Solas Nua announced the confirmation of two internationally celebrated films to anchor the Capital Irish Film Festival (CIFF), set to launch Dec. 5.
Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, directed by Lelia Doolan, and Life’s a Breeze, by Lance Daly, will join a dozen other submissions by contemporary Irish filmmakers at the annual celebration of Irish film in the nation’s capital.
The documentary Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey examines the brief but brilliant political run of the young radical socialist who captured the world’s attention at 21 when she was elected to the British Parliament from Northern Ireland in 1969. A vital force in the Catholic civil rights movement, Bernadette Devlin McAliskey disappeared from public life after an attempt on her life in 1981. Doolan rescues her unique subject from obscurity and delivers a history lesson both entertaining and insightful on the roots of a revolutionary.
Once described by Archbishop Charles McQuaid as “mad, bad and dangerous,” Doolan is a force in the Irish arts scene. She will be on hand at the screening to discuss the nine-year process of making this acclaimed documentary.
Life’s a Breeze is a comedy written and directed by Daly. It follows a multi-generational Irish family as they search for the discarded mattress of grandma, who belatedly tells them it contained their inheritance. Starring Kelly Thornton, Fionnula Flanagan, Pat Shortt and Eva Birthistle, this film was featured at the Toronto Film Festival.
“These very popular films are welcome additions to this year’s festival,” said Fiona Clem, Director of CIFF. “They cap an already lively and diverse collection of films that should give Americans a multi-faceted look at Ireland through the lens of independent film makers.”
This year’s festival theme is “The Irish on Ireland,” a look at modern and historical Ireland by Irish filmmakers. The four-day festival, running from December 5-8, 2013, will feature a dozen films from animated shorts to documentaries and full-length features on subjects such as the “Celtic Economic Meltdown” as muse to Irish artists and park rangers extolling the virtues of Phoenix Park. Of particular interest to American audiences will be When Ali Came to Ireland by Ross Whitaker, a look back at one of boxing’s more unlikely matches in 1970s Ireland.