‘Book Smugglers’ – Documentary Screenings

The award-winning film Book Smugglers will be showing in Dublin as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge on the following dates:


5th March 3.00pm Leabharlann Ballymun Library, T. 8421890


8th March 3.00pm Ballymun Library, T. 8421890


7th March 6.30pm Raheny Library, T.8315521


15th March 11.00am Rathmines Library, T. 4973539


13th March 1.00pm* Central Library, T. 8734333


*Q&A after the screening with director, Jeremiah Cullinane.


In 1864, when the Russians banned the Latin alphabet in ‘Northwest Province’ in an attempt to ‘Russify’ the land, to create a Lithuania with nothing Lithuanian in it, little did they realise that their oppressive actions would backfire completely and lead, after forty years of resistance, to a massive cultural, linguistic and literary revival on the part of Lithuanians.

Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, an Irish-speaking poet fromBelfast, and Albertas Vidziunas, aVilniustheatre director, retrace the journey of the book smugglers who defied the powerful Russian regime to preserve their language, culture and heritage.

Why were these people so determined and stubborn that they would not assimilate and adapt linguistically to their rulers? Why was language literally a question of survival? And why, inIreland, at exactly the same time, were families electing en masse to abandon their Gaelic.


Jeremiah Cullinane is the critically esteemed director of Hitler’s Irish Movies (2007), On the Ledge (2009), What in the World:Kenya(2006)




For more information or further press information, contact:

Lisa McNamee 086 8949494 or (01) 6726600 or email lisa@planetkorda.com

Check out our sites: www.planetkorda.com and www.booksmugglersthemovie.com


Irish Premiere of 'The Book Smugglers' in the IFI


After the World Premiere screening at the Chicago Irish Film Festival, Planet Korda Pictures and its partners Era Film and Vinegar Hill Productions are pleased to announce the Irish Premiere Screening of their latest production: Smuigléirí Leabhar / Knygnešiai / Book Smugglers in which poet Gearóid Mac Lochlainn and Lithuanian dramatist Albertas Vidžiūnas retrace the steps of the 19th century Lithuanian book smugglers who resisted Russification to save their language from extinction.

The documentary asks why in Ireland – another small Catholic peasant country at the edge of Europe with its “obscure” language and occupied by its larger neighbour – at exactly the same time, were families abandoning their Gaelic tongue and teaching their children English? As Mac Lochlainn and Vidžiūnas travel through the forests and rivers of Lithuania, each learns something about his own country and about the links between language and identity.
Written & Directed by Jeremiah Cullinane.
The Premiere Screening will take place at 12 p.m. on Sunday 13 March, at the Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace St., Dublin 2.
The director, cast, and composer Siobhán Cleary will attend the screening, which will be followed by a reception at the IFI in the presence of His Excellency Vidmantas Purlys, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania. Director Jeremiah Cullinane will be joined by poet Gearóid Mac Lochlainn for a post screening Q&A.
Trailer at: http://vimeo.com/18754122
Further screenings of Book Smugglers will take place at the Cape Winelands Film
Festival, Cape Town, South Africa (16-26th March 2011); Kino Pavasaris, Vilnius (17-
30 March 2011); Belfast Film Festival (6th April); Celtic Media Festival, Stornaway,
Scotland (14th April).
Produced for BBC-NI, TG4, and LRT, with the support of ILBF, BAI, and MEDIA

Bookings: IFI (01) 679 5744 or www.ifibooking.ie