Centenarians, Rebellion and Comedy to Premiere at 16th Annual Irish Film Festival, Boston
BOSTON and SOMERVILLE, MA Issued February 12, 2016…Irish Film Festival (IFF), Boston presents a riveting lineup of events, screenings and awards at the 16th annual Irish Film Festival, from March 10 through 13 at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA. A complete schedule of events is available at http://www.irishfilmfestival.com.
Celebrating with a theme of “16 in 16”, representing the 16th anniversary this year, the festival features screenings of more than 45 films all presented at historic Somerville Theatre in Davis Square. Visiting Irish filmmakers and directors, special guests and a bevy of after-parties celebrate the culture of film from their homeland. IFF Boston announces its awards prior to the event, allowing directors, producers and actors to attend screenings and take part in post-screening talk backs. Renowned for an intimate atmosphere and extraordinary programming, the festival punches way above its weight, escalating each year. BA Events, who bring the renowned Ras na hEireann to the Somerville Theatre, continue their premiere sponsorship of the festival.
On Thursday, March 10, Director Mark Noonan appears at the screening of his debut feature film You’re Ugly Too, this year’s Best Breakthrough Feature Award winner and festival opener, a comedy/drama starring Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) and Lauren Kinsella (Albert Nobbs). First time filmmaker Kev Cahill’s comedy More Than God is awarded Best Short Film and represents the best of Irish shorts 100 years after independence, on the wave of last year’s historic gay marriage law. The film follows a religious man’s attempts to uncover his wife’s suspected affair. The celebration kicks off with Mayor of Somerville Joseph Curtatone and special guest speaker and New York Times bestselling author Casey Sherman, renowned in Boston and abroad for The Finest Hours (currently premiering as a major motion picture by Walt Disney Pictures), Boston Strong (the source of upcoming feature film Patriot’s Day starring Mark Wahlberg), Black Irish and more. Sherman also regularly contributes to mainstream magazine publications and most major news networks.
On Friday, March 11, witness the New England premiere of Director’s Choice Award winner Older Than Ireland. This landmark documentary delves into the story of a hundred years of a life as seen through the eyes of 30 Irish centenarians. Director Alex Fegan and Producer Garry Walsh will be on site for the screening. Director Andrew Kavanagh will appear at the screening of his short film and true story City of Roses, this years Director’s Choice Short Film Award. Irish Consul General Fionnuala Quinlan opens the evening’s events.
Saturday, March 12 showcases a screening of laboriously created Global Vision Documentary awardee Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story. Created over the course of six years, the remarkable film tells the deeply personal story of a couple rebuilding their lives after a traumatic accident. The film challenges and highlights global issues through a uniquely Irish perspective. Director Ross Whitaker makes an appearance at the screening, followed by a talk back. Throughout the remainder of the weekend, popular short film screenings are held featuring contemporary Irish talent.
Special guests include well-known Irish comedian and actor Pat Shortt, on site for a retrospective of his film work including the feature Garage by 2016 Oscar®-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson and comedic short film Space Man Three, offering some behind the scenes commentary on both films. On Saturday night, Simon Fitzmaurice’s life affirming coming-of-age road movie My Name is Emily makes its U.S. premiere starring Harry Potter’s Evanna Lynch.
Sunday, March 13 delivers an array of film screenings marking the 100th anniversary of Ireland’s Easter Rising in 1916. Supported by Culture Ireland as part of Ireland’s 2016 centenary, the festival proudly hosts the U.S. premiere of After ’16 Program, a one-off short film initiative to commemorate, celebrate and ruminate the landmark occasion. Commissioned by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film
Board (IFB), nine short films are scheduled for screening. Also on tap, Neil Jordan’s historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins celebrates its 20th anniversary at the festival. Collins led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War. The film stars famed actors Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn and Julia Roberts. Calling on the women of Ireland, The Woman’s’ Council – Women of the Revolution screens on Sunday afternoon, showing with recently discovered first Irish sound film A Night of Storytelling by Robert Flaherty, from the Harvard Film Archive.
Closing the festival brings festivities stateside with The Mayor of Boston, My Son, a documentary about Boston’s own Mayor Marty Walsh, followed by the film Klondike, a unique Irish language western tale featuring Walsh’s own Connemara home town of Ros Muc, Ireland.
A traditional Irish music session closes out the weekend of events at The Burren in Davis Square, 247 Elm Street, Somerville, on Sunday evening. “We are very fortunate to have such a great selection of films and talented film makers again in our midst in Boston,” says Festival Director, Dawn Morrissey. “Stay tuned for some surprise guests, we never know who may turn up!”
Tickets to each Irish Film Festival screening are $15 for opening night and $12 for all other screenings online or at the box office. An All-Access Festival Pass (allowing entrance to all screenings and receptions) is available for $85. Tickets are available online or at the Somerville Theatre box office from March 10 through 13. The Somerville Theatre is handicap accessible, street side parking is available. For more information including the complete schedule of events, or to order tickets, please visit http://www.irishfilmfestival.com, follow us on Facebook, or search the Festival hashtag #irishfilmfest16 on Twitter.
About Irish Film Festival, Boston
Founded in 1999, The Irish Film Festival, Boston is the largest event of its kind outside of Ireland. Deemed one of the “Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals” worldwide by MovieMaker Magazine, the Festival celebrates the very best of Ireland and the Irish on screen. The Festival has screened over five hundred Irish films in Boston including highly acclaimed films such as Calvary, The Shore, In America, Intermission and Sunday Bloody Sunday and it was the first American film festival to recognize the 2007 Oscar Winner, Once. The festival is also the go-to for sneak peaks and US distributor-sponsored screenings. The Festival has played host to some of the greatest names in Irish cinema, including Jim Sheridan, Gabriel Byrne, Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, Terry George, Colm Meaney, Fionnula Flannagan, John Boorman, Aidan Quinn and Stephen Rea. For more information, please visit http://www.irishfilmfestival.com.
Photos: courtesy, Irish Film Festival, Boston
Top Left: Older Than Ireland, featuring centernarian actor Bessie Nolan, age 104
Middle Left: You’re Too Ugly, starring Aidan Gillen as ‘Will’ and Lauren Kinsella as ‘Stace’
Middle Right: Casey Sherman, author of The Finest Hours and Boston Strong
Lower Middle Left: Film still from Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story
Lower Middle Right: Pat Shortt appearing as ‘Josie’ in the film Garage
Bottom Left: My Name is Emily, starring George Webster as ‘Arden’ and Evanna Lynch as ‘Emily’