23 September 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Patrick Kielty and Carl Frampton to close Docs Ireland 5
25 May 2023 : News Desk
Filmmakers Ross McClean, Eva Babington, and Rabbie Mustapha.
The announcement comes as Docs Ireland launched its fifth programme with over 87 films and events which will take place over 6 days beginning on Thursday 20 June.

Docs Ireland 5 will close with a conversation between the new host of the Late Late Show Patrick Kielty and former champion boxer and mental health advocate Carl Frampton on Northern Irish politics, education and identity. 

Opening with the Irish Premiere of Fine Point’s portrait of Cyndi Lauper Let the Canary Sing, Docs Ireland 5 will showcase the wide ranging and diverse potential of non-fiction filmmaking both in Ireland and across the globe.

Special Irish Screenings include a one-off screening of found footage of a 1970s IRA training video thought to be lost and discovered by BBC journalist Darragh MacIntyre in New York, and a retrospective of films from the director of Lyra, Alison Millar.

The Pull Focus Irish Documentary Competition includes three world premieres, one European premiere and seven Northern Irish premieres.

The New International Documentary strand brings documentaries from all over the world to Belfast screens. Penny Lane returns with her exploration of altruism with Confessions of a Good Samaritan, Paul Sng’s Tish questions why working-class photographer Tish Murtha never got her dues for exposing the reality of poverty and inequality and in Much Ado About Dying Simon Chambers captures the final years of his eccentric uncle’s life.

Inspiring figures are explored in both The Last Rider and Dalton’s Dream. My Imaginary Country by documentarian Patricio Guzmán examines the 1973 Chilean Revolution through the lens of contemporary revolutionary social movements.

Shellshock Music bursts onto the scene with a host of exciting events. In The Computer Accent a pop group face the challenge of bringing AI into their music and Back to the Archive presents an evening of live music in collaboration with Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive. And for the first time, Docs Ireland will be hosting outdoor screenings at the Belfast Stories site next to the Sunflower pub, with a programme of music documentaries, Amazing Grace, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years and Monterey Pop.

“We are delighted to present Docs Ireland’s fifth edition, a programme of films and events which are ground-breaking and push the boundaries of documentary filmmaking,” said Michele Devlin, Director of Docs Ireland. “Our programme of film tackles global issues such as the experience of the trans community in Columbia, worldwide immigration and asylum seeking, international struggles in the Middle East and the politics of identity. Whilst shown from various international perspectives, these issues are starkly relevant at this current moment in Ireland. This year's programme reflects and reaffirms Docs Ireland’s values of inclusivity and amplifying underrepresented narratives, giving space to true stories that often go unheard on the big screen.”

Stuart Sloan, Docs Ireland Programmer added: “In 2018, when we began our first documentary festival - we were very excited about the continued growth of the Irish documentary scene, and the talent of our filmmakers. This year we are showing a record 11 Irish feature documentaries – many of them premieres. To see, just 5 years later, this explosion of thrilling Irish film, is beyond what we expected. It is a pleasure to bring them to our discerning audiences."

“Along with a focus on Irish film – our other main goal is to showcase documentaries that could not be seen anywhere else in Northern Ireland - the weird and wonderful, the challenging and sublime. With our Maysles Brothers Competition and new category of experimental films, we are certainly fulfilling this promise.”

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen said: “It's a bumper year for Irish documentary film bringing stories from every corner of the island from new and exciting perspectives. Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to have played a part in bringing some of these titles to the big screen and to support Docs Ireland in its fifth edition.”

Docs Ireland is funded by Northern Ireland Screen, Belfast City Council, Department Of Communities, Film Hub NI, BFI FAN, Screen Ireland and Arts and Business. And proudly sponsored by TG4, BBC Northern Ireland, Birra Moretti and Hastings Hotels.

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