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Irish Film Festival Boston Announces Lineup For 18th Annual Celebration In Massachusetts
09 Mar 2018 : Nathan Griffin
The Irish Film Festival, Boston (BIFF) returns to the historic Somerville Theatre for its eighteenth annual celebration of Irish film in Massachusetts from Thursday, March 22 through Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Attendees this year will notice a few themes among the 30+ feature films, shorts and documentaries – from women in film and science, to music and animation.

Over 30 Contemporary Irish Feature films, Shorts and Documentaries will screen from Thursday, March 22 – Sunday, March 25. The Program features 11 female directors, including Award Winners Aoife McArdle and Emer Reynolds, and Oscar-nominated Nora Twomey

Some of the impressive films, shorts and documentaries that will be shown include:

  • Breakthrough feature ‘Kissing Candice’ kicks off the Festival on Thursday evening. Its showing at the IFF will be its U.S. premiere.  An edgy independent film that just had its European premiere at the world-renowned Berlin Film Festival, ‘Kissing Candice’ is a coming of age drama. Candice longs to escape the boredom of her seaside town, but when a boy she dreams about turns up in real life, she becomes involved with a dangerous local gang. The Most Inspiring Short film, Paul Horan’s ‘Bless Me Father’, will screen with ‘Kissing Candice’. Director Paul Horan will be on hand to receive his award and do a Q&A, afterwards.
  • Friday brings the Director’s Choice Feature ‘Maze’ being shown in its New England premiere. This film is inspired by the true events of the infamous 1983 prison breakout of 38 IRA prisoners.  Actor, Martin McCann will be on hand to accept the award on behalf of Director Stephen Burke. While Director’s Choice Short Awardee, Eamonn Murphy will be present for the screening of his film ‘Lost Memories’. A Q&A will follow both screenings.
  • A unique and science-focused addition to this year’s Festival is this year’s Global Vision Documentary ‘The Farthest’. This 2017 documentary, directed by Eimear Reynolds, will be shown Saturday in cooperation with, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, STEM on Stage, and Women in Film & Video New England (WIFVNE), which promotes proactive images of women and works to empower all women in the media industry to achieve their professional potential. There will be a post-screening panel featuring the director Eimear Reynolds, members of WIFNE, MIT and STEM on Stage. Tune in to Facebook live to see this event.
  • ‘The Breadwinner’, the recipient of this year’s Special Jury Prize, is a 2018 Oscar-nominated animated drama film by Cartoon Saloon directed by Nora Twomey and executive produced by Mimi Polk Gitlin and Angelina Jolie. It’s based on the best-selling novel by Deborah Ellis and will be shown Saturday.
  • ‘It’s Not Yet Dark’ the documentary about the groundbreaking story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented young Irish filmmaker with ALS (MND), as he embarks on directing his first feature film through the use of his eyes and eye gaze technology. This film is co-presented with ReelAbilities Film Festival and is a fundraiser for ALS TDI on Sunday. Ruth Fitzmaurice will attend the screening and do a book signing afterwards
  • In total, 20 shorts, eight of which have female directors, will be featured with two short film programs –one on Saturday and one on Sunday, Roisin Kearney, Director of ‘The Family Way’, will be in attendance. Amy-Joyce Hastings short film ‘QED’ will also be shown with the feature film ‘The Limit Of’. Director and Producer, Alan Mulligan and Anthony Mulligan will attend the screening in Boston and do a Q&A also.
  • Saturday continues with Seán Ó Cualáin ‘In the Shadow of the Glen’, which tells the plight of his village as he follows a year in the life of the people of Loch Con Aortha in west Connemara. Seán Ó Cualáin, will attend for a post screening Q&A
  • ‘Pull like a Dog’, another story from a small village in South West Ireland, is about Gary and Paul O’Donovan, two young rowers who came from nowhere to become household names after bolting their way to silver medal success at the Rio Olympics. The film has a local Massachusetts connection with the Head of the Charles Regatta being featured, as the two brothers get ready to compete on the world stage.
  • Also a part of the Northern Ireland program on Sunday, Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (‘Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God’) reopens the case of the unresolved Loughinisland massacre in Northern Ireland with ‘No Stone Unturned’.
  • The U.S. premiere of ‘Noel Hill: Broken Dream’ closes the Festival on Sunday evening. Directed by Paddy Hayes, it is a searing portrait of one of Ireland’s most renowned traditional musicians, concertina player Noel Hill, as he recovers from a serious assault that left him a battered shadow of his former self. Noel Hill and producer Edel Fox will be in attendance

Dawn Morrissey, Executive Director of the Irish Film Festival Boston said:

“It’s remarkable to see the way Irish cinema has evolved, particularly in the past year alone,” “Parity within the Irish film industry is very apparent in our program this year, as we showcase the work of eleven female directors, a first for the Festival and 50/50 on out awards. This is in part due to the Irish film board’s gender and diversity program, part of their strategic plan which aims for parity for funding Irish film projects within five years.”

 “Irish filmmakers from around the world are really showing their talents in so many areas, and we cannot wait to share our innovative, and sometimes edgy, program with our attendees this year. We’re also delighted to host so many of the filmmakers for Q&A events after their screenings with the continued support of Culture Ireland, the Irish Film Board and Irish Film International.”

For the full list of films and schedule of the 18th annual Irish Film Festival and to purchase tickets.   

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