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2010 LOS ANGELES IRISH FILM FESTIVAL | Print |  Email
Tuesday, 21 September 2010

2010 LOS ANGELES IRISH FILM FESTIVAL

US Premieres include "Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne”" and "The Yellow Bittern”

West Coast premieres are “My Brothers”, “Cup Cake” and “Ballybrando”

The Los Angeles Irish Film Festival (LAIFF) announced on September 15th the program for their 2010 Los Angeles Irish Film Festival (Thursday, September 30 through Sunday, October 3, 2010) including the U.S. premieres of “Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne” and the documentary “The Yellow Bittern,” and the West Coast premieres of “My Brothers,” “Cup Cake” and “Ballybrando”.

Except for opening night of the festival at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences©’ Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood on Thursday, September 30, the remainder of the LAIFF's program of screenings and events will take place at the Aero Theater, Cinematheque, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, California.

"We are excited to be presenting a number of U.S. and West Coast premieres, continuing our tradition of bringing the best of Irish cinema to local audiences," said Festival Director Lisa McLaughlin.  "We are honored to be presenting a Tribute to Richard Harris and are moved to share the night with his family.”

(While Southern California is busy at the end of September through the beginning of October with the LA Irish Film Festival, our Irish cousins in Northern California are busy in mid September with their own Irish Film Festival! Niall McKay and his team are preparing for the San Francisco Film Festival which opens 23rd September and plays top class Irish films until the 25th. Check out http://sfirishfilm.com/ for more info. A Tale of Two Cities with Irish Film Festivals!)

So, as the Irish Emigrant Publications columnist Dubliner's Daughter, I dutifully give you the press release with a few bits of editing! In a nutshell before I lay out the basket of copy to hang up on the net, here is my take on it all....This is the third Annual LA Irish Film Festival. It started originally at a screening room theatre in Beverly Hills with Niall McKay and Lisa McLaughlin putting it on. I've seen the pictures of it and it looked like a good time! I only got word about last year's festival via one of the two So. California monthly Irish publications, either the Irish Herald from San Francisco or the Irish News and Entertainment, both of which I have written for. (I wish they had website editions of their publications!) I got to know Lisa and several of her young Irish friends/actors/screenwriters when I participated with them as readers at the Finn McCools Pub's Bloomsday reading in June in Santa Monica. It was a fun event with over a dozen readers and a packed house.

I will be busy with the Press crew on the Red Carpet (can't we have a Green Carpet?) for the Opening Night so I'll be posting a recap of the Film Festival in October. Last year I didn't get a pass for the sold out event, though I did get a pass for the Gabriel Byrne documentary which was very insightful to the journey of a world known Dublin actor and writer - so I'm glad to be included this year. A lot of long time local Irish in the southland never heard of the festival till I told them as we don't currently have a weekly Irish radio program for the LA though we had one for over 30 years between radio hosts Richie Jones of the Irish Import Shop and later with Tom McConville.  The Irish in the southland are excited about an Irish Film Festival which is another dimension of our Irish culture in addition to the Irish music concerts, festivals, dance feis and plays we are fortunate to have in our community. The excitement is contagious and many people want to participate on various levels as sponsors, patrons, fans and volunteers. This year Imelda with Shamrock Imports from Valley Village by No. Hollywood will be in the lobby with her Irish imports of Irish candies, sweets and more! Plus Sean Manning of Irish Pride in Altadena is handling the festival merchandise and the program.

Opening Night

Ian Fitzgibbon’s critically acclaimed crime comedy/drama “Perrier’s Bounty”, starring Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Jodie Whittaker, with voice-over by Gabriel Byrne, kicks off the festival at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences©’ Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood on Thursday, September 30.  In what is becoming a tradition at LAIFF, composer Eimear Noone will again be bringing her prodigious talent to Opening Night with a new original musical score that she will conduct to two rare silent films, “Will Rogers in Dublin” and “Ireland A Nation” (1914).  The screenings will be followed by a reception with live music entertainment hosted by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and Culture Ireland onsite at the Pickford Center.

Opening Night film “Perrier’s Bounty” features three fugitives trying to escape from underworld boss Perrier (Brendan Gleeson), who is determined to keep his pride and money after the accidental murder of one of his loyal cohorts. With only 24 hours to escape certain death, the trio must beat the clock, stay awake, and above all, pay Perrier's bounty.

Closing Night

The festival will close on Sunday, October 3 beginning with a musical performance by Colin Devlin, whose 1994 critically acclaimed debut album (with brother Peter, as The Devlins) won four stars in Rolling Stone. The Devlins are known for their TV and and movie soundtracks (Closer, Batman Forever, HBO's Six Feet Under) and performing onstage with critically acclaimed REM and Sheryl Crow.  Colin Devlin was nominated for a 2010 Meteor Award (the Irish Grammys) – for the 2009 release of Democracy of One, an exquisite solo album produced by Sarah McLachlan collaborator Pierre Marchand. 

The musical entertainment will be followed by LAIFF’s annual “Steve Brennan Tribute,” founded in memory of the veteran journalist and International Editor for the Hollywood Reporter, which will be awarded this year to the late iconic Irish actor Richard Harris (1933-2002) and presented by Brennan’s widow, Bernadette.  The award ceremony will be followed by a screening of Jim Sheridan’s acclaimed film “The Field,” a hard-hitting drama set in Ireland during the 1930s about one man’s obsession with a plot of land that his family tended for generations, for which Harris received an Oscar nomination. In what promises to be a memorable evening, Harris’s three sons, Jared, Damian and Jamie will accept the award on behalf of their father.  Director Jim Sheridan will also be attending and will participate in a discussion following the screening.

US Premieres

LAIFF will present the US premiere of “Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne” directed by Conor McDermottroe and starring Belfast actor Martin McCann (“The Sound of People,” “Killing Bono”) in the title role alongside Jodie Whittaker (“Perrier’s Bounty”), Marcella Plunkett (“Once”), Gerard McSorley (“Omagh”), Brid Brennan (“Dancing at Lughnasa”) and Owen Roe (“Intermission”).  The film portrays the life of Austin ‘Occi’ Byrne who is brought up in Sligo by his alcoholic mother and suffers traumatic bullying at the hands of a local gang because he has no father. ‘Occi’ grows up plagued by anger, confusion and pain. In the hopes of unlocking his own identity and overcoming the past that haunts him, ‘Occi’ sets out to find his father and discover the secret of his birth. The film has received much attention on the festival circuit. Produced by Edwina Forkin (“Three Days in Dublin”) and Tom Maguire (“Headrush”) for Zanzibar Films in Ireland and Hermann Florin (“Une Femme sur Mesure”) for Florin Films in Germany, the film was co-financed by the IFB, RTÉ, Eurimages, Kinowelt and ZDF/Arte. Director Conor McDermottroe and producer Edwina Forkin will be in person at the screening.

The festival will also screen the US premiere of Alan Gilsenan’s documentary “The Yellow Bittern,” produced by John Murray and Anna Rodgers.  A revealing portrait of the man Bob Dylan called “the best ballad singer I’d ever heard,” “The Yellow Bittern” chronicles the life of Liam Clancy, the youngest of the iconic Clancy Brothers.  Featuring candid interviews and never-before-seen footage, some of it from Clancy’s personal archives, Gilsenan’s masterful documentary is a fascinating look at the life of one of Ireland’s great musical artists.

West Coast Premieres

“My Brothers”, directed by Paul Fraser, will receive its West Coast premiere at LAIFF. The film tells the story of seventeen year old Noel who, when the watch belonging to his dying father is accidentally broken, along with his brothers, Paudie and Scwally, “borrows” a broken-down bread van from his employer, and journeys to the seaside town of Ballybunion to find a replacement.  The cast includes Timmy Creed, Paul Courtney, T J Griffin, Don Wycherley and Kate Ashfield; it is written by Will Collins and produced by Rebecca O’Flanagan and Robert Walpole. The film is “uniquely Irish in setting and tone,” says Paul Fraser of his directorial debut.  “[But] it deals with truly universal themes…  The complex relationship between siblings and their need to identify themselves as separate to each other while being profoundly connected.”  Director Paul Fraser will be in person at the screening.

The festival will also present the West Coast premiere of “Cup Cake” directed by Colin McIvor, with a cast that includes Adam Best, Michelle Fairley, Paddy Jenkins, Clive Russell, Kasia Koleczek and Marie Jones.  The film was written by Christine Murphy and produced by Katy Jackson, Colin McIvor’s hilarious directorial debut tells the story of young P.J., who when business begins to crumble, rallies to save the family bakery from ruin with a little help from his quirky friends and neighbors.

Special Screenings

The festival will also present a special screening of “Ballybrando,” directed by Brendan Byrne, a documentary charting the ill-fated 1995 Irish film “Divine Rapture,” which had Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp among its stars. The documentary tells the story of the ‘greatest film never made in Ireland’, as the project was brought to a halt as a result of financial difficulties. Just over 20 minutes of footage had been shot of the film, which focused on an elderly priest (Brando) who believes in the power of miracles. “Divine Rapture” was being filmed in the Cork village of Ballycotton in 1995.

As the “Cinemagic Spotlight,” LAIFF will screen a special family matinee of “A Shine of Rainbows” on Saturday, October 2 at 4pm.  A poignant tale of a loving mother, a reluctant father, and the extraordinary journey that brings a young orphan home to an island off the coast of Ireland where discovers the hidden magical life of the island. An official Irish/Canadian co-production directed by Vic Sarin and starring Aidan Quinn and Connie Nielsen, the film was shot in Donegal and was produced by James Flynn for Octagon Films in Ireland and Tina Pehme and Kim Roberts for Sepia Films in Canada.

Shorts

Notable shorts include “Moore Street Masala” directed by David O’Sullivan, starring DeScreenings4_200_x_107.jpgva Naidu and Anna Wilson, produced by Miriam Cahill.  This delightful musical short tells the story of Baba, a store clerk, and his love for the woman across the street. 

The 2010 Los Angeles Irish Film Festival is co-presented by The American Cinematheque.  The Irish Film Board (Bord Scannán na hÉireann), Ireland’s national film agency, and Culture Ireland are partners of LAIFF.  ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America) is a founding sponsor. The Irish Film Institute is a premier sponsor.  Other sponsors include Bushmills, Kerrygold, Kensington Caterers, Rosemarie McCaffrey, Guinness, MyIrishPride.com, Grafton on Sunset and ElaineKim.com.

For more information about the festival including the complete line-up, and to purchase tickets to Opening and Closing Night and general admission tickets to individual films at LAIFF go to http://www.lairishfilm.com .

*  *  *

The Los Angeles Irish film festival is a non-competitive film festival about celebrating the Irish love for story-telling and their deep rooted love for the tellers of tales.  A rich and ancient tradition that started around the hearth of every Irish household, their cultural passion for storytelling has found its way onto the world stage through the medium of film. Coupled with the treasures of Ireland's movie making past, LAIFF presents modern cinematic works as diverse as they are unique with the goal to create a cinematic barometer of the current cultural climate in Ireland.

The American Cinematheque is a non-profit, viewer-supported cultural organization dedicated exclusively to the public presentation of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents the best of film and video - ranging form the classics to the outer frontiers of the art form.

http://www.americancinematheque.com

About The Irish Film Board. Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board (IFB) is Ireland’s national film agency. The agency supports and promotes the Irish film industry and the use of Ireland as a location for international production.

http://www.irishfilmboard.ie

Culture Ireland (Irish: Cultúr Éireann) is the Irish State Agency established to promote and advance Irish Arts internationally. It was set-up in 2005 and funded by Department for Arts, Sport and Tourism. Culture Ireland funds Irish artists or arts organisations to support Irish cultural activities of excellence at strategic international arts events.

ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America) It is a private foundation based in Santa Monica, ELMA partners with organizations seeking to make European films more widely-available to American audiences and promotes a greater understanding and appreciation between cultures. http://www.elma.org

The Los Angeles Film Festival is dedicated to remembering and cheering the vibrant, all-embracing life of Steve Brennan - veteran journalist and International Editor for the Hollywood Reporter, author of “Emeralds in Tinseltown”, film maker, incomparable character and friend. As an advisory board member of the LAIFF, Steve gave of himself without measure, opening up his adventure-forged knowledge, uproarious stories and creativity to the festival like a much-voyaged pirate opening a chest filled with gems. We will continue to honor Steve's memory by naming our annual tribute screening after our dear friend.

Cinemagic is a film festival for young people and our ethos is to ‘create, educate, motivate and inspire’ though the medium of film and television. For 20 years we have been programming master classes, workshops, film screenings, industry talks and outreach projects throughout Northern Ireland, Ireland, United Kingdom and as of 2010 New York and Los Angeles. During our US events we were very honoured to work alongside great organisations such as Jim Henson Company, Disney and Sesame Street to name but a few. Cinemagic will return to the US in February 2011 to deliver festivals in LA, San Francisco, New York and Boston. For more information please check out  our website www.cinemagic.org.uk . We are proud to be spotlighted at the 2010 Los Angeles Irish Film Festival at the Shine of Rainbows screening.

For full details of the festival see http://www.lairishfilm.com/

 

SCHEDULED 2010 PROGRAM

Wednesday, September 30 – 6:30PM

The festival starts on Wednesday, September 30 with the Opening Night Gala screening of “Perrier’s Bounty” at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences© Linwood Dunn Theater for Motion Picture Study, 1313 Vine Street, Hollywood, California followed by a reception hosted by The Irish Film Board at the Pickford Center.

Two rare Irish silent films accompanied by an original score conducted and composed by Eimear Noone will precede the screening of “Perrier’s Bounty”: 

WILL ROGERS IN DUBLIN, Silent Film:

Will Rogers was an American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer and actor and one of the best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s. In this silent film he walks around Dublin city in 1927 and comments on the city and the people in it.

IRELAND A NATION (1914), Silent Film: 

The story of Ireland and her fight for Home Rule as seen through the experiences of Father Tom Murphy, a patriot with a price on his head, and the famous Irish leader Robert Emmet. (27 mins)

PERRIER’S BOUNTY:

Prod. Company.  Dir. Ian Fitzgibbon. A crime comedy/drama “Perrier’s Bounty” starring Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Jodie Whittaker.  The story of three fugitives trying to escape from underworld boss, Perrier (Brendan Gleeson), who is determined to keep his pride and money after the accidental murder of one of his loyal cohorts. With only 24 hours to escape certain death, the trio must beat the clock, stay awake, and above all, pay Perrier's bounty.

Live music will accompany the Opening Night festivities.

The remainder of the LAIFF's program of  screenings and events will take place at the Aero Theater, Cinematheque, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, California.

Friday, October 1 - 7:30 PM

AERO THEATER, CINEMATHEQUE, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica

Double Feature: MY BROTHERS, 2010, Rubicon Films, 84 min., Dir. Paul Fraser. The film tells the screenings1_200_x_102.jpgstory of seventeen year old Noel who, when the watch belonging to his dying father is accidentally broken, along with his brothers, Paudie and Scwally, “borrows” a broken-down bread van from his employer, and journeys to the seaside town of Ballybunion to find a replacement. Director Paul Fraser will be in attendance at the screening.

Plus THE LINE - short film - (Ireland) Dir.: Maria O’Connor.  This fictional silent dark comedy drama combines a visual treat of animation and quirky locations as our two characters struggle on a writing journey.

SWANSONG:  STORY OF OCCI BYRNE, 2009, Zanzibar Films (Ireland); Florin Films (Germany), Screenings2_200_x_106.jpg109 min. Dir. Conor McDermottroe. Teased and bullied as a child because he has no father, Austin Byrne grows up plagued by anger, confusion and pain. In the hopes of unlocking his own identity and overcoming the past that haunts him, Austin sets out to find his father and discover the secret of his birth.

Plus DAYS LIKE THIS - short film - Dir.: Joel Simon.  A man recalls the day, from when he was a boy, when his typically aloof father took him to McDonald’s and then a soccer match.  Employing wistful narration and enchanting animation, Joel Simon’s ostensibly simple tale of the memory of a single day reminds us what truly matters.   

Saturday, October 2 - 4:00 PM  

AERO THEATER, CINEMATHEQUE, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica

Family Matinee:  A SHINE OF RAINBOWS.  2009. Prod Company: Octagon Films (Ireland), 100Screenings3_200_x_104.jpg min. Dir.: Vic Sarin. A poignant tale of a loving mother, a reluctant father, and the extraordinary journey that brings a young orphan home to an island off the coast of Ireland where discovers the hidden magical life of the island.

7:30 PM – MOORE ST. MASALA (Short). Dir./Writer: David O’Sullivan. Prod.: Miriam Cahill.  This delightful musical short tells the story of Baba, a store clerk, and his love for the woman across the street.

CUPCAKE (2009) Wee Buns Ltd., 86 min. Dir.: Colin McIvor. When business begins to crumble, young P.J., with a little help from his quirky friends and neighbors, rallies to save the family bakery from ruin.  This hilarious directorial debut from Colin McIvor won the Audience Award at this year’s Belfast Film Festival. 

THE YELLOW BITTERN (Documentary) 2009.120 mins. Dir.: Alan Gilsenan.  A revealing portrait ofScreenings5_200_x_101.jpg the man Bob Dylan called “the best ballad singer I’d ever heard,” “The Yellow Bittern” chronicles the life of Liam Clancy, the youngest of the iconic Clancy Brothers.  Featuring candid interviews and never-before-seen footage, some of it from Clancy’s personal archives, Gilsenan’s masterful documentary is a fascinating look at the life of one of Ireland’s great musical artists.

Sunday, October 3 - 6:00 PM 

AERO THEATER, CINEMATHEQUE, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica

Musical Performance Colin Devlin

7:30 PM TRIBUTE TO RICHARD HARRIS

THE FIELD (1990) Production Company:, 1 hr 47 mins. Dir.: Jim Sheridan.  “Bull” McCabe’s family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land.  And when the widow who owns the field decides to sell the field in a public auction, McCabe knows that he must own it.  But while no one in the village would dare bid against him, an American with deep pockets decides that he needs the field to build a highway.  The Bull and his son decide to convince the American to give up bidding on the field, but things go horribly wrong. In person: Jim Sheridan   

 




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