A critically acclaimed film about Ireland’s only boarding school for primary school children is being rolled out at selected theatres across the country.
Just home from a whirlwind success at the Sundance Film Festival, In Loco Parentis, goes behind the scenes of Headfort School in Kells, Co Meath, where tradition and modernity are embraced in a magical Hogwart’s like 18th century estate.
Following a year in the life of the school, this often times hilarious, fly-on-the-wall crowd-pleaser, focuses on a tireless married couple who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of their students.
For nearly half a century, John and Amanda Leyden have shaped thousands of minds with their unorthodox teaching styles. For aging rocker John, rock music is just another subject alongside Maths, Scripture and Latin. For the delightful Amanda, the key to connecting with children is through reading and drama.
The film also offers an intriguing insight into the intimacy and familial aspect of boarding schools in general.
“The lesson we learned from two years of filming here is that education is as much about play and discovery and fun. When a child is happy, all sorts of magic will happen.” explains director, Neasa Ní Chianáin.
In Loco Parentis has been wowing audiences and critics since its world premiere at IDFA last November. It was one of just 12 documentaries from around the world to be selected for the International Documentary competition at the prestigious Sundance festival and will have its Irish premiere at a special Centrepiece Gala event at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival next Monday 20 February in the Light House Cinema. The film will be screened again during the festival on Thursday 23 February at 2pm in the same venue.
‘Engaging’, ‘uplifting’, ‘delightful’, ‘compelling’, ‘magical’, ‘utterly charming’ are just some of the words being touted by critics.
Director, Neasa Ní Chianáin and producer and co-director David Rane will attend the special event screenings during ADIFF and in the following venues in the coming weeks.
Solstice Arts Centre Navan, 28 February 7.30pm
IFI Dublin, 3-9 March -Times to be confirmed
(with director’s Q&A Sat 4 March 4pm)
Omniplex, Rathmines Monday 6 March 6.30pm
Omniplex Dundalk Tuesday 7 March 6.30pm
Omniplex Cork Wednesday 8 March 6.30pm
Omniplex Limerick Thursday 9 March 6.30pm
Eye Cinema, Galway Friday 10 March 7pm