‘In A House That Ceased To Be’ Premieres at IFI


In A House That Ceased To Be is an independent documentary from Ciarín Scott, director of Waiting for the Light and Michael Scott: A Changing Man. It was co-produced by Paul Duane (Barbaric Genius, Very Extremely Dangerous, Natan) and Rex Bloomstein (This Prison Where I Live, Kz), with the support of the Irish Film Board and RTÉ. Filming took place over a five-year period in Ireland, Vietnam, Mongolia, Dubai, the USA and the UK, with Steve O’Reilly (The Summit, Waiting For The Light) serving as director of photography, and Tony Cranstoun A.C.E. (Amber, Death of a Superhero, Perrier’s Bounty) as editor.


The subject is Irish humanitarian and children’s rights activist Christina Noble, whose unwavering commitment and selfless efforts have seen her change the lives of countless children and families for the better since 1989. Her drive stems from a childhood in Ireland fraught with poverty, loss and institutional abuse. However, despite achieving so much in the face of adversity and the success of her global children’s foundation, Christina remains scarred by the memory of the three children she was unable to save, namely her own brother and two sisters, from whom she was separated at a very young age. Hundreds of thousands have benefited as a result of her courage, daring and steadfast dedication to protecting the vulnerable from the evils of the world, but is it possible for Christina to put her own family back together after being separated for fifty-three years?


In A House That Ceased To Be offers a glimpse into Christina’s personal life, her infectious love of children, the hardships of the world she chooses to work in on a daily basis, and also gives an unflinching portrayal of the pain and sense of betrayal she cannot shake for the country in which she and her siblings were born, raised and ultimately torn apart. A mesmerizing, powerful meditation on the nature of good and evil, it celebrates the triumph of the human spirit but also depicts the tragedy and sacrifice that are too often ignored in mainstream media, and presents an opportunity to witness the long-term effect of a traumatic childhood on a life, and a family.


In A House That Ceased To Be will have its World Premiere at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in Dublin on Saturday, September 27th at 8pm as part of the IFI Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival (September 25th – 28th). Director Ciarín Scott will participate in a Q&A after the screening. Tickets are on sale now and can be bought in person at the IFI Box Office, or online at www.ifi.ie/stf



Competition: Win tickets to ‘Aisling Gheal’ at IFI Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival



The IFI Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival returns from September 26th to 29th at the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar. This year’s festival promises outstanding documentaries from both Ireland and abroad, as well as shorts programmes and masterclasses throughout the four days, with many premieres and special guests in attendance.

Thanks to the good people at the IFI we have 2 pairs of tickets to Dónal Ó Céilleachair’s Aisling Gheal to give away. The film screens on Sunday, September 29th at 4pm and will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

To be in with a chance of winning yourself a pair, simply answer the following question:

Dónal Ó Céilleachair’s recent film Dreamtime, Revisited featured which Irish poet and philosopher?

Email filmireland@gmail.com with your answer before 5 pm on Friday, 27th September. Please leave a contact number.


About the film
Sean-nós is considered to be the holy grail of Irish traditional music and the Sean-nós singer is the living embodiment of a tradition that stretches far into Gaelic history. Aisling Gheal are a team of women passionately keeping Sean-nós alive and attracting young protégés all the time. Amongst them is 10-year-old Shahira Apraku who attends the local Gaelscoil and embodies an entire new generation of Irish speakers. Shahira’s journey, the struggles of the women, the songs of the Sean-nós and the flow of the Sullane river provide parallel intersecting narrative vehicles for this documentary, yielding insights into this part of our culture and challenging some of our key contemporary notions of ‘Irishness’ in the process.





IFI Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival returns


IFI Stranger Than Fiction, Documentary Film Festival, returns  2629September 2013

IFI Stranger Than Fiction 2013 brings a fantastic programme of new documentary film to Dublin for a 4-day Festival that includes 11 new feature films, with a host of Irish, world and Dublin premieres, a brilliant line-up of guest filmmakers and special guests, two short film selections and, in a new partnership with the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann, a series of documentary discussions workshops and masterclasses. Now in its 10th incarnation, the IFI Stranger Than Fiction Festival (www.ifi.ie/stf) continues to challenge, inform, amaze and inspire.

Festival Director Ross Whitaker said, ‘I’m delighted to be welcoming some of the best International and Irish documentaries to IFI Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Festival this year. It’s exciting to be holding so many premieres and to be providing what might be in some cases a unique opportunity for cinema loving audiences to see some brilliant documentaries. I’m particularly delighted that so many of the filmmakers, both from Ireland and around the world, will be our guests at the IFI to discuss and contextualise their own work with our audiences’

The Festival opens with a Gala Screening of The Great Hip Hop Hoax that examines the story of ultra-hip Californian rap duo Silibil ‘n’ Brains. Tipped to take the music world by storm, their street cred dramatically imploded when it was revealed that rather than being from LA they were actually Scottish rap hopefuls Billy and Gavin. This is a story of a hoax of astonishing audacity and the lengths people will go to get their break, yet also an ultimately moving film about the reality of living a lie. Director and emerging documentary star Jeanie Finlay (Sound it Out) will attend and take part in a post-show Q+A.

Women’s stories and rights form a key strand of this year’s programme, perhaps unsurprisingly considering more than half of the films in this year’s festival have a female director. One of Britain’s best filmmakers, Kim Longinotto’s new film Salma follows the eponymous Tamil poet as she returns to her village and courageously tells the story of her incarceration at the hands of her parents as a child before being given up to an oppressive arranged marriage.

Fiercely topical for Irish audiences, After Tiller sensitively follows and observes the only four surviving doctors who provide late-term abortions in the U.S after the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009. Filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson encourage the audience to make up their own minds on this provocative issue but challenge them not to judge. The film will be followed by a Q&A with RTÉ’s Keelin Shanley and one of the films subjects Dr. Shelley Sella.

On July 25th 2013 a pickup van rammed into the gate of Orbe prison in Switzerland and kept prison guards at bay with rounds from AK-47s, allowing the escape of Milan Poparic one of the notoriously audacious Pink Panther gang of jewel thieves. Havana Marking (director of 2009’s Afghan Star) will attend the festival to present her new work Smash & Grab which tells the Pink Panther gang’s story using extraordinary inside access to the former-Yugoslav crime syndicate that has responsible for perhaps $500 million of thefts across the world.

Closing the Festival, Dragon Girls tells another unique female story, though this time from a male cinematographer-turned-director Inigo Westmeier, who tells the story of three Chinese girls studying at the 30,000 strong Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School. Winner of Best International Documentary at Toronto’s prestigious Hot Docs Festival, the film captures both the spectacular setting and gruelling nature of the girl’s studies. Westmeier will attend the Festival and take part in a post-show Q+A.

There’s a strong Irish strand in this year’s IFI Stranger Than Fiction, reflecting the ever-increasing strength of domestic documentary scene. John Murray and Emer Reynolds’ will take part in a Q+A after their film Here Was Cuba, which tells the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis as a feature length doc for the first time and finds the personal stories in the midst of the political pressure cooker. Gerry Gregg’s Close to Evil focuses even more intently on a personal thread weaving through the canvas of history as it follows Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental’s journey to Germany to try to meet the 91-year-old woman who once kept him prisoner as a 9-year-old at Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp. Both Gregg and Reichental will be present for a post-show Q+A.

After the hip-hop beats of the Opening Night film fade there’s plenty more music docs to keep those looking for a bit more ear candy happy, both from the Irish and international selection. There’s a World Premiere of Isolda Healy’s Where The Blue Flowers Grow, which tells the story of Wicklow hard folk band The Cujo Family (who’ll be there to kick up an acoustic storm in the IFI Foyer before the film). Tradition and change come together in Dónal Ó’ Céilleachair’s Sean-nós documentary Aisling Gheal that follows a new generation, including 10 year-old Shahira Apraku, redefining ‘Irishness’ through language and music on the banks of the Sullane river.

Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier’s Muscle Shoals asks the questions, why did this tiny Alabama town become the centre of an R’n’B movement in the 1960s with the likes of Aretha Franklin swinging into town to be backed up by local session players the “Swampers”? Featuring interviews from Mick Jagger, Alicia Keys and Candi Staton it’s a guide to magical time and place in American music.

Perhaps the hardest film in the Festival to categorise, Leviathan is also one of the most hotly-anticipated. Winner of the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best Feature at the Edinburgh Film Festival, this immersive, hallucinatory exploration of an old Atlantic fishing trawler at work is a masterful assault on the senses that will leave no viewer unaffected.

One of Denmark’s most celebrated and provocative documentarians, Jon Bang Carlsen has for decades explored and subverted documentary form to present staged realities. Carlsen will attend a special archive presentation of two of his short films It’s Now or Never and How to Invent Reality demonstrating the scale and invention of his work.

The Festival features two selections of short films, the first curated from Irish and International submissions in collaboration with dynamic short film promoters Eat My Shorts and the second being the Irish Film Board’s Reality Bites World Premiere Event that showcases the films made under this important scheme for emerging documentary filmmakers who’ll then discuss their films in a panel Q+A.

The IFI is collaborating with the Irish Film Board in presenting a series of special events:How to Connect with Modern Audiences (featuring Festival Guest Jeanie Finlay) and Building and Internatonal Documentary Company (featuring Festival Guest Havana Marking);Creating with Archive that looks how to utilise resources such as the IFI Irish Film Archive and Breaking into Documentary that looks at how a filmmaker takes their first steps in a documentary career.

Tickets are on sale NOW at the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or online at www.ifi.ie. You can find out more about all the films and events in IFI Stranger than Fiction on www.ifi.ie/stf


The Great Hip Hop Hoax