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Double Blind and Sunlight among Irish films screening at Newport Beach Film Festival
13 Sep 2023 : Luke Shanahan
Millie Brady in Double Blind
Ian Hunt-Duffy’s Double Blind, Claire Dix’s Sunlight, and Patricia O’Kelly’s Verdigris are among the Irish films screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

The 24th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) has announced its selection for this year’s festival, taking place 12th-19th October. It includes 91 films from 19 countries, including a number of Irish features and shorts.

Double Blind is having its US premiere at the 24th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival. The Irish horror film received its World Premiere at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival. We sat down with director Ian Hunt-Duffy to discuss the film, following its Irish Premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh. 

Patricia O’Kelly’s Verdigris and Claire Dix’s Sunlight are both having their North American premiere at NBFF this year. Verdigris had its World Premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh last August, and Sunlight had its World Premiere at Dublin International Film Festival earlier this year, followed by a theatrical release in Irish cinemas. You can read IFTN’s interview with Patricia O’Kelly and Verdigris producer Paul Fitzsimons here, and IFTN’s interview with Claire Dix here.

Declan Recks' Irish language feature Tarrac! will be having its Southern Californian premiere at the festival. Tarrac! will have a wide theatrical release in Ireland and the UK from October 6th, however it also had some early theatrical screenings on National Cinema Day, September 2nd 2023.

Two Irish features will be having their World Premieres at the festival: Advent and Woken

Advent is directed by Richard Waters, and written by Emmett Hughes. The film follows a writer who comes home to complete his long overdue second novel, but is plagued by local villagers who refuse to leave him alone. As time passes and he struggles to finish his book, their intrusions become increasingly disruptive and even sinister. The film stars IFTA-winner Bríd Ní Neachtain (Róise & Frank).

Woken follows a woman who wakes up from an accident with no memory of who she is, and is confronted with the realisation that the human race is close to extinction. This is the feature directorial debut of Alan Friel (Cake). The film stars Maxine Peake (The Theory of Everything) and Erin Kellyman (The Green Knight).

Four Screen Ireland supported documentaries will screen at the festival: Sarah Share's The Graceless Age: The Ballad of John Murry, Gary Lennon & Ollie Aslin's I Dream In Photos, Donald Taylor Black's John Behan: Odyssey, and Margo Harkin's Stolen. This marks the North American premiere of I Dream in Photos and Stolen.

Shorts screening at the festival include the North American premiere of The Coco Show following its World Premiere at the 35th Galway Film Fleadh, and Mud Queen, which had its World Premiere at DIFF 2023. We spoke to Nathan Fagan, one half of directing duo Luna, about Mud Queen shortly before its North American premiere at Rhode Island Film Festival.

BOG/Portach is having its U.S. Premiere at the festival, and Worry World is having its North American Premiere. Also screening at the festival are Lambing, Desideratum, The Last Set / An tSraith Dheireanach, Two For The Road, Shadow, Every Five Miles, Good Chips, and Unhinged.

Vincent Lambe's Every Five Miles, starring Danielle Galligan (Lakelands), was supported through RTÉ and Screen Ireland's Storyland initiative. Nell Hensey's Good Chips and Zoë Brennan-Whitmore's Unhinged were winners of the Virgin Media Discovers & Screen Ireland Short Film Competition.

A retrospective screening of In the Name of the Father will be playing at the festival, with director Jim Sheridan in attendance. The Jessie Buckley-led Fingernails, from Greek director 
Christos Nikou, will also be screening at the festival.

For more information about the 24th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival, click here.

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