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Selected Highlights from the 17th Clones Film Festival
12 Oct 2018 : Nathan Griffin
The 17th annual Clones Film Festival will run from Thursday, October 25th to Sunday, October 28th, 2018 screening a wide variety of features, documentaries and short films from Irish and international directors.

One of the venues for this year’s films will be the former Ulster Bank building on the Diamond. The landmark building will host the festival’s Box Office, cafe and a 20-seat screening venue.

Another exciting development for this year is the installation of a new state-of-the-art screen, measuring 6 x 3.75 metres, as well as upgraded projection facilities at Clones Courthouse. This recently-completed work will further enhance the quality of the overall cinema experience for guests to CFF and throughout the year at Film Club screenings.

As well as the beautifully renovated Courthouse, CFF will also screen films in the The Road House, the plush, 100-seater cinema venue which will be located on the Diamond. If you haven’t tried it out yet, don’t miss it when it parks up in Clones!

Many films on the programme have a distinctly local flavour. Two highlights featuring strong Cavan talent are ‘The Man Who Wanted to Fly’ and ‘No Party for Billy Burns’.

The Man Who Wanted to Fly

Sunday 28 October, 3pm, The Road House, The Diamond, Clones

Filmed over several years by director Frank Shouldice and DOP Dave Perry, 'The Man Who Wanted to Fly' tells the irresistible story of 80-something Bailieborough bachelor farmer Bobby Coote. He left school at 13 and says his reading and writing isn't great. Bobby fixes clocks and spends a lot of time in his back shed making violins from old furniture.

But he has never lost sight of a lifelong dream to fly. His neighbour Sean has also caught the bug. Setting aside their own field of dreams, they have cut out a runway and even built a hangar. And now Bobby wants to use all his savings to buy a plane! Bobby says he’ll make this happen even if it’s the last thing he does. He does not get any encouragement from his brother Ernie, another octogenarian in the Coote family home. Ernie thinks the whole thing is mad but Bobby is determined to be airborne. Capturing the wonder of one man’s dreams, ‘The Man Who Wanted To Fly’ is a unique journey into a disappearing Irish border hinterland.

This heart-warming new documentary about one man pursuing his lifelong dream, and a fast disappearing way of life in rural Ireland in general and around the Irish border in particular, has been playing to packed audiences at festivals up and down the country and is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seats.

Director Frank Shouldice and DOP Dave Perry will attend the screening and be available for a Q&A afterwards

No Party for Billy Burns

Friday 26 October, 9.45pm, The Road House, The Diamond, Clones

Directed by Gowna native, Padraig Conaty, No Party for Billy Burns tells the tale of a would-be cowboy lost in the dreary fields of Cavan. Stranded at home with his grandfather (Shane Connaughton) and ridiculed around town for his innocent ways, Billy (Kevin McGahern) saves his money working for local ranchers, planning a trip to the city, maybe to never come back. When Billy falls in with local thug Ciaran and his long-suffering girlfriend, he finds the adventure and excitement he was looking for, but the local crew pick on the weak, as their rough and tumble kicks find Billy broken and bruised, with little left to lose.

“The film is a personal project handled with care, showcasing both scenery and daily-life in Cavan through the lens of its shy, observant lead. While No Party for Billy Burns evokes a number of classic Westerns throughout, such as High Noon (1952) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), it also allows the space for Billy to create his own path in the narrative. Similarly, the film itself is able to avoid certain generic conventions by remaining very rooted in its rural Irish setting, developing its own category as a modern Irish Western.” filmireland.net

Director Padraig Conaty and members of the cast and crew will attend the screening.

All welcome to Opening Night

A wine and cheese reception followed by a selection of award-winning short films will be held to launch the festival on Thursday 25 October at 8pm in Clones Courthouse and all are welcome to attend this free event.

Click here to check out the full programme details and online tickets for all screenings.

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