Report: Irish Film Festival, Boston

20120323-Irish+Film+Festival+Behold+the+Lamb-15The Somerville Theatre, Davis Square, Boston, which hosted the festival screenings

 

Alexis Sullivan, a Boston College Master’s Student, sent us this report from the Irish Film Festival Boston.

 

The 15th annual Irish Film Festival  in Boston championed Irish culture and talent for a packed house. “Wow,” breathed festival director Dawn Morrissey when she looked up at the full balcony on opening night. She soon explained; her first viewing of the films in Galway decided it: “Boston needs to see these films.”

The Boston audience agreed.

One audience member thanked the last-minute whim that motivated him to see the films that left him “hugely affected.”

The festival had no shortage of hugely affective moments.

After the screening of Inez: A Challenging Woman, a documentary that explores the life and legacy of the internationally renowned and hugely influential human rights and trade union activist Inez McCormack, Massachusetts State Representative Kevin Blanchette pushed through the crowd for a tearful reunion with Inez’s widower Vinny McCormack.

“It was an extraordinary moment for me,” Vinny explained. With Blanchette’s help, Inez had convinced Massachusetts to pass the landmark MacBride Principles. “It’s really unbelievable;” Vinny exclaimed, “after thirty years!”

Blanchette offered Vinny a commemorative plaque of the Principles that he had kept on his desk for two decades. Vinny and co-director Trevor Birney presented Blanchette with the original tape of Inez and Blanchette’s historical defense.

On Saturday, actor Dara Devaney accepted the “Special Jury Prize” for the Irish-language film An Brontannas. After the film, a Polish woman surprised Devaney and the rest of the audience by asking her questions in fluent Irish.

Martina Durac’s film, Mairéad Farrell: An Unfinished Conversation, which revisits the life and death of Republican icon Mairéad Farrell, opened a cross-Atlantic dialogue on issues of violence. The American audience compared the violence perpetrated during the Troubles to the current American police use-of-force controversy.

In Professor Bríona Nic Dhiarmada’s words, who co-produced the documentary, “All dead bodies look the same when lying in the street,” regardless of whether they are IRA, African American, or British or American police.

Nic Dhiarmada perceived shortcomings in the 1989 Death of a Terrorist documentary on Mairéad Farrell. She wanted to depict ambiguity in the story, but “couldn’t morally” make this “very difficult film” until after the peace process.

The Notre Dame professor of Irish Language and Literature felt obligated to counteract the “amnesia” of Southern Ireland. “If you don’t look back on history,” Nic Dhiarmada warned, “you are doomed to repeat it.”

As festival director Morrissey explained, “We wanted an open dialogue and we got it.”

The 15th anniversary also marked the introduction of awards presented throughout the festival.

On Thursday, director Niall Heery accepted the “Best Feature” award for Gold. And Michael Lennox‘s Boogaloo and Graham won “Best Short.”

On Friday, One Million Dubliners’ director Aoife Kelleher and producer Rachel Lysaght accepted the “Director’s Choice Feature” award for their film about Glasnevin Cemetary . Director Paul Murphy of The Weather Report accepted “Director’s Choice Short.”

Actor Dara Devaney of An Bronntanas won the “Special Jury Prize” on Saturday night.

After the screenings, Orleans, Saloon, and The Burren, all in Somerville’s Davis Square, hosted nightly receptions.

 

Click here for Alexis’ podcast from the Irish Film Festival

 

The Irish Film Festival in Boston returns 10 – 13 March 2016.

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Trevor Birney, co-director of ‘INEZ: A Challenging Woman’ & Vinny McCormack, Inez’s husband.

Inez

The 15th Irish Film Festival, Boston took place over four days from 19 – 22 March  2015 at the Somerville Theatre, Davis Square. Alexis Sullivan, a student at Boston College, attended the festival and talked to some of the filmmakers who were there presenting their films.

In this podcast Alexis talks to Trevor Birney, co-director of INEZ: A Challenging Woman and Vinny McCormack, Inez’s husband. INEZ: A Challenging Woman is a 33-minute documentary that explores the life and legacy of the internationally renowned and hugely influential human rights and trade union activist Inez McCormack.

 

INEZ: A Challenging Woman screened at the Irish Film Festival, Boston as part of the New Irish Shorts Program on Sunday, 22nd March 2015.

 

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Read Evan Short’s article on Susan McKay, who interviewed Inez for the film, and discussed the documentary with Nicola Browne, from Participation and the Practice of Rights – a campaigning group set up by Inez.

 

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview Bríona Nic Dhiarmada, co-producer of ‘Mairéad Farrell: Comhrá nár Chríochnaigh’

2-1-4

The 15th Irish Film Festival, Boston took place over four days from 19 – 22 March  2015 at the Somerville Theatre, Davis Square. Alexis Sullivan, a student at Boston College, attended the festival and talked to some of the filmmakers who were there presenting their films.

In this podcast Alexis chats to Bríona Nic Dhiarmada,  co-producer of Mairéad Farrell: Comhrá nár Chríochnaigh, Martina Durac’s film that explores the life and death of one of the IRA’s most iconic female members.

 

Mairéad Farrell: Comhrá nár Chríochnaigh screened at the Irish Film Festival, Boston on Sunday, 22nd March 2015.

 

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Paul Murphy, writer/director of ‘The Weather Report’

IE+22590_35926+-+650x488Marie Ruane (The Weather Report)

 

The 15th Irish Film Festival, Boston took place over four days from 19 – 22 March  2015 at the Somerville Theatre, Davis Square. Alexis Sullivan, a student at Boston College, attended the festival and talked to some of the filmmakers who were there presenting their films.

In this podcast Alexis chats to Paul Murphy, writer/director of The Weather Report, a short film that stars Edward MacLiam and Marie Ruane as Ted and Maureen Sweeney and centres around a mysterious phone call which questions a routine weather report by Lighthouse Keeper Ted Sweeney. This leads his wife Maureen to question more than just the weather report. The short was shot entirely on location in Blacksod Lighthouse in Belmullet, Co.Mayo.

 

The Weather Report screened at the Irish Film Festival, Boston on Friday, 20th March 2015.

 

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with director Aoife Kelleher & producer Rachel Lysaght of ‘One Million Dubliners’

Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Niall Heery, writer/director of Gold

Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Dawn Morrissey, Festival Director

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with director Aoife Kelleher & producer Rachel Lysaght of ‘One Million Dubliners’

One Million Dubliners 230x240

The 15th Irish Film Festival, Boston took place over four days from 19 – 22 March  2015 at the Somerville Theatre, Davis Square. Alexis Sullivan, a student at Boston College, attended the festival and talked to some of the filmmakers who were there presenting their films.

In this podcast Alexis chats to the director Aoife Kelleher and producer Rachel Lysaght, whose award-winning documentary One Million Dubliners explores life, death and the afterlife through a journey of Glasnevin Cemetery in North Dublin.

 

“All these here once walked around Dublin. Faithful departed. As you are now so once were we.”Ulysses, James Joyce

 

One Million Dubliners screened on Friday, 20th March 2015 at the Irish Film Festival, Boston.

 

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Niall Heery, writer/director of Gold

Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Dawn Morrissey, Festival Director

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Niall Heery, writer/director of ‘Gold’

Gold_5Maisie Williams (Gold)

The 15th Irish Film Festival, Boston took place over four days from 19th – 22nd March  2015 at the Somerville Theatre, Davis Square. Alexis Sullivan, a student at Boston College, attended the festival and talked to some of the filmmakers who were there presenting their films.

In this podcast Alexis chats to Niall Heery the writer/director of Gold, an offbeat comedy about an estranged father who returns to his hometown after an absence of ten years to reconnect with his teenage daughter and ex-wife.

 

Gold screened on Thursday, 19th March 2015 at the Irish Film Festival, Boston.

 

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Dawn Morrissey, Festival Director

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Irish Film Festival, Boston: Audio Interview with Dawn Morrissey, Festival Director

Dawn_Morrissey

The 15th Irish Film Festival, Boston took place over four days from 19th – 22nd March  2015 at the Somerville Theatre, Davis Square. Alexis Sullivan, a student at Boston College, attended the festival and talked to some of the filmmakers who were there presenting their films.

In this first podcast Alexis chats to Festival Director Dawn Morrissey about putting the festival together and the need for an Irish Film Festival in Boston.

 

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Subscribe to the Film Ireland RSS feed

 

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