2018 IRISH FILM FESTIVAL, BOSTON AWARDS

Breakthrough Feature, Kissing Candice
Directed by Aoife McArdle

 Most Inspiring Short, Bless Me Father
Directed by Paul Horan

Director's Choice Feature, Maze
Directed by Stephen Burke

Director's Choice Short, Lost Memories
Directed by Eamonn Murphy

Global Vision Documentary, The Farthest
Directed by Emer Reynolds 

Special Jury Prize, The Breadwinner
Directed by Nora Twomey


2018 SCREENINGS

FEATURES

BLACK 47
2018/Ireland (96 minutes)
Director: Lance Daly

It’s 1847 and Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and re-unite with his estranged family. He’s seen more than his share of horrors but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland. He discovers his mother starved to death and his brother hanged by the brutal hand of the English. With little else to live for, he sets on a destructive path to avenge his family, systematically working his way up the political and social hierarchy of 19th Century Ireland. Hannah, an aging British soldier and famed tracker of deserters, is sent to stop Feeney before he can further stoke the fires of revolution. But Hannah and Feeney are old army comrades with a mutual respect forged by their times fighting together. Personal bonds and shifting allegiances cause both men to question their motives, as they are tested to the limit by the hellish landscape of “the Great Hunger”.

KISSING CANDICE
2017/Ireland (102 min)
Director: Aoife McArdle
US Premiere

Candice longs to escape the boredom of her seaside town, but when a boy she dreams about turns up in real life, she becomes involved with a dangerous local gang. 

MAZE
2017/Ireland (92 min)
Director: Stephen Burke

Maze is based on the true story of the 1983 mass breakout of 38 IRA prisoners from the HMP Maze high-security prison. As Larry Marley, the chief architect of the escape, schemes his way towards this feat, he meets prison warden, Gordon Close.

Initially they are confirmed enemies, born of opposite sides of Northern Ireland's political divide, but when Larry realizes that Gordon may be useful for his escape, a slow seduction begins. What follows is an intense and intriguing drama during which an unlikely relationship is forged between two adversaries.

SONG OF THE SEA
2014/Ireland (93 min)
Director: Tomm Moore

From the creators of the Academy Award®-nominated The Secret of Kells comes a breathtakingly gorgeous, hand-drawn masterpiece. Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. Pursued by the owl witch Macha and a host of ancient and mythical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse’s powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever. As enthralling for adults as it is for children young and old, Song of the Sea is a wonder of magical storytelling and visual splendor that is destined to become a classic.

THE BREADWINNER
2017/Ireland (94 min)
Director: Nora Twomey

From executive producer Angelina Jolie and the creators of the Academy Award®-nominated The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, comes the Academy Award®-nominated feature based on Deborah Ellis’ bestselling novel.

Parvana is an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy in order to support her family. Working alongside her friend Shauzia, Parvana discovers a new world of freedom–and danger. With undaunted courage, Parvana draws strength from the fantastical stories she invents, as she embarks on a quest to find her father and reunite her family.

THE LIMIT OF
2017/Ireland (90 min)
Director: Alan Mulligan

James Allen is a man in control. He lives alone and works as a banker. He does his best to look after his widowed mother. What he doesn’t know is that the bank he works for is about to repossess her home. When the stress of this provokes a family crisis, James begins to question his whole life and to glimpse the ruthless, manipulative black heart behind the glossy veneer of the banking world. He decides to take action.

The film explores limits imposed upon us by choices we make – limits set by our careers, by our desires, by our needs and even by the choice of who we love.


SHORTS

BLESS ME FATHER
2017/Ireland (15 min 40)
Director: Paul Horan

Proudly presented by Talamas
A parish priest is faced with a moral dilemma when a parishioner comes to deliver a confession which directly effects the priests own life. The priest is torn between his duty to offer forgiveness, and his personal reaction to this revelation.

Though it takes place against the inescapable backdrop of Irish Catholicism, this is primarily a film about people. It's about their societal roles and customs, and how those customs become subverted over time. It's about long term relationships in a small town. And it's about personal control - both having, and taking. Bless Me Father is the first film by writer/director Paul Horan.

LOST MEMORIES
2017/Ireland (14 minutes 55 seconds)
Director: Eamonn Murphy

Inspired by a true story. Sean races against the clock to his mother's death bed while dealing with inter-family politics over the phone.

CASUAL
2017/Ireland (11 min 58 sec)
Co-Directors:  Aoife Nic Ardghail and Kate Dolan

Maura, an aspiring poet, has been dumped in a voice mail. It was only a casual thing, but she's still stuck with those grim feelings that come with rejection: self loathing, anger, resentment and an insatiable hunger for chocolate mousse. 
And bacon. 
And wine. 
To get out of this funk, she decides to take control. 
Her mate thinks she's a dope, but Maura's sure she'll win the guy over.

GUSTAV
2017/Ireland (11 min)
Director: Denis Fitzpatrick and Ken Williams

A man wakes up with a strange tune in his head. But what is it? And how did it get there?

HIDDEN POTENTIAL
2017/Ireland (11 min 7 sec)
Director: Eamonn MacMahon

Anthony - an 8 year old school child who struggles with dyslexia is constantly belittled, ignored and bullied by his class mates, teachers and even school principles. Until, one day someone steps in and changes his life forever. Even though he doesn’t even know it, yet.

COYOTE
2016/Ireland (11 min)
Director: Dani Wall

Nick Sullivan, a truck driver in the centre of nowhere, has had a breakdown. He’s on a severe time limit and risks losing everything if he’s not back on time. Just when he’s ready to give up, he discovers Ammar, a Syrian refugee, hiding in the back of his trailer. Before he can call the authorities however Ammar desperate to get back to his family, reveals himself as a mechanic and issues him an ultimatum; he’ll fix his truck and in return Nick will carry him across the border.

THE FAMILY WAY
2017/Ireland (18 min 35 sec)
Director: Nuno Bernardo

A family is thrown into turmoil when a positive pregnancy test is found in the bathroom drawer. 

Mother and daughter Julia and Ruth get their pregnancy tests mixed up when they both hide them in the bathroom. They set out to discreetly buy pregnancy tests in their small Irish suburban town, but are thwarted at every turn, bumping into people they know. Word spreads and friends and neighbors turn up at their home to find out the 'news' from distressed dad Robert.

GROWING ALICE
2017/Ireland (3 min 58 sec)
Director: Danilo Zambrano
Observing a girl's changing relationship with her mother, through the years, from the point of view of her bedroom mirror.

JON
2017/Ireland (6 min 17 sec)
Director: Gemma Addy and Dave Slade

An Irish inmate's parole is threatened two weeks from release.

STACEY LEE
2017/Ireland (1 min 30 sec)
Director: Jennifer Meade

Stacey enjoys her books, Spencer's best friend is his dog, they don't think they need each other until they do.

CORANNA
2017/Ireland (8 min 50 sec)
Director: Steve Woods

 A boy and his horse - Coranna, are in a race to save the lives of their parish from the Great Irish Famine.

MARKY'S BAD WEEK
2017/Ireland/United Kingdom (6 minutes)
Director: Daniel Holmwood

After having the worst week of his life, Marky reflects on everything that has gone wrong in recent days and looks to his last vice to help him through it all – a spliff. But when he realises that he has lost his last nodge of hash, he sets off to retrace his steps and find it. Unfortunately for Marky, things only start to go from bad to worse when he crosses paths with an old acquaintance.

AMY
2017/Ireland (6 min 43 sec)
Director: Leah Morgan

In this intimate portrait, Amy shares her story in her own words. Despite losing her mother at a young age and battling with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Amy maintains an inspiring zest for life. Her story is one of fortitude and strength.

TIT FOR TATT
2017/Ireland (24 min 22 sec)
Director: Mairéad Ní Thréinir

Tit for Tatt follows the experiences of two breast cancer survivors who were inspired to mark their battles by getting tattoos on their surgery scars.

UP THE MOUNTAIN
2017/Ireland (12 min 32 sec)
Director: Donal Moloney

Eddie lost his wife 20 years ago. A broken heart and depression followed. His love of horses and family eventually got him through the difficult times. His biggest day of the year is now 'The Ballinasloe Horse Fair'.

THROWLINE
2017/Ireland (14 min)
Director: Mia Mallarkey

A group of taxi drivers in Kilkenny, Ireland, join together to form a suicide prevention group. Uniquely positioned to patrol the night, the drivers keep vigil over the city's streets and bridges and offer help to those who feel forlorn.

YOU'RE NOT A MAN AT ALL
2017/Ireland (10 min)
Director: Padraig Conaty

A talent competition in the local village gives a bachelor farmer the chance to reveal a secret.

NO IRISH NEED APPLY
2017/Ireland (6 min, 54 sec)
Director: William Fitzpatrick

A short film depicting anti Irish bigotry in Boston's daily newspapers in the 1880's and 1890's.


DOCUMENTARY

MAKING THE GRADE
2017/Ireland (82 minutes)
Director: Ken Wardrop

In Ireland over 30,000 students prepare for piano exams each year. Making The Grade is a musical journey through a demanding piano grading system from an absolute beginner through to accomplished pianist. It is a stirring journey of students’ musical passions and perseverance, of teacher dedication, parental ambitions and the occasional musical drama.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE GLEN
2017/Ireland (49 min 40 secs)
Director: Seán Ó Cualáin

A century of continuous global change has devastated Ireland's rural communities, and vast areas, especially in the west of the country are being decimated. One such area is the village of Loch Con Aortha, a village situated at the foot of the impressive Cnoc Mordáin in west Conamara, a mountain that has for centuries been a defensive wall for its inhabitants, but which today can no longer defend the village from this most recent onslaught.

Since the 1970’s the vigour of a vibrant close knit community, and it's ancient folk culture have vanished, now life itself is dissapearing from the village to the point it seems 21st century Ireland holds no place for it in its future.

In this documentary director Seán Ó Cualáin tells the plight of his village as he follows a year in the life of the people of Loch Con Aortha. Understanding that the Gaelic civilisation to which they belong to has disintegrated, they strive to protect and preserve their identity as they come to the realization that if they themselves cannot save their village, perhaps they can save its heritage. 

PULL LIKE A DOG
2016/Ireland (54 min)
Director: Adrian McCarthy

In August 2016 Gary and Paul O’Donovan, two young rowers from the south west of Ireland, came from nowhere to become household names after bolting their way to silver medal success at the Rio Olympics. Not only did they become the first ever Irish rowers to bring home Olympic medals but within a week Paul also went on to become the fastest singles lightweight rower on the planet at the World Championships. This special one-hour documentary follows the O’Donovan brothers as they return to their parish of Lisheen and Skibbereen rowing club in the aftermath of their success. With catch phrases like ‘Pull Like A Dog’ and ‘Stheak and Spuds’ these two young men have succeeded in warming the hearts of a nation and changed the way we look at this minority sport.

THE FARTHEST
Marking the 40th anniversary of NASA’s iconic mission that continues this day. Plus the story behind how astronomer Carl Sagan and his team chose Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode and other music for the golden record “Sounds of Earth” carried aboard the Voyager Spacecraft. 

It is one of humankind's greatest achievements. More than 12 billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space - the first human-made object ever to do so. Slowly dying within its heart is a nuclear generator that will beat for perhaps another decade before the lights on Voyager finally go out. But this little craft will travel on for millions of years, carrying a Golden Record bearing recordings and images of life on Earth. In all likelihood Voyager will outlive humanity.

The Farthest celebrates these magnificent machines, the men and women who built them and the vision that propelled them farther than anyone could ever have hoped. 

KEVIN ROCHE: THE QUIET ARCHITECT
2017/Ireland (82 min)
Director: Mark Noonan

Still working at age 95, Pritzker Prize winning Irish-American architect Kevin Roche is an enigma. He’s reached the top of his profession, but has little interest in celebrity and eschews the label “Starchitect”. Despite a lifetime of acclaimed work that includes the Ford Foundation, Oakland Museum of California and 40 years designing new galleries for The Met in New York, he has no intention of ever retiring and keeps looking forward. Roche's architectural philosophy focuses on creating “a community for a modern society” and he has been credited with creating green buildings before they became part of the public consciousness.

BETWEEN LAND AND SEA
2017/Ireland (89 min)
Director: Ross Whitaker

A year in the life of an Irish surf town at the mercy of the Atlantic Ocean. This observational feature – at times intimate, at times epic – embeds itself in the Big Wave surf community to present a thoroughly engaging and visually stunning portrait of the ever-changing life at land’s end.

IT'S NOT YET DARK
2016/Ireland (81 min)
Director: Frankie Fenton

Soon after the premiere of his first short film at Sundance, Simon Fitzmaurice, a 34-year-old Irish filmmaker, is diagnosed with ALS. Despite complete physical incapacitation, Fitzmaurice draws strength from his desire to create film and directs his first feature film, My Name is Emily (2015), using only his eyes. Narrated by Colin Farrell, It's Not Yet Dark transports us into Simon’s creative world on a journey of self-realization and triumph.

IN THE NAME OF PEACE: JOHN HUME IN AMERICA
2017/Ireland (90 min)
Director: Maurice Fitzpatrick

In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America tells the story of John Hume who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1998 as well as the Martin Luther King Award and the Gandhi Peace Prize, the only person to have been awarded all three. The documentary includes wide-ranging and insightful interviews with President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, as well as Irish leaders, U2’s Bono and Prime Ministers John Major and Tony Blair who helped to secure peace in Ireland. Liam Neeson is the narrator of the film and Bill Whelan (composer of Riverdance) is the film’s musical composer.

NOEL HILL: BROKEN DREAM
2017/Ireland (65 min)
Director: Paddy Hayes

A searing portrait of one of Ireland's most renowned traditional musicians - concertina player Noel Hill, as he recovers from a serious assault that left him a battered shadow of his former self.

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