21 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Line-up for Irish showcase revealed ahead of 23rd annual Newport Beach Film Festival
06 Oct 2022 : News Desk
23rd annual Newport Beach Film Festival.
The 23rd annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) has confirmed that it will present the largest celebration of Irish Cinema in North America to date, during its eight-day run in Southern California, which takes places from October 13th – 20th.

Highlights include an Irish Showcase event, red carpet premieres, ten Irish feature length films, the US premiere of Ireland’s Oscar submission for Best International Feature, thirteen Irish short films, and the participation of Irish filmmakers and dignitaries.

On Sunday, October 16th, the Festival will present its Irish Spotlight, an evening celebration of Irish cinema and culture. The event will feature the premiere of three highly anticipated Irish films The Ghost of Richard Harris, The Quiet Girl, and Joyride, and will be followed by a festive celebration of Irish culture and cuisine. The Irish Spotlight films will screen at Edwards Big Newport (300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA). The post-screening celebration will take place at Muldoon’s Irish Pub (202 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA) and will feature live music and hosted hors d'oeuvres.  

The North American Premiere of The Ghost of Richard Harris, directed by Adrian Sibley and starring Jared Harris, Damien Harris, and Jamie Harris, will be hosted by Newport. Perhaps the greatest actor Ireland has produced, the once famous Hollywood star and notorious hellraiser, Richard Harris still lives in the hearts of the nation and his three sons who have thought about him every day, since his unexpected death 20 years ago. They are still in search of, and argue about, who he really was—a complex and flawed genius.  

The Festival will present the US Premiere of the award-winning film The Quiet Girl (An Cailín Ciúin), written and directed by Colm Bairéad. Selected as Ireland's Oscar submission for 2023 Best International Feature, The Quiet Girl stars Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, and Andrew Bennett. Set in rural Ireland in the early 1980’s, this powerful film reflects the gentle strength of family in all its forms. A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. She blossoms in their care, but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one. 

The Irish Showcase program will feature the US Premiere of Joyride directed by Emer Reynolds and starring Olivia Colman, Charlie Reid, Lochlann O'Mearáin, Olwen Fouéré, David Pearse, and Aislín McGucklin. The film follows Joy, a train-wreck on an adventure who is ready to give away her new-born baby. Joined by a cheeky street urchin, they are two diamonds in the rough on the run. 

In addition to the Irish Showcase selections, the Festival will screen a number of feature narrative, documentary, and short films representing the strongest contemporary Irish cinema.   

The Festival will present the Southern California premiere of The Banshees of Inisherin, directed by Martin McDonagh and starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, David Pearse, and Pat Shortt. On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, delivering an ultimatum that leads to alarming consequences for them both. 

Directed by Frank Berry, the Irish immigration drama Aisha starring Letitia Wright and Josh O’Connor will also screen at the festival. While caught for years in Ireland's immigration system, Aisha Osagie develops a close friendship with former prisoner Conor Healy. This friendship soon looks to be short lived as Aisha's future in Ireland comes under threat. Aisha will be making its west coast premiere at the Festival.  

The psychological thriller from Ireland Nocebo, directed by Lorcan Finnegan delves into topics about consumerism, human exploitation, the fast-paced fashion industry, and the power of the brain and the decision whether to hurt or heal the physical body. Nocebo stars Eva Green, Mark Strong and Chai Fonacier. 

In the Irish drama Róise and Frank (Mo Ghrá Buan), directed by Rachel Moriarty and Peter Murphy, Irish actress Bríd Ní Neachtain plays a widow who has given up on life and becomes convinced that a stray dog is the reincarnation of her Hurling-loving husband. 

Directed by Luke Hanlon, The Troubles: A Dublin Story stars Ray Malone, Adam Redmond, Wayne Byrne, William Delaney, Sarah Hayden, and Sophia Adli. Two young Dublin brothers must navigate loyalty, honor, and the dangerous world of republicanism as they fuel the Northern war machine—by any means necessary. 

The Irish surf documentary Keep It A Secret, directed by Sean Duggan and featuring Willie Britton and Kevin Cavey, will play in the Festival’s Action Sports Film Series. In 1972, every international sporting event in Ireland was canceled, except for one. Keep It A Secret recounts the inspiring true story of the dawn of Irish surfing and how the sport's brave pioneers found peace in the surf during the most violent years of The Troubles

Writer and director, Lila Schmitz brings her award-winning documentary, The Job of Songs, to the Newport Beach Film Festival. This highly acclaimed film focuses on Doolin, an isolated village teetering on the western edge of Ireland, where a community of musicians seek joy and connection through music as they face a modernizing world. 

Films screening in the 2022 Festival Irish Short Programs include An Irish GoodbyeBad Boy BuckBestial OnesBurn it All, Faces, First DateImbas Forosnai, Mildly Different, Not My Sister, Regular Rabbit, The Oubliette, Throw Your Heart Over First, and Warts & All. 

The Newport Beach Film Festival Irish Showcase is presented by Guinness and supported by Culture Ireland, Screen Ireland, Tourism Ireland and The Joseph A. Lynch Trust in partnership with Consulate General of Ireland - Los Angeles, Aer Lingus, The Irish Herald, Irish Arts & Entertainment, Irish Film and Television Academy, Irish Film Institute, Galway Film Fleadh, Irish American Magazine, Kerrygold, Celtic Nations Magazine, Irish Screen America, Ireland Week, Irish Fair Foundation, and Muldoon’s Irish Pub.

“The strength of Irish cinema is reflected in the diverse and broad range of features and shorts included as part of this year’s spotlight. From the US premiere of An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl), Ireland's entry for Best International Feature at Oscars 2023 to the heart-warming and moving story of grief and loss in Rosie and Frank, these are stories that will leave no one untouched nor in any doubt as to the talent, originality, and imaginativeness within Irish film. Newport Beach Film Festival continues to be a true celebration of film and the showcase of exceptional stories” stated Marcella Smyth, Consul General of Ireland - Southwestern United States. 

Gar O'Brien, Head of Film & Television at the Irish Film & Television Academy added: “Newport Beach Film Festival is well-known for platforming highly anticipated, critically acclaimed cinema, from both at home and abroad, as well as having a reputation for unearthing some real hidden gems. But it is also a unique forum for enriching cross-cultural understanding and sharing experiences through the power of cinema. Its annual Irish Spotlight is a perfect example of this - showcasing the best in New Irish cinema to its discerning audiences, as well as bringing Irish film creatives together with industry peers at the festival, and of course reflecting the culture of the strong Irish community in Southern California,”

Newport Beach Film Festival’s CEO, Gregg Schwenk said: “The Festival is extremely proud to showcase outstanding Irish Cinema. We are honored to host the most comprehensive collection of Irish films in North America. This year’s program reflects the exceptionally strong creative talent in Ireland.”

Click here for more information about Newport Beach Film Festival and ticket information.

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