You know festival season in Boston is underway when all the spring festivals start announcing their lineups, and the last couple days has been very busy indeed.
The 15th Irish Film Festival will take place March 19-22 at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville. As always, Irish has a varied and eclectic line up consisting of features, documentaries, and shorts. eCinemaBoston will be on the ground for some of this year’s festival as always, and of course, the festival will be included in Subject:CINEMA‘s huge “Boston Springs A Fethival!” podcast in early May.
Here are the features coming to this year’s festival. Remember than in addition to two series of shorts on Friday March 21 and Sunday March 22, a short or two usually show with the features as well. Opening night film Gold will be accompanied by the Oscar nominated comedy short Boogaloo and Graham. Film descriptions come from the official IFF website at http://irishfilmfestival.com; you can visit their website for full info on the shorts and full shorts programs!
Thursday, March 19
2014/Ireland (90 min)
Director: Niall Heery
Out of their lives for 12 years, Ray is on a mission to re-connect with his ex-girlfriend, and teenage daughter who live with his former controlling and regimented P.E. teacher. Unfortunately his efforts to bridge the gap with his daughter seem to lead to chaos turning any good intentions he may have into comic catastrophe. Starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), James Nesbitt (The Hobbit), David Wilmot (Ripper Street) and Kerry Condon (Believe, The Walking Dead). Directed by NIall Heery (Small Engine Repair).
Friday, March 20
ONE MILLION DUBLINERS
2014/Ireland (83 min)
Director: Aoife Kelleher
Director Aoife Kelleher and Producer Rachel Lysaght in person
Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place of 1.5 million souls; it is Ireland’s national necropolis. ONE MILLION DUBLINERS reveals the often unspoken stories of ritual, loss, redemption, emotion, history – and the business of death. But this is really a film about life: the Saint Valentine’s Day rush in the florists; the American visitors eagerly searching for Irish ancestors; lost and longed for love; discovery and bereavement; earthy gravediggers and musicians in celebration. Above all, it’s the story of an immensely engaging Tour Guide shepherding his charges – and us – through the headstones and monuments, through opinions and beliefs. Filled with the familiar and the fascinating, this is a documentary that offers a glimpse into the unknown, into a world we will all come to share. Often humorous, always affecting, ONE MILLION DUBLINERS explores life, death and the afterlife, and ends in a way that will stay with you forever. Even in a cemetery you never quite get used to death.
Saturday March 21
2014/Ireland (80 min)
Director: Sinead O’Brien
Feature-documentary award winner and crowd pleaser at the Galway Film Fleadh, Blood Fruit takes us to 1984, the height of apartheid in South Africa. Mary Manning, a 21-year-old Dunnes Stores checkout girl, refused to sell two Outspan grapefruits under direction from her union in support of the anti-apartheid struggle. She and ten other supporters were suspended and a strike ensued. The 11 knew little about apartheid and assumed they’d be back to work before long but the arrival on the picket line of activist Nimrod Sejake changed everything, setting the strikers on a path they could never have expected.
A CITY DREAMING
2014/Northern Ireland (65 min)
Director: Mark McCauley
Written and narrated by Gerry Anderson, this documentary feature film is a beautiful portrait of Derry~Londonderry. It’s a story that weaves its way through half a century of history during a time that saw the city rise from poverty and neglect to hitting the headlines across the world.
2012/Ireland (76 min)
Director: Ian Power
The decision of the Irish government to guarantee the entire domestic banking system in 2008 was the most significant in modern Irish history. The Guarantee tells the true story of what happened that night, and why.
THE LEGEND OF LONGWOOD
2014/Ireland (99 min)
Director: Lisa Mulcahy
Mickey Merill, a single-minded young girl, is dragged from the bustle of New York City to a remote corner of Ireland, where she finds the people swamped by the curse of a Black Knight seeking redemption. It is Mickey’s destiny to free the people from this curse, and in doing so she goes on a thrilling adventure of mysterious happenings and challenging feats, where she must overcome the most ruthless of enemies, as well as her own denial about her past.
2014/Ireland (112 min)
Director: Tom Collins
An BRONNTANAS (The Gift) is a contemporary thriller set against the background of a local independent lifeboat crew working off the coast of Conamara, in the West of Ireland. The rescue crew of a local independent lifeboat crew working off the coast of Connemara, Co. Galway receives a distress call on a stormy night. On discovering an abandoned fishing boat with a cargo of over a million euros worth of drugs the crew is challenged with a moral dilemma. Do they hand over the drugs to the authorities or sell them and save their struggling village? It’s a decision that will change their lives forever.
2014/Ireland (90 min)
Directed by Ronan and Rob Burke
Twenty-something Alan is down on his luck. Stood up at the altar and recently fired from his banking job, he finds himself working with his mother as a part-time tourist advisor at Dublin Airport. It’s there he comes face to face with first love Alice, stuck on standby for a flight home to New York. Their summer romance ended eight years previously with Alan promising to return to the US one day. He never did, and they haven’t spoken since. Seizing his chance, Alan convinces a reluctant Alice to stay one more night in Dublin. Over the course of an unforgettable evening, they may just realise that they are more compatible than ever. But time is running out on this brief encounter. When does an unexpected second chance, become the one you’ve always been looking for?
IT CAME FROM CONNEMARA!!
2014/Ireland (60 min)
Director: Brian Reddin
This documentary tells the unique story behind legendary Hollywood B-movie producer Roger Corman’s film studio in Connemara in the mid-1990s. In five years, he produced close to 20 feature films with Irish crew and Hollywood actors. IT CAME FROM CONNEMARA!! lovingly tells this fascinating and often amusing story, using the testimonies of those who were there to make it happen.
Sunday March 22
MAIRÉAD FARRELL: AN UNFINISHED CONVERSATION
2014/Ireland (52 min)
Director: Martina Durac
Writer/Presenter Bríona Nic Dhiarmada revisits the life and death of Republican icon Mairéad Farrell.
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER
1993/Ireland (133 min)
Director Jim Sheridan
A man’s coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.
2013/Ireland (70 min)
Director: Claire Dix
A documentary film about music, redemption and the struggle to find and articulate meaning in an often chaotic world.
DOLORES KEANE: A STORM IN THE HEART
2014/Ireland (52 min)
Director: Liam McGrath
Irish singer Dolores Keane’s distinctive deep, soulful voice is loved the world over. But Dolores’ life was overshadowed for many years as she battled with alcoholism, depression and more recently, breast cancer. Now she has re-emerged from the shadows to share her story. This landmark documentary by Scratch Films for RTÉ Arts pieces together in words, archive and classic song, the extraordinary story of one of Ireland’s best-loved cultural icons. Growing up in Caherlistrane Co. Galway, Dolores was steeped in the deep musical tradition of the area. She first came to national prominence in 1975 as a member of De Dannann, before moving to London where she married folk musician and singer/songwriter John Faulkner, the couple returned to Galway in 1981 and Dolores continued to perform around the country and internationally both with Faulkner and the goup De Dannan. In the 90s Dolores along with Eleanor McEvoy, Mary Black, Sharon Shannon, Francis Black and Maura O’Connell, had a huge hit with their album “A Women’s Heart” and following the album’s success Dolores toured the world with her own band. However, as the pressures of living on the road and bringing up a family took its toll on Dolores her marriage to John Faulkner ended and she became vulnerable to depression and was increasingly reliant on alcohol in the years that followed. Dolores stopped touring in recent years but has now re-emerged from the shadows to tell her story.