. Bernadette is a fascinating and powerful account of this firebrand figure, an impressively rounded depiction of a woman blessed with incredible eloquence, clarity and firm socialist principles.
Director: Lelia Doolan

Celebrating its 60th Anniversary
Duration: 129min

The story of a man who leaves his home in America to return to a simpler life. Instead, he becomes involved in a fiery courtship with a local girl, and a brawl with her aggressive, dowry-withholding brother.
Director: John Ford
Starring: John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara
1952/Ireland & USA

New England Premiere
Duration: 90min

Written and directed by Sé Merry Doyle. In this documentary, commentators and filmmakers including Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Jim Sheridan, and Maureen O’Hara wrestle with the 60-year legacy of John Ford’s signature Irish American film. Narrated by Gabriel Byrne.