Competition: Win Tickets to Trish McAdam In conversation at the IFI


As part of a season dedicated to the work of acclaimed Irish filmmaker Trish McAdam at the IFI (May 7th to 25th), McAdam will be joined by filmmaker Dean Kavanagh on Tuesday, 7th May at 18.30 for a free-flowing conversation about her career in film, her exploration of new visual modes of storytelling and film artistry. The interview will include screenings of McAdam’s recent works. Further details here

Thanks to our friends at the IFI we have a pair of tickets to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply email with Trish McAdam in the subject line.  The winner will be notified by email on Monday, 6th May at 2pm.

Details of the full season here.

Tickets for the Trish McAdam season are now available from and from the IFI Box Office on 01-6793477.

The season opens with her newest film Confinement, which recently premiered at the Dublin International Film Festival, and will continue with a comprehensive programme of McAdam’s engaging and varied body of work.

Since production of her early shorts in the 1980s, Trish McAdam has embraced a range of forms and subjects, retaining a distinct, independent voice. McAdam became interested in filmmaking after working in New York with photographer Nan Goldin and Super 8 filmmaker Vivienne Dick, before going on to co-found the hugely influential Ha’penny Film Club. Her 1997 debut feature, Snakes and Ladders, was one of the first Irish films directed by a woman about contemporary women’s lives.

Commenting on the programme, IFI Head of Irish Film Programming Sunniva O’Flynn said, ‘This catalogue of work, made over 30 years, is presented in energetic programmes where short, formally-experimental pieces complement more traditional feature works. McAdam is passionate about her subjects and she serves them with intelligence, humour and meticulous craft.’

Speaking about her collected body of work, Trish McAdam said, ‘I was inspired to become a filmmaker on a long visit to New York in 1979-1980, where I witnessed the energy of the artists in the East Village, making work about themselves for themselves, exhibiting in their own flats, bars and clubs. I found that a very empowering concept, art as a kind of local dialect. My first work was a slide show about New York, which I showed in bars and clubs in Dublin. Ever since, I have been drawn to share the experiences of people I come across, dead or alive, real or imagined, with inner passion, with doubt, and with curious and questioning minds, about how they deal with events, circumstances that are of their own place and time.’

The season opens on Tuesday 7th with screenings of McAdam’s latest works Confinement and Strangers to Kindness. Using motion graphics, live footage and charcoal drawings of patients from rarely-seen 19th century photographs from the National Archives, Confinement explores changes in social control, mental asylums and rehabilitation, from Henrietta Street to Grangegorman, narrated by the imagined words of late artist Tony Rudenko (voiced by Aidan Gillen); the film includes music composed by Roger Doyle.

Strangers to Kindness is a playful re-imagining of a 1980s trip McAdam took to the US. Featuring actress Meghan Healy and music by Vyvienne Long, this timely film focuses on a young woman who accepts a lift from a stranger to a party that does not exist. The event on Tuesday 7th will also include a conversation between McAdam and filmmaker Dean Kavanagh.

Thursday 9th brings a second double-bill with screenings of McAdam’s intimate hour-long 2008 documentary What Am I Doing Here? Centring on actor, writer and political activist Donal O’Kelly as he took his new play Vive La on the road, his initial enthusiasm wanes as the show attracts small audiences following lacklustre reviews. The film will screen with Berlin, an essay piece looking at the German capital in the months following the fall of the Wall as the country headed into reunification.

Hoodwinked, screening on Saturday 11th, sees McAdam reclaim Irish women from generations of obscurity through a prism of notable events including the War of Independence, the Mother and Child Scheme, Northern Ireland and the battle for civil rights, and the invasion of the Forty Foot; the film features contributions from over 30 notable figures including Garry Hynes, Sinéad O’Connor, Leland Bardwell, Catríona Crowe and Mary O’Rourke. Hoodwinked will screen alongside two short films created to raise awareness of the plight of the late Chinese writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia.

The season’s final double-bill on Tuesday 21st will feature Flirting with the Light, McAdam’s 2002 documentary following musician Leo O’Kelly as he embarks on recording his first solo album in 25 years, Glare. The film documents the inevitable tensions that arise among creatives and captures the moments of genuine elation when visions are shared. The film will screen alongsideThe Drip, a comical short starring and co-written by Jack Lynch about the catastrophic effects of a night’s drinking.

The season will close on Saturday 25th with a 35mm screening of McAdam’s 1997 debut feature Snakes and Ladders starring Pom Boyd, Gina Moxley, Rosaleen Linehan and the late Sean Hughes. The city of Dublin provides the stage for street performers Jean (Boyd) and Kate (Moxley), while the vibrant music scene of 1990s Dublin and a rousing score by Pierce Turner provide the soundtrack; McAdam has aptly described the film as a ‘funny drama and a serious comedy’.


Competition: Win ‘The Drummer and the Keeper’ on DVD

Element Pictures Distribution have announced the DVD and ON DEMAND release of The Drummer and the Keeper on 17th November 2017

The film tells the story of Gabriel, a rock’n’roll party animal newly-diagnosed with mental health issues, and Christopher, a 17-year-old goalkeeper with Asperger Syndrome who yearns to fit in. When the young drummer is prescribed a weekly dose of therapeutic football, he’s forced into the company of the isolated Christopher who’s determined to make friends with the anarchic new arrival – whether Gabriel likes it or not. It’s a meeting that will change both their lives.

Hailed as “a small marvel with a heart the size of a whale” DVD stockists include: Supervalu, Golden Discs, Tower Records, Head, Eason, IFI, Light House, Amazon and On demand viewing is available from: iTunes, Virgin Media, Volta, Google, BT, Vubiquity and Microsoft.

Written and directed by Nick Kelly, whose acclaimed short film SHOE was shortlisted for an Academy Award®, The Drummer and the Keeper was produced by Kate McColgan of Calico Pictures with support from the Irish Film Board. It stars an ensemble of Irish talent, including: Jacob McCarthy, Dermot Murphy, Charlie Kelly, Peter Coonan, Aoibhinn McGinnity and Annie Ryan.

Thanks to our friends at Element we have 3 copies of the film to give away on DVD. To be in with a chance of winning, simply email with The Drummer and the Keeper in the subject line before 2pm on Monday, 20th November when the Film Ireland hat will bongo out winners. Please include a postal address.




Nick Kelly, Writer/Director of ‘The Drummer and the Keeper’



Competition: Win Cardboard Gangsters on DVD




Following its theatrical run in Irish cinemas, Cardboard Gangsters will be released on DVD in Ireland on October 6th 2017. The DVD release boasts an exclusive documentary ‘Shooting in the Hood: The Making of Cardboard Gangsters’ which will offer viewers an insight into the behind-the-scenes action during the making of the film.

Directed by Mark O’Connor and starring John Connors (‘Love/Hate’, King of the Travellers), Fionn Walton (Out of HereWhat Richard Did) and Kierston Wareing (Fish Tank, ‘East Enders’) Cardboard Gangsters follows a group of wannabe gangsters as they attempt to gain control of the drug trade in Darndale, chasing the glorified lifestyle of money, power and sex.  Jay Connolly (Connors) is a part-time DJ and low-level drug dealer.  When his welfare is cut off he decides it’s time for him and his gang to enter the big leagues. This attracts the attention of the local King Pin and sets Jay down a violent and bloody path.

The film was produced for Stalker Films and Five Knight Films in association with Filmbase and with the support of the BAI, Egg Post Production and TV3 and was distributed theatrically by Wildcard Distribution, with the DVD being distributed by Precision Pictures.

We have DVDs to give away to 5 lucky readers. To nab yourself one, simply drop an email to with Cardboard Gangsters in the subject line before 9th October when the Film Ireland Hat will grab a chainsaw and select 5 winners.

Please include a postal address in your email.




Competition: Win Exclusive ‘Baby Driver’ Merchandise

To celebrate the release of this summer’s hottest film Baby Driver starring Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey, we have 3 goody bags full of limited edition merchandise from the movie to give away.

A young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game, but after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply email with Baby Driver in the subject line before 2pm on 30th June when the Film Ireland hat will select winners from behind the wheel.

With an excellent cast, also including Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx, Baby Driver looks set to be this summer’s big hit.

Baby Driver is in cinemas from 28th June

Cert: 15A




Competition: Win ‘Tomato Red’ on DVD



From Oscar® nominated director Juanita Wilson and based on the acclaimed novel by Daniel Woodrell (Winter’s Bone), Tomato Red is released on DVD and is ON DEMAND on April 28th.

When small town drifter Sammy drives into town in search of his next cold beer and the bunch that’ll have him, he gets a lot more than he bargained for.  Food and lodging and the possibility of a better future thanks to redheaded Jamalee and her brother Jason who dream of hitting the big time.  But breaks aren’t easy to come by if you live in Venus Holler. Finding themselves powerless against the forces of corruption and prejudice, the hardest thing Sammy has to fight are the demons inside his own head.

Starring Julia Garner, Jake Weary, Nick Roux & Anna Friel, Tomato Red is an original and moving film about the struggle to get a break and our deep seated need to belong.

Thanks to our friends at Element Pictures we have 3 DVDs to giveaway.

To be in with a chance of winning simply email with Tomato Red in the subject line by 5pm Tuesday, 2nd May when the Film Ireland hat will select a winner as it grows to 1–3 metres in height and develops a weak stem that will sprawl over the ground.


Tomato Red is available to own on DVD & ON DEMAND from April 28th.


DVD stockists include:, Golden Discs, Tower Records, IFI & Light House Cinema

On Demand fromiTunes, Volta, Virgin Media, Eir, BT, Sky Store, Microsoft, Sony, TalkTalk, Google Play, Wuaki TV


Competition: Win Limited Edition ‘Life’ Merchandise


To celebrate the release of Life, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds, in cinemas this Friday (March 24th), we have 3 goody bags to give away full of limited edition merchandise from the movie.

To be in with a chance of winning, email with Life in the subject line before 27th March 2017 at 1pm when the Film Ireland Hat will return from Mars and select the winners. Winners will be notified by email. Please include a postal address with your entry. 

Life is a terrifying thriller about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.



Cert: 15A


Competition: Win ‘A Date For Mad Mary’ on DVD


A Date for Mad Mary is out on DVD and On Demand on 3rd February.

A Date For Mad Mary tells the story of ‘Mad’ Mary McArdle returning to Drogheda after a short spell in prison – for something she’d rather forget.  Back home, everything and everyone has changed.  Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is maid of honour.  When Charlene refuses Mary a ‘plus one’ on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong.  Her attempts at dating are a disaster and she winds up feeling more alone… until she meets Jess and everything changes.

Hailed by Film Ireland as “beautifully written, directed, performed and shot”, A Date For Mad Mary is a tough, tender and funny story about friendship, first love, and letting go of the glory days.

Directed by Darren Thornton, it stars Seána Kerslake (Can’t Cope/Won’t Cope), Tara Lee (The Fall, Raw) and Charleigh Bailey.

Fancy nabbing your own date with Mad Mary? Thanks to our good friends at Element Pictures we have 3 copies of the film to give away on DVD. To be in with a chance of winning, email with A Date for Mad Mary in the subject line.

Please include a postal address. Winners will be notified by e-mail. Good luck.




Video Interview: Seána Kerslake and Charleigh Bailey, A Date for Mad Mary


Competition: Win The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years on DVD




The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years is out on DVD, Blu-ray and 2 Disc Special Edition now.

In The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, Oscar®-winning director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) explores the history of The Beatles through the lens of the group’s concert performances, from their early days playing small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg to their unprecedented world tours in packed stadiums around the globe, from New York to Melbourne to Tokyo. Available now for pre-order, the acclaimed film will be released on Digital Download, Blu-Ray and DVD, plus 2 Disc Special Edition on both formats from 21st November, courtesy of STUDIOCANAL and Polygram Entertainment.

The film is produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. White Horse Pictures’ Grammy Award®-winning Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci and Academy Award®-winner and Emmy® Award-winner Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are producing with Howard. Apple Corps Ltd.’s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are serving as executive producers, along with Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall.

After their legendary North American television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964, The Beatles transfixed the U.S. and the tremors were felt worldwide, transforming music and pop culture forever with their records and television appearances. The Beatles’ extraordinary musicianship and charisma also made them one of the greatest live bands of all time. The first feature-length documentary authorized by The Beatles since the band’s breakup in 1970, Eight Days A Week features rare and never-before-seen archival footage of shows and interviews, plus new interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and numerous prominent observers. The film captures the exhilaration of The Beatles’ phenomenal rise to fame as well as the toll it eventually took on the band members, prompting them to stop touring altogether in August 1966 and devote their prodigious musical energy to the series of ground-breaking studio recordings for which they are best known today.

Featuring a wealth of specially created supplementary material totalling 100 minutes of extras, the deluxe home entertainment editions contain exclusively created featurettes for fans to delve even deeper into the band’s world. Accompanying these are stunning, fully restored full length performances of some of the band’s most iconic tracks including “Twist and Shout” and “She Loves You” recorded at the ABC Theatre, Manchester in 1963 and “Can’t Buy Me Love” at the NME Awards, 1964, in London, bringing the experience of seeing The Beatles in concert fully to life for all fans.

We have 2 DVDs to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, please email with “The Beatles” as the subject line.

The winners will be selected on Thurs, 1st December.

Please include a postal address.