Irish actor Stephen Rea (Stella Days, V for Vendetta) is to attend this year’s Irish Film Festa in Italy as guest of honour. The festival, which promotes Irish cinema in Italy, will take place from Thursday 1st to Monday 5th of December in Rome.
The first day of the festival will open with a special screening of ‘Blazing The Trail’, a documentary by Peter Flynn which tells the story of a small group of cinema pioneers called the "O'Kalem" of the Kalem Company in New York. The opening day will also include a screening of John Michael McDonagh’s ‘The Guard’ and ‘Rewind’ by P.J Dillon which tells the story of Karen, a recovering addict, whose live starts spiraling out of control when her ex boyfriend turns up unexpectedly.
Other highlights from the festival include screening at the festival of the Irish classic Neil Jordan’s ‘The Butcher Boy’, with a Q+A session with guest of honour Stephen Rea afterwards. Director Alessandro Negrini, will also be giving a talk after a screening of his film ‘Paradiso’ on Friday 2nd December. ‘Paradiso’ a musical journey following musician Roy Arbuckle's as he attempts to stage a major music and dance event in the Memorial Hall in Derry by inviting formerly divided communities to celebrate the rock & roll and show band era. There will also be masterclass with director James Fair (Watching and Waiting, Peppermint) on the day, after a screening of his film ‘The Ballad of Des and Mo’.
Irish features to be screened as part of the festival programme include ‘Parked’ directed by Darragh Byrne starring Colm Meaney (Hell On Wheels, The Perfect Stranger) and Colin Morgan (Merlin, Island), ‘The Pier’, which will include a Q+A with director Gerard Hurley and ‘Jack Taylor; The Pikeman’ by Stuart Orme.
The festival will also play host to a number of shorts. Highlights include Peter McDonald’s ‘Pentecost’ a comic gem about how a young boy’s passion for football causes a religious revolt; ‘Loft’ by Gareth Chambers starring Gerard McSorley(Veronica Guerin, Braveheart), where in urban Dublin Ireland a kid and his football are seriously disturbing an older neighbor and his prize pigeons; ‘The Christening’ by Oonagh Kearney, a story about Ailbhe, who is smart, confident and outspoken and unfazed by anything in life- except the christening of her nephew and Liam Hefferon’s ‘Ticket to Ride’ about how a ticket changes an ordinary train journey into one with an unexpected destination.
The festival which runs from the 1st to the 5th of December in Rome will close with a screening of Ian Power’s ‘The Runway’.