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IFTA announces third week of Online Screen Discussion Series
27 May 2021 : News Desk
IFTA Screen Discussions
The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) has revealed the titles for its third week of Online discussions in the lead up to this year’s IFTA Awards show.

These discussions allow audiences to engage with the cast, crew, and craftspeople behind all of the submitted films for the 2021 Best Film Category. 

This series (online Q&A events, interviews & Panel discussions with the filmmakers and talent involved - Directors, Writers, Producers, Acting and Craft) ensures that each film has every opportunity to engage with Irish Academy Members and Voters throughout the viewing and voting period as well as providing the general public with an invaluable insight into what goes into making a top-calibre film.

The Racer (Monday, May 31st, 2pm)

In Attendance: Director Kieron J Walsh, Producer Katie Holly, Writer Ciaran Cassidy 

Summer 1998 — the opening stages of Le Tour de France are relocated to Ireland. Belgian rider Dom Chabol (late 30s) has been one of the best “Domestiques” (support riders) on the Tour for the last 20 years. It’s a sacrificial role — setting pace, blocking wind, and providing support to enable the team’s sprinter to victory - winning is not an option. facing the end of his time with his team, Dom secretly harbours a desire to wear the yellow jersey — just once before his career is over. 

Driected by Kieron J. Walsh (When Brendan Met Trudy) and Written by Ciaran Cassidy (The Last Days of Peter Bergmann) Walsh with Blinder Films’ Katie Holly (Vita & Virginia, Love & FriendshipCitadel) and Yvonne Donohoe (Extra Ordinary, Striking Out) producing, The Racer stars Louis Talpe (Of Kings and Prophets), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Tara Lee (A Date for Mad Mary). 

Carissa Pavlica, TV Fanatic: “The film moves effortlessly between the thrills of the race and the agony suffered to take a team to the winners' circle...”

Two by Two: Overboard (Tuesday, June 1st, 2pm)

In Attendance: Voice Director Sean Mc Cormack, Screenwriters Mark Hodkinson and Richie Conroy, Producer Moe Honan, Composer Eimear Noone, and Sound Designer Aza Hand

As Noah’s ark drifts on the open seas after weeks with no land in sight, food stocks are running low, The fragile peace between carnivores and herbivores could break any second. After a series of unfortunate events, best friends Finny and Leah on board find themselves inadvertently washed overboard – along with the last of the food supplies.

Leah and fellow castaway, their new friend Jelly, are marooned on a remote island, while Finny wakes in a strange colony filled with oddly familiar creatures living in harmony – under the threat of a menacing volcano. In a race against time, tide, and terrifying tremors, Finny must rescue his friends, reunite with his family and save a whole colony from total destruction. 

With Voice perfromances from Tara Flynn (Line of Duty), Mary Murray (Love/Hate) and Ava Connolly (Checkered Ninja) Two by Two Overboard is produced by Irish animation company Moetion Films with funding from WRAP Fund.  

Scannain: “With the bright colours, pitch-perfect comedy and engaging characters it’s a film that will keep the little ones engaged and leave a smile on (your) face...”

Poster Boys (Wednesday, June 2nd, 6pm) 

In AttendanceWriter/director Dave Minogue, co-producer Eoghan McKenna, Cast Trevor O'Connell, Ryan Minogue-Lee, Karl Clancy, Amy Hughes, Aoife Spratt

Set across the length and breadth of Ireland Poster Boys tells the story of broke Al Clancy who embarks on a cross country road trip with his nephew Karl in an attempt to save his job as a poster boy. A feel-good comedy road trip showing off the beauty of the Irish countryside and the quirks of Irish towns across the country Poster Boys premiered online at the 31st Galway Film Fleadh.

Film Ireland: “Incredibly dark humoured and funny throughout, the viewer is rooting for the two poster boys throughout the film. Great acting from the ensemble cast of this rather dysfunctional and true to life, Irish family.”

Herself (Thursday, June 3rd, 2.30pm)

In AttendanceDirector Phylida Lloyd, Writer/Actress Clare Dunne, Producer Sharon Horgan

Herself follows the story of Sandra (Clare Dunne), who on the surface, is a young Mum struggling to provide her two young daughters with a warm, safe, happy home to grow up in. Beneath the surface, Sandra has a steely determination to change their lives for the better and when it becomes clear that there are no other options left to her, she decides to build it herself from scratch, drawing together a community of friends to support her. Supporting cast includes Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) Harriet Walter (Sense and Sensibility) Ian Lloyd Anderson (Dublin Oldschool) and Cathy Belton (Philomena)

The feature film world premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to strong critical acclaim, with Peter Debruge of Variety naming the film “the standout of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival”.

Tomris Laffly, RogerEbert.com: “With her elegant, restrained and quietly devastating performance as a headstrong yet financially struggling single-mother of two young girls, Clare Dunne is a revelation.”

Here are the Young Men TBC (Provisionally Friday June 4th, 12 midday)

In attendance: Writer/Director Eoin Macken, Producer Richard Bolger, Actor Ferdia Walsh Peelo.

Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Rob Doyle, Here are the Young Men is set in 2003 following a group of Dublin teenagers over one hot, hedonistic summer. Matthew (Dean-Charles Chapman: Game of Thrones) and his disaffected friends have just finished school, and so begins a summer of drink, drugs, and thrill-seeking. 

Matthew romantically yearns after his friend Jen (Anya Taylor-Joy: The Queen’s Gambit) and struggles to maintain his increasingly disturbing relationship with the magnetic and sadistic Kearney (Finn Cole: Peaky Blinders). Their precocious friend Rez (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo; Sing Street) has started to succumb to paranoia and depression, damaging his relationship with his supportive girlfriend Julie (Lola Petticrew: Dating Amber). When Matthew witnesses a young girl getting run over, he and his two friends are forcing to grapple with the most daunting challenge of their lives: facing the demons inside. 

Directed by Eoin Macken from a screenplay he co-wrote with author Rob Doyle, Here are the Young Men is a frenetic tale of toxic masculinity, adolescent love, and paranoia. 

Natasha Alvar, Cultured Vultures: “Eoin Macken's film does well in presenting the fiery, destructive paths of toxic masculinity in the face of trauma not dealt with.”

Pixie (Friday, June 4th, 4pm) 

In Attendance: Director Barnaby Thompson, Producer James Clayton, and Writer Preston Thompson

A comedy Shot on location in Northern Ireland and led by rising British star Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One, Me Earl and the Dying Girl) Pixie (Cooke) trys to mastermind a heist in revenge for her mother's death, but her plans go awry and she finds herself on the run with two young men who are way out of their depth being chased across the Wild Irish countryside by gangsters. She must pit her wits against everyone, taking on the patriarchy to claim the right to shape her own life.

Alongside Cooke features cast Ben Hardy (Bohemian Rhapsody, X-Men: Apocalypse) and Daryl McCormack (A Very English Scandal) with Colm Meaney (Layer Cake, Con Air), Dylan Moran (Black Books, Shaun of the Dead) and Oscar nominated and Emmy-winning actor Alec Baldwin (SNL, Still Alice).

Oscar Nominee Barnaby Thompson (St Trinians, Dorain Grey) directs a script written by up-and-coming British writer Preston Thompson.

Mae Abdulbaki, Screen Rant: “The film is bolstered by the strength of Cooke's magnetic performance and is energetically entertaining, heartbreakingly sad, and darkly humorous.”





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Director Gary Lennon discusses Irish documentary Castro's Spies; currently on limited release in IFI
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