Maya Derrington (left), Director of Pyjama Girls, accepts the Audience Award
-Best Feature for the film from Emma Madigan (right), Capital Irish Film Fest
Colette Breen reports from the The 6th Capital Irish Film Festival, held from 2–11 December 2010 in Washington DC.
This year’s Capital Irish Film Festival continued to showcase the very best of Irish features, documentaries and shorts to DC audiences with over 50 films in the line-up including a number of US Premieres.
The Festival opened with Paul Fraser’s charming My Brothers, Perrier’s Bounty and the US premieres of Between the Canasl and Savage. Director of Between the Canals, Mark O’ Connor and actor Peter Coonan skyped-in to give the audience an insight into the making of the film, particularly the use of non-actors. The opening weekend concluded with a screening of the mock rock doc The Alarms, followed by a panel discussion on ‘How to make your first film’ with first-time directors Mark Cantan (The Alarms), Ronan Connolly (Norman & Margaret) and James Phelan (The Ottoman Empire).
Other screenings of note included John & Kieran Carney’s Zonad, Ken Wardrop’s His & Hers and Liz Mermin’s Horses. The coming-of-age film, 32A, was a great audience hit, some of whom relived their own days growing up in Dublin in the late 70s and were delighted to ask director Marian Quinn about behind the scenes filming!
Linda Murray (Artistic Director, Solas Nua) interviews Marian Quinn
after the screening of 32A
The work of the Darklight Festival was also showcased with two sessions designed to immerse US audiences in the Darklight experience including a special Darklight Heroes: DC Edition, during which Berlin-based animator David O’ Reilly’s Mixtape of Doom was screened. In the State of the Nation programme, Darklight Festival Director Nicky Gogan, presented a selection of films especially curated for the DC audience to reflect Ireland’s current social climate and the state of independent Irish film-making. Nicky and fellow producer and director Paul Rowley led a wide-ranging interactive session which included a chat with Irish guerrilla musician and director, Declan de Barra (Nun’s Fight Club).
Pyjama Girls was one of the big hits of the Festival as it debuted for its US premiere and captivated the audience with its unusual premise. The film’s director, Maya Derrington, was on hand to explain the inspiration behind the film and the filmmaking crew’s relationship with the main characters. The Festival closed with Carmel Winters critically acclaimed directorial debut Snap.
The inaugural CIFF awards were announced at the closing party: Critics Award (My Brothers), Audience Award – Best Short (Noreen) and Audience Award – Best Feature (Pyjama Girls).
Colette Breen is a Princeton-based lover of Irish film