A record 14 Irish films will screen at next month’s BFI London Film Festival, ranging from features, documentaries, shorts and animation.
Martin McDonagh’s ‘Seven Psychopaths’ will receive its UK premiere at the festival in October, following its world premiere at this week’s Toronto International Film Festival. Working with the ‘In Bruges’ director again, Colin Farrell stars alongside Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell in the comedy thriller where a struggling writer meets a gangster’s dog. The film will be released in Irish cinemas on December 7.
‘What Richard Did’, the screen adaptation of ‘Bad Day in Blackrock’ from director Lenny Abrahamson, will also screen following its world premiere at the Toronto Festival. Jack Reynor, Sam Keeley, Roisin Murphy, Lorraine Pilkington and Lars Mikkelsen all feature in the Element Pictures production. It will be released in Irish cinemas on October 5.
Gerard Barrett’s feature film debut ‘Pilgrim Hill’, which already made waves on the Irish festival circuit, scooping Barrett the Bingham Ray New Talent Award at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, is also showing. The film follows bachelor farmer Jimmy as he battles loneliness in rural Ireland while caring for his ill father.
Another debut feature film from an Irish director, ‘Silence’, from Cork-native Pat Collins is also on the list. ‘Silence’, which was released in Irish cinemas earlier this year, follows a young man in search of silence in the west of Ireland.
Psychological horror ‘Citadel’, directed by Ciarán Foy and produced by Katie Holly for Blinder Films and Brian Coffey for Sigma Films, joins the horror category. The feature stars Aneurin Barnard (We'll Take Manhattan) in the lead role of Tommy, alongside James Cosmo (Braveheart, Troy) and Wunmi Mosuka (I am Slave).
Terri Hooley biopic ‘Good Vibrations’, starring Richard Dormer and Dylan Moran, will return to the festival circuit with its screening. Husband and wife duo Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn directed. It will be released in US cinemas on October 26.
Kieran Evans’ ‘Kelly + Victor’, starring Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Julian Morris is the final Irish feature screening. Venom Films co-produced with the UK’s Hot Property Films.
Irish documentaries screening at the October festival include the Blinder Films co-production ‘The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology’, which sees philosopher explore ideologies in classic films. Sophie Fiennes directed. Nick Ryan’s ‘The Summit’ will have its world premiere at the festival. The documentary looks back at Mount Everest climbers who either lost their lives or vanished within 48 hours. ‘Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God’, directed by Alex Gibney, looks at the recent scandals of the Catholic Church, from the US to the Vatican. Mark Isaacs’ ‘The Road: The Story of Life and Death’, sees Isaacs present stories from people who have set up home in London from all over the world.
Irish animations on the BFI bill include Kealan O’Rourke’s multi award-winning ‘The Boy in the Bubble’, Lorcan Finnegan’s IFTA Award-winning ‘Foxes’, and Magma Films’ ‘Legends of Valhalla – Thor’.
13 of the 14 films were supported by the Irish Film Board. James Hickey, chief executive of the IFB said: “To have this many films selected is evidence of the high quality Irish filmmaking and creative talent on screen today. We are delighted that British audiences will get a chance to see so many excellent Irish films.”
This year’s festival has introduced a range of new structures, including a shake up to its awards section, and introducing nine new categories for which films will screen under. The BFI London Film festival runs from October 10-21 across a number of London venues.