The St. Patrick’s Film Festival London 2019 will take the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s ‘London is Open’ campaign as its inspiration, with a programme reflecting the spirit of diversity and inclusion in this great city. As Brexit approaches, many non-British people living in London are feeling unsettled, and Khan has said that he wants “all Londoners to be in no doubt: London Is Open and no matter where you’re from, you will always belong here.”
With this in mind the festival, which is presented by Irish Film London and forms part of London’s official St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade, brings together a collection of films celebrating outsiders, mavericks and the delightfully unique.
The Irish Film London Founder Kelly O’Connor said, “This year is set to be a real turning point for the UK, and against this backdrop we’re proud to be putting the notion of inclusion front and centre, reminding Irish people here that they are loved, championed and that they have a voice. The programme reflects the modern Ireland that we are all so incredibly proud to be a part of, especially within in the current global climate.”
Regent Street Cinema Programmer Shira MacLeod said, “It’s fantastic to once again join Irish Film London and the official St. Patrick’s Day Festival with this weekend celebrating Irish film. We’re particularly pleased to be a part of the conversation about diversity and inclusion. At Regent Street Cinema, our ongoing programme reflects the great diversity of London and we are proud to host unique film festivals like this one.”
Events for all ages will be held over the course of the weekend, with the main Festival Programme being shown at the Regent Street Cinema, just a two-minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station.
Friday 15th March
Venue: Regent Street Cinema
6.30pm: Opening the festival is a collection of short films from Ireland, including Hugh O’Connor’s beautiful animation The Overcoat, which was voiced by Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy. The film tells the story of a young outcast clerk who desperately seeks the approval of the popular office group by spending his every last penny on an impressive new overcoat, only to find it brings him more attention than he bargained for.
The shorts programme also includes Ireland’s first ever vertical dance film Walls of Limerick, a statement on the psychological effects that harsh political borders have on people. The experimental short, which features versatile performers blending the worlds of dance and aerial dance, explores notions of barriers, borders and breaking loose.
8.15pm: John Butler (Handsome Devil, The Stag) once again delights with cross-cultural comedy drama Papi Chulo, starring Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patiño as unlikely companions. The film sees a lonely Los Angeles weather-man ‘hire’ a middle-aged Latino migrant worker to be his friend, in this darkly comedic reflection on class, ethnicity, and companionship in a busy contemporary world.
Saturday 16th March
Venue: Regent Street Cinema
2.00pm: Family and unusual friendships are at the centre of Colin McIvor’s exciting film Zoo, based on a true story set in Belfast in 1941. It sees Young Tom and his misfit friends fight to save ‘Buster’ the baby elephant during the German air raid bombings of the city.
3.45pm: An intergenerational puppet creatures craft workshop with Kabutar Arts. Based on the characters from the film Zoo, IFL invites children, their parents and grandparents to come together create their own 3D animals from everyday objects. Places are limited for the workshop so please book in advance to avoid disappointment. http://bit.ly/Tix_InterGenWShop
6.00pm: Take to the skies with a life-affirming documentary The Man Who Wanted to Fly. Capturing the wonder of one man’s dreams, the film tells the irresistible story of 80-something bachelor farmer Bobby Coote. He is determined to take flight. Even if it’s the last thing he does… Bobby is the perfect example of someone who sticks to his convictions, despite everyone’s preference, although well-meaning, for him to conform to a stereotype. Director Frank Shouldice will attend this screening to share his own experience of making the film.
St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday 17th March
Venue: Trafalgar Square & Regent Street Cinema
12noon-6pm: Pop in to chat with the Irish Film London Team among the community stalls on Trafalgar Square. You will be able to check out the festival trailer live on The Big Screen in the square, while enjoying the live music, food, dance and festivities.
6.30pm: After celebrations come to a close on Trafalgar Square, it’s back to Regent Street Cinema for the Festival Closing Night, with a final selection of Irish short films.
The full programme will be available on www.irishfilmlondon.com.