‘Knuckle’, ‘The Runway’ and ‘Pyjama Girls’ win big at Irish Film New York

 IFNY Director Niall McKay, Directors Paul Rowley, Ian Power, Ian Palmer, and Deputy Consul General Jackie O'Halloran Bernstein at Irish Film New York (IFNY)Awards Ceremony

 IFNY Director Niall McKay, Directors Paul Rowley, Ian Power, Ian Palmer, and Deputy Consul General Jackie O’Halloran Bernstein at Irish Film New York (IFNY)Awards Ceremony

Ian Palmer’s Knuckle clinched the Moet Best Film award at Irish Film New York, which ended its inaugural three-day run on Sunday, 2nd October 2011. The documentary’s sold-out New York premiere brought out a ‘who’s who’ of Irish boxing royalty including recently retired middleweight champion John Duddy, heavyweight bare-knuckle boxing champion Bobby Gunn, and Knuckle star, the bare-knuckle fighter James Quinn McDonnagh.

The Moet Most Promising Film Maker award went to Ian Power, director of The Runway, while Still Film’s Paul Rowley, editor of Pyjama Girls was named the Moet Rising Star.

Irish Deputy Consul General MS Jackie O’Halloran Bernstein presented the Moet Awards at the opening night reception in New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House. In the capacity crowd were notables Lenny Crook of Killer Films, Independent Film and Television Alliance CEO Aine Moriarty and COO Deirdre Hopkins, First Irish Theatre Festival Director George Heslin, Irish Arts Center vice chairman Pauline Turley, Irish American Writers & Artists co-founder TJ English, along with noted journalists, writers, actors, artists, scholars, media executives and cinema enthusiasts.

Over the weekend IFNY also screened Marian Quinn’s 32A, Parked with Colm Meaney and Sensation, starring Domhnall Gleeson.

‘We’ve sold out many of our screenings so the response has been overwhelming,’ IFNY Founder and Director Niall McKay said. ‘There’s a tremendous appetite for contemporary Irish film in New York but more importantly we’ve been able to spread the word about the quality of these films in the US, which we hope to do here in New York every year.’

Helping spread the word on Irish film was extensive media coverage in New York’s Daily News, Irish Examiner, Irish Voice, Irish Echo, Irish America Magazine,IrishCentral.com, GreenCine, IndieWire, coverage on local TV, New York arts & entertainment listings, along with an anticipated article in The New York Times.

The film festival began with an industry panel in which filmmakers Marian Quinn, Ian Power, Paul Rowley, producers Tommy Weir and Katie Holly, and Irish Film Board’s Alan Maher discussed contemporary Irish cinema before a packed hall.


'Knuckle', 'Parked' and 'The Runway' to screen at Irish Film New York


Irish Film New York

A new Irish Contemporary Screening Series at NYU

The very best in contemporary Irish cinema comes to New York with a special three-day screening series running from Friday, 30th September to Sunday, 2nd October featuring filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions, and filmmaker receptions.

Films include Knuckle, a visceral look at bare knuckle boxing among the Irish Traveller community, the Galway Film Fleadh-winning feature Parked, a story of friendship, hope, and perseverance between two ‘neighbours’ living in their cars, starring Colm Meaney, and The Runway, where the citizens of County Cork come to the aid of a South American pilot who has crash landed in their town.

All three films are up for limited release in the United States in the forthcoming months. Other films screening include Marian Quinn’s 32A, Maya Derringtons’ documentary Pyjama Girls, and Tom Hall’s Sensation.

The event is co-presented by NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House and funded by Culture Ireland’s Imagine Ireland Program.

The main events include:

  • Seven screenings hosted by Glucksman Ireland House NYU at NYU’s Cantor Film Center.
  • A ‘Meet the Filmmakers’ panel discussion co-presented by Tisch School of Arts and Irish Film New York.
  • An Irish documentary showcase presentation at POV’s offices in Brooklyn.
  • Industry brunch with film producers, distributors, and agents hosted by the Irish Consul General in New York.

Tickets: $10-$12

Venue: NYU’s Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street

To find out more and to view a trailer of the festival visit: www.irishfilmnyc.com


Cinema Review: Knuckle



DIR: Ian Palmer • PRO: Nick Fraser, Teddy Leifer, Alan Maher, Ian Palmer • DOP: Ian Palmer • ED: Oliver Huddleston

Not one to be watched when hungover, or in any way queasy, Knuckle tells the violent story of the bareknuckle boxing between feuding Traveler families. Filmed epically over the course of twelve years, filmmaker Ian Palmer mainly follows James Quinn McDonagh, known as the ‘King of the Gypsies’ and his brother Michael, capturing their fights, thoughts, and the bitter feuding with their family, the Joyces and the Nevins.

Now for the disclaimer; the violence is pretty nasty and a chunk of the footage is shaky and of very low quality – however this can all be easily forgiven as the subject matter pulls heavy punches. There really are some insightful and honest sound bites amongst the gore, mixed nicely with wonderfully eccentric characters and lots of conflict to give a potent cocktail of engrossment, leaving the audience punch-drunk.

Overall Knuckle goes a few rounds too many in the middle and, not to give too much away, the end is missing a feeling of closure. But perhaps this is below the belt as that is the nature of ongoing disputes. Not one to stay on the ropes, Ian really gets right in the middle of this rarely-glimpsed world. It’s clear from his voiceovered musings and the sheer timescale of the project, that he has had a great deal invested in this, and it really has paid off.

Interesting, touching and at times downright hilarious, Knuckle is a compelling and fascinating film. A knockout if you will!

Gemma Creagh

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)

Knuckle is released on 5th August 2011

Knuckle – Official Website



Irish Features at Sundance

From more than 9,000 submission to the Sundance Film Festival, two Irish feature films were chosen to be a part of this year’s line-up. The Guard, a comedy thriller starring Brendan Gleeson, and Knuckle, a documentary about an Irish traveller community, will both be screening their world premiers at this year’s festival which runs 20–30 January, 2011 in Park City Utah.
For more details visit www.sundance.org