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Kerry International Film Festival launches 2022 Festival Programme; Amy Huberman to receive Maureen O’Hara Award
30 Sep 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Amy Huberman to receive Maureen O’Hara Award
Celebrating its 23rd edition, this year’s festival will take place 20 – 23 October 2022 across a series of venues throughout Killarney, Co. Kerry, as well as showcasing a bespoke KIFF screening in Dingle on Sunday, 23 October.

This year’s festival will see KIFF returning to its roots by presenting a fully physical, in person, film festival that promotes and showcases film and filmmaking talent across 30+ events via a truly exciting program that is not to be missed.

One of the yearly highlights of KIFF is the Maureen O’Hara Award. In 2008 KIFF established the Maureen O’Hara Award in celebration of women who have excelled in film, TV, and/or media. At the time it was one of the few film awards anywhere in the world that was offered exclusively to women.

This year, KIFF is delighted to announce that the KIFF 2022 Maureen O’ Hara Award recipient is actress & writer Amy Huberman. Amy’s notable roles include Derry Girls, Striking Out, Finding Joy, Your Bad Self, The Clinic, The Stag, Stella Days, Rewind, and Handsome Devil, to name a few. She is also a talented author and has written three number one bestselling novels, Hello Heartbreak, I Wished for You, and her first book for younger people called The Day I Got Trapped in My Brain, which is currently number one in the Irish Children’s publishing charts. She also hosts the award-winning parenting podcast Mamia and Me.

It is a particularly exciting year for KIFF 2022 as, post covid, the festival is finally in the position of being able to present a live, in person, Maureen O’ Hara Award to one of its worthy award-winning recipients. The festival is thrilled to be presenting Amy Huberman with the KIFF 2022 Maureen O’ Hara Award on Saturday, 23 October via their ‘In Conversation with Amy Huberman’ event and the festival looks forward to sharing the details of this presentation in the lead into the festival.

KIFF Programme Director, Eibh Collins said: “As a prolific performer, a writer, and a public figure, Amy's humour and clever insights are matched only by how fantastically talented she is. KIFF are delighted to welcome her to Killarney in October as the recipient of this year's Maureen O'Hara Award.”

Speaking about receiving the Award Amy Huberman said: “It is such an honour to receive the eponymous Maureen O’Hara award! When I think of Maureen O’ Hara, I think of a trailblazer brimming with talent, grit, ambition, courage, and captivating charm. She was such a fabulous ambassador for Ireland and for women in our industry. I’m so honoured to be the recipient of the award this year and a huge thank you to the Kerry International Film Festival. I shall keep the award on the mantelpiece for whenever I need some inspiration, seeing as the woman herself has, and continues to, inspire so many.”

The opening night of the festival will be celebrated with a reception hosted by Randles Hotel Killarney on Thursday, October 20th, which will be followed by a screening of KIFF’s opening film for 2022, Declan Reck’s Tarrac in the INC Killarney. This Irish language drama, stars Kelly Gough, Lorcan Cranitch, Kate NicChonaonaigh, Kate Finegan, Rachel Feeney, and Cillian Ó Gairbhí, and is produced by Clíona Ní Bhuachalla, with Eugene O'Brien as screenwriter. Tarrac was shot on location in Co. Kerry, and KIFF will welcome the cast and crew for a special opening night Gala. 

Other Irish highlights across KIFF 2022 include, Million Dollar Pigeons, by Gavin Fitzgerald. This documentary tells the must-see stories of Pigeon masters from across the globe competing in the highest-stakes bird races on the planet. Fame, fortune and livelihoods rest on the wings of these feathered athletes. 

Also featured in KIFF 2022 is Galway Film Fleadh Award-Winner Lakelands. Directed by KIFF alumni, Robert Higgins and Patrick McGiveny, Lakelands tells the story of Cian, a young Gaelic footballer who struggles to come to terms with a career-ending injury after an attack on a night out. Lakelands follows him as he undertakes a search for his own identity in a small town in the midlands, where Gaelic football is a religion and identity is defined by what you can do on the pitch.

At the heart of KIFF programming is short films, and this year's selection continues that tradition with the festivals Irish Short Film Programmes One to Three, featuring new work from KIFF’s alumni such as, Katie McNeice, Gregory Burrowes, and Lara Hickey. And as always, a spotlight is shining on Kerry Talent during KIFF’s dedicated programme of Kerry Connection short films, as they take to the big screen on the Friday night of the festival (21 October 2022).

Additionally, over the three full days of the festival KIFF’s International Selection hosts a themed selection of music documentaries, which are sponsored by Tower Records Ireland. And I Still Sing, features a controversial Afghan pop star and activist Aryana Sayeed mentors young hopefuls as they prepare to appear on a hit TV singing competition show. As the show’s female contestants Zahra Elham and Sadiqa Madadgar are on the verge of their dreams becoming reality, the Taliban returns to power. 

This is National Wake traces the wild rise of a multiracial South African punk band, by the same name, dubbed “the band that defied apartheid," whose members risked everything to taste freedom. Also playing, is the HotDocs Audience Award winner OKAY! (The ASD Band Film), this joyous film shares the journey of four performers on the autism spectrum, who form a band and take on the challenge of writing and performing their first album of original songs.

Among Our World shorts selection is a dedicated program of Ukraine films titled BE BRAVE LIKE UKRAINE, curated by guest programmer Mira Oyetoro.

This year’s line-up also presents a curated selection of Family Friendly Films for all ages with a free selection of Animated Shorts called Shorts for Shorties. Plus feature films such as: Hug Me, the animated bear movie for all ages, and A24’s Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. This heart-warming film tells the story of Marcel, a 1-inch-tall shell, living with his grandmother, Connie, the only residents of their town after their neighbours’ sudden, mysterious disappearance. When discovered by a guest amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans and a new hope of reuniting with his long-lost family. It’s not to be missed.  

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Chair of KIFF, Grace O’ Donnell said: “It has been another great year for Kerry on screen with films such as the locally-shot Joyride lighting up screens around the country and across the world, and our Opening Film Tarrac's recent win at the Galway Film Fleadh. These successes are indebted to the hard work of the local industry and its supporters. This industry and audience are at the core of KIFF's legacy.”

All of these films will be in competition for the prestigious KIFF 2022 Awards. The winners will be announced on Sunday, 23rd October at the KIFF Awards brunch, which is hosted by the Great Southern Hotel, Killarney.

Alongside this robust selection of screenings, KIFF will host a selection of industry events and talks. In addition to In Conversation with Amy Huberman on Saturday, 22 October, KIFF will welcome another familiar face, Pat Shortt, to the festival this year. Pat will be showcasing his debut short film Warts & All  on Sunday, 23 October at The Great Southern Hotel’s cinema screening room and he will be discussing the creative process involved from his movement from acting to directing via KIFF’s industry talk; Role Reversal with Pat Shortt & Lee Crowley.

Other exciting events on the KIFF 2022 schedule include the ever-popular IFTA Business Networking Event, which will be hosted by the CEO of IFTA, Áine Moriarty, on Friday, 21 October at The Plaza Hotel, Killarney.

Additional events include the National Talent Academy’s Filmmakers Coffee Morning and an online Masterclass with renowned Producer Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly. Fodhla is known for titles such as God's CreaturesAmmonite, and Lady Macbeth. The talented Kerry woman has been nominated for one Academy Award for her short film, Head Over Heels as well as two BAFTA Awards. Fodhla will join KIFF for an online discussion, where the audience will get to hear a little more about her exciting career path to date.  

All the info on the above and more can be found on our website. Tickets, event registration and festival passes will be available to purchase from 10AM on Friday, 30 September from www.kerryfilmfestival.com.

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