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John Carney’s ‘Sing Street’ added to 2016 SXSW slate along with four Irish shorts
10 Feb 2016 : Seán Brosnan
John Carney’s critically acclaimed musical drama ‘Sing Street’ will screen in the Festival Favourites category
John Carney’s ‘Sing Street’ has been added to the South by Southwest Film Festival in March, screening in the Festival Favourites category. Four Irish shorts have also been added into the SXSW programme this year.

‘Sing Street’, written and directed by Carney, made its’ world premiere at Sundance last month and received critical acclaim. The Guardian gave the film four stars and described the film as “pretty terrific” and a “cymbal-crashing crowdpleaser” with The Hollywood Reporter praising the film for its’ “infectious joyousness”. Noted US film critic Guy Lodge, writing for Variety, states that “lightning strikes thrice as Irish writer-director John Carney's let's-make-a-band formula once more yields winning results.”

The film, which has been selected to open ADIFF later this month, is about a boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s who escapes his strained family life by starting a band and moving to London and stars newcomer Ferdia Walsh-Peelo alongside Lucy Boynton, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Jack Reynor.

‘Sing Street’ was shot in locations in and around Dublin last autumn and wrapped in late October with post-production taking place in Screen Scene. Louise Kiely was the Casting Director.

Louise Kiely was also the casting director on one of the Irish shorts screening at SXSW this year. ‘ Ernestine & Kit’ is about two ladies in their seventies driving through north County Sligo in a neat Japanese car imagining the terrible, immoral lives people are living today. The short is directed by Simon Bird, best known for playing ‘Will’ in ‘The Inbetweeners’ and is adapted from a short story from City of Bohane novelist Kevin Barry. Pauline Collins and Rosaleen Linehan play Ernestine and Kit respectively.

Damien O’Donnell’s ‘How Was Your Day’ stars Eileen Walsh as a woman who is excited about the approaching birth of her first child. The script, also written by O’Donnell, was adapted from a short story by Nollaig Rowan. The film won Best Irish Short at the Foyle Film Festival and qualifies for 2017 Oscar consideration.

There are two animated shorts screening. Short thriller ‘Geist’, written and directed by Ben Harper, Sean Mullen and Alex Sherwood, is an 11 minute short that tells the story of a shipwrecked fisherman who is led to a dark secret.

Snowfall’ is about an anxious young man who has a moving experience at a friend's house party – an experience of fleeting love, mixed emotions and human interactions. The animation, which is almost five minutes long, is produced and directed by Conor Whelan with music from Basenji Abaac and Fab Martini and sound from Fab Martini. The film was also selected to screen at Annecy 2015.

The SXSW Film Festival takes place March 11-19.

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