The Irish Film Festival, Boston celebrated its 13th year last weekend with a string of sold out screenings and Q&A’s with some of Ireland’s leading industry experts in attendance. The Irish titles screening at the event received a "great reception" from the US crowd, says Festival chief Dawn Morrissey.
Writers and directors from some of the most successful Irish productions of the last year were present at screenings of Irish-made films and documentaries. Co-Director Dawn Morrissey was pleased to announce “good feedback from all” over the course of the weekend.
As reported on IFTN earlier this month, director Thaddeus O’Sullivan and actor Stephen Rea attended the festival for the US premiere of IFTA Award-winning ‘Stella Days’, which opened the festival on Thursday night. ‘Stella Days’ fast became a festival highlight with an extra screening scheduled for Saturday night due to demand. Both screenings completely sold out, and were followed by a Q&A session with O’Sullivan and Rea.
Saturday night also saw Frank Berry’s ‘Ballymun Lullaby’ take to the screen, which was a highlight for many expats residing in Boston, while Ed Godsell's ‘Road to Moneygall’, the documentary depicting Offaly man Henry Healy's efforts to bring his eighth cousin, Barack Obama, to Moneygall, proved to be the biggest surprise of the weekend. The documentary got a rapturous reception from the Irish-American crowd, which included one eight-year-old boy who fast became a fan after becoming the youngest person to participate in Henry Healy’s Q&A.
Irish short films were also represented as a screening of Academy Award-winning short 'The Shore' sold out, while actress Aoife Duffin and director John McIlduff were present for the screening of ‘Behold the Lamb’. Both films went down particularly well with audience members. This was followed by a Q&A hosted by representatives for 'Behold the Lamb'.
The festival lasted from Thursday 22nd April to Sunday 25th April. The event welcomed 3,000 plus people, an increase from last year’s attendance. Attendees travelled from Ireland, areas of Boston, New Hampshire and Rhode Island for the festival.
Ms. Morrissey says the ‘out-of-towners’ were mostly in attendance for the special 60th anniversary screening of John Ford’s ‘The Quiet Man’, which was presented in association with the Irish Film & Television Academy and JOHN FORD IRELAND. The classic 1952 Irish-American film closed the festival on Sunday night, no doubt leaving festival organisers thinking of ways to make next year’s as much a success as this year’s.