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Festival Round Up: ‘Stitches’, ‘Pilgrim Hill’, ‘Shellshock’ & More
26 Sep 2012 : By Eva Hall
Irish horror ‘Stitches’ is to screen in South Korea next month
Irish films are continuing to impress on the international circuit, taking home a number of international awards and being officially selected in a number of festivals all around the world.

Here’s a round up of this month’s Irish-related festival news:

Irish short film ‘Shellshock’ received the Tadgell's Bluebell Honour Award on the closing day of the Auburn International Film Festival for Children & Young Adults last Friday (September 21). The festival took place from September 17-21 in Sydney, Australia, and featured films from more than two dozen films worldwide.

‘Shellshock’, written and directed by John Corcoran, tells the story of one Irish man struggling to live with the consequences of fighting for the British Army during World War One.

Donal Gallery (Game of Thrones), Jane McGrath (The Clinic) and Pascal Scott (Grabbers) all star. Jean Igoe produced and Gerry Johnston executive produced. Dean Kavanagh was the director of photography, Ruaidhri Magfhloinn was the editor, Sile Culley the assistant director, Luke Benson the art director) and Burschi Wojnar worked on sound.

Irish features ‘Pilgrim Hill’, ‘Stitches’ and ‘Good Vibrations’ have all been selected to screen at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea next month. The festival takes place from October 13-14.

‘Pilgrim Hill’ tells the story of bachelor farmer Jimmy who is forced into a life of isolation when he takes on the task of caring for his ill father in a remote town in rural Ireland.

Gerard Barrett, who recently signed to top talent agency WME, wrote and directed the film as his debut feature. Barrett previously won the Bingham Ray Award at the Galway Film Fleadh when his film screened there in July. The film will also screen at next month’s BFI London Film Festival.

‘Stitches’, the comedy-horror from Conor McMahon and Fantastic Films, follows Richard ‘Stitches’ Grindle, a kids party clown who comes back from the dead to extract revenge on the kids responsible for his death.

English comedian Ross Noble stars in the feature that McMahon wrote and directed. David O’Brien also contributed to the script. Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnell produced for Fantastic. The film screened at Dublin’s Movie Fest earlier this month.

‘Good Vibrations’, the biopic based on Belfast record shop owner Terri Hooley, is written by Colin Carberry and Glenn Patterson, and directed by husband and wife duo Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’sa. The film stars Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones) as Hooley, and had musician David Holmes on board as producer as well as in charge of the soundtrack.

Northern Irish short film ‘Imbolc’ picked up the best director award at the 17th Canberra Short Film Festival last week. The festival ran from September 14-16.

‘Imbolc’ was directed by first-time director Laura Graham, and tells the story of American anthropologist Janet Hattridge who becomes entwined in the lives of a local mother and son when she begins researching her Ulster Scots heritage.

Frank Kelly’s ‘Raise My Hands’ recently screened at the Harlem International Film Festival in New York, and will screen next at the Bend Film Festival in Oregon USA next month. ‘Raise My Hands’ also screens at Oaxaca International Film Festival in Mexico in November.

The film is based on a series of photos taken by photographer Scott McDermott on Nelson Mandela's birthday. McDermott captured famous faces such as Clint Eastwood, Robert DeNiro and Morgan Freeman raising their hands to pledge to improve their planet.

In the film, writer Elliot Kotek ponders the experiences behind these simple gestures - war, peace, violence, freedom, fame, disease - and considers the impact of these hands on the world in which we live.

Irish filmmakers Kirsten Sheridan and Lelia Doolan will attend the San Francisco Irish Film Festival this weekend.

Both filmmakers will be in attendance as their films ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘Bernadette – Notes on a Political Journey’ screen on September 28 and 30 respectively.

‘Dollhouse’ explores a night in the lives of a group of street teens who break into a house in an upper-class suburb. Sheridan will give a Q&A session after the screening on Friday.

‘Bernadette – Notes on a Political Journey’ is a documentary based on Northern Irish politician Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, who was a member of the People’s Democracy movement and an elected MP for Mid-Ulster. Doolan will also be on hand for a Q&A session after the screening on Sunday.

Other films screening at the San Francisco festival include Terry George’s Oscar-winning short ‘The Shore’, Ian Fitzgibbon’s ‘Death of a Superhero’ and Kieron J Walsh’s ‘Jump’.


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