Irish Films To Look Out For in 2019

We take a look at some of the Irish films making their way to screens this year. In order of latest release dates with films TBC below. We’ll update films, premieres and release dates as they come in.

The Last Right 

DIR/WRI: Aoife Crehan

Premieres at Cork Film Festival 2019

 In cinemas 6th December 

A comedy-drama road movie telling the story of a man bringing the body of someone he barely knows for burial with his family. His good intentions are motivated by trying to patch up his relationship with his own brother. However, en route from West Cork to Rathlin Island, both romance and family secrets emerge to complicate the trip.

CAST: Michiel Husiman, Niamh Algar, Samuel Bottomley, Eleanor O’Brien, Colm Meaney, Brian Cox


A Dog Called Money 

DIR: Seamus Murphy

Premiere at Berlinale 2019

In cinemas 22nd November

As imaginative as the creative process it documents, A Dog Called Money is a uniquely intimate journey through the inspiration, writing and recording of a PJ Harvey record.


The Curious Works of Roger Doyle

DIR: Brian Lally

Premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh 2018

In cinemas 24th October 2019

Composer Roger Doyle prepares for the staging of Heresy, his first opera, in Dublin in 2016. The film closely follows the rehearsals and preparations for the production, and explores over four decades of the surreal and otherworldly music of the ‘Godfather of Irish Electronica’.

“Doyle’s music invites its listeners to take part in an experience and Lally’s documentary allows for this.”

Irish Film Review @ Cork Film Festival: The Curious Works of Roger Doyle

 


Dark Lies the Island

DIR: Ian Fitzgibbon WRI: Kevin Barry

Premiere at Dublin International Film Festival 2019

In cinemas 18th October 2019

A long-standing family feud in a small Irish town over the course of a week.

CAST: Charlie Kelly, Pat Shortt, Peter Coonan

“Barry…is taking fantastical, heightened tropes that film fans like but is using them to explore contemporary themes like mental health and how patterns of emotional abuse develop within families.”

Review of Irish Film @ DIFF 2019: Dark Lies the Island


Land Without God

DIR: Gerard Mannix Flynn, Lotta Petronella, Maedhbh McMahon WRI: Gerard Mannix Flynn

Premiere @ Dublin International Film Festival 2019

In cinemas 18th October 2019

Gerard Mannix Flynn’s deeply personal documentary feature is a culmination of his writings and experiences spanning over four decades. The film centres on Flynn and members of his own family as they recall the effects of decades of institutional abuse, and the impact it has had – and continues to have – on their lives.  The film asks the question: How does one exit the trauma buried deep in the bones of generations? A family’s journey into the dark side of the Irish State.

“raw, emotional and unflinching”

Review of Irish Film @ DIFF 2019: Land Without God


A Bump Along The Way

DIR:  Shelly Love • WRI: Tess Mcgowan

Premiere @ Galway Film Fleadh 2019

In cinemas 11th October 

 

Fifteen-year-old Allegra is constantly embarrassed by her mother’s immaturity, her dead-end job at the bakery and her lifestyle, encouraged by fast-talking best friend Aisling. But Pamela’s fed up too, having put her life on hold to raise her disapproving daughter.

When Pamela becomes unexpectedly pregnant, the relationship between mother and daughter is tested as the two navigate the upheavals of pregnancy and teenage hormones, driving Pamela and Allegra to a new understanding and appreciation of each other along the way.

CAST: Bronagh Gallagher, Lola Petticrew, Mary Moulds, Dan Gordan, Andy Doherty, Gerard Jordan, Paddy C. Courtney

” a sweet and uplifting film about female relationships”

Review of Irish Film @ Galway Film Fleadh 2019: A Bump Along the Way


Losing Alaska

DIR: Tom Burke

In cinemas 4th October 2019

The story of a small community in Alaska called Newtok who are dealing with a slow-moving disaster. The 375 inhabitants of Newtok feel the winter storms grow more fierce each year and steal their coastline, they watch their homes disappear into rolling seas as the melting permafrost erodes the edges of their town.  The plan is to abandon the town and start again 9 miles up the river on higher, more solid ground. The community is divided between those determined to stay, and those equally determined to move. They are fighting the weather, the indifference of state agencies and now, finally, each other.


Best Before Death 

Paul Duane

Premiere @ Edinburgh International Film Festival 

In cinemas 4th October

A portrait of artist Bill Drummond.


Extra Ordinary

DIR: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman  • WRI: Mike Ahern, Demian Fox

Premiere @ South by Southwest 2019

In cinemas 13th September 2019

A driving instructor must use her other-wordly gifts to save a lonely man’s daughter from a rock star looking to use her for Satanic purposes.

CAST: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward

” builds its humour gently before finally reaching hysterical proportions in its final scenes”

Irish Film Review: Extra Ordinary


Thank You Come Again

DIR: Stephen Clarke Dunne • WRI: Stephen Clarke Dunne, John Sweeney

Dillon, Mary and Fergus have a life-changing decision to make as a ruthless diamond smuggler comes to realise that precious inventory has gone missing. Meanwhile, Harry has one last chance at getting that one last job to see him to retirement, Fr. Francis has to decide which passion he must follow in life, Lisa goes looking for her missing husband James who likes a good refund, Fr. Rejoice has serious concerns about his young understudy who is spending too much time with a certain ‘local parishioner’, Naomi has to balance dating an adult shop owner with working for a psychotic boss, and Bridget has to keep bringing her dear son Timmy to confession cause he can’t seem to keep himself out of a certain shop of sin.

CAST: Brendan Sheehan, Christina Ryan, Nic Furlong


Never Grow Old

DIR/WRI: Ivan Kavanagh

Premiere @ Galway Film Fleadh 2019

In cinemas 23rd August 2019

A western in which an Irish undertaker profits when outlaws take over a peaceful American frontier town, but his family come under threat as the death toll rises.

CAST: John Cusack, Emile Hirsch, Antonia Campbell-Hughes

“visually very impressive”

Review of Irish Film @ Galway Film Fleadh 2019: Never Grow Old


Gaza

DIR:  Garry Keane

Premiere @ Sundance Film Festival 2019

In cinemas 9th August 2019

Bringing us to a unique place beyond the reach of television news reports Gaza reveals a world rich with eloquent and resilient characters, offering us a cinematic and enriching portrait of a people attempting to lead meaningful lives against the rubble of perennial conflict.

“With understanding and sympathy the filmmakers have managed to capture how the toils of war shape the lives of people who are trapped by it”

Review of Irish Film @ DIFF 2019: Gaza


 Animals

DIR: Sophie Hyde • WRI: Emma Jane Unsworth

Premiere @ Sundance Film Festival 2019

In cinemas 9th August 2019

Laura and Tyler are soulmates. Thirty-something best friends and revellers residing in Dublin, they are ingrained in the fabric of each other’s lives; dating, partying, drinking and living their life without limitations.

CAST: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat

“an exciting example of the female-centred, female-made content that is making waves across the film industry.”

Review of Irish Film @ Galway Film Fleadh 2019: Animals


Vita and Virginia 

DIR: Chanya Button • WRI: Eileen Atkins, Chanya Button 

Premiere @ Toronto International Film Festival 2018

In cinemas 5th July 2019

The true story about the love affair between socialite and popular author Vita Sackville-West and literary icon Virginia Woolf.

CAST: Elizabeth Debicki, Gemma Arterton, Isabella Rossellini


Metal Heart

DIR: Hugh O’Conor • WRI: Paul Murray

Premiere @ Galway Film Fleadh 2018

In cinemas 28th June 2019

There is much rivalry between twin sisters Emma and Chantal, quite different in just about every way, when their mysterious young neighbour moves back in.

CAST: Jordanne Jones, Leah McNamara, Moe Dunford, Seán Doyle

Irish Film Review: Metal Heart


Prisoners of the Moon

DIR/WRI: Johnny Gogan 

Premiere @ Dublin International Film Festival 2019

In cinemas 28th June 2019

Fifty years after the Apollo 11 mission, Johnny Gogan and Nick Snow’s documentary tells the hidden horror story behind the NASA space programme and of the only former Nazi to be stripped of his American citizenship and deported.

Weaving archive material and expert interviews with recreated courtroom drama using the transcripts of scientist Arthur Rudolph’s trial we learn about the Germans who led the moon shot, their wartime records, the cover-up that brought them to America, why it took forty years to investigate them, and why none of them were brought to trial….

CAST: Jim Norton, Cathy Belton, Marian Quinn, Alan Devine

“deftly researched docudrama”

Irish Film Review: Prisoners of the Moon


Papi Chulo

DIR/WRI: John Butler

Premiere @ Toronto International Film Festival 2018

In cinemas 7th June 2019

 

Cast adrift in Los Angeles, Sean — a lonely TV weatherman — drives past a middle-aged Latino migrant worker standing outside Home Depot looking for work. He decides to hire this kind-looking man — to be his friend. Sean is young, gay and white; Ernesto, portly, straight and married. Despite having nothing in common, they build a sort of friendship based on sign language, until Sean becomes consumed by a deep and obsessional attraction.

CAST: Matt Bomer, Alejandro Patiño

“ultimately a film about human connections, about the shared experiences of loneliness, loss, and unlikely friendships”

Irish Film Review: Papi Chulo


Float Like A Butterfly

DIR/WRI: Carmel Winters

Premiere @ Toronto International Film Festival 2018

In Cinemas 10th May 2019

Irish Traveller Francis has to fight for the right to pursue her passion…boxing. She is determined to make her idol Muhammad Ali proud, as well as her father who has recently been released from prison. But when she wants to show him just how tough she is, she soon comes to realise he’s got other plans for her.

CAST: Hazel Doupe, Dara Devaney, Johnny Collins

“captures humanity at its best and worst, offering a message of hope throughout.”

Read Loretta Goff’s review here


The Dig

DIR: Ryan Tohill, Andrew Tohill • WRI: Stuart Drennan

Premiere @ Toronto International Film Festival 2018

In Cinemas 26th April 2019

Convinced that Callahan buried his daughter in the bog land, the father has spent every day of the previous 15 years digging it patch by patch.

CAST: Moe Dunford, Emily Taaffe, Francis Magee, Lorcan Cranitch

“a bleak visceral experience”

Irish Film Review: The Dig


Greta 

DIR: Neil Jordan • WRI: Neil Jordan, Ray Wright

Premiere @ Toronto International Film Festival 2018 

In Cinemas 19th April 2019

A sweet, naïve young woman making a go of it in the Big Apple, Frances doesn’t think twice about returning the handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta, a peculiar pianist with a predilection for Romantic music and a desperate need for company. Frances recently lost her mother and feels alienated by her father; Greta has lost her husband, and her daughter lives far away. The two become fast friends — but that friendship rapidly assumes ever more sinister hues as Greta’s attentions escalate.

CAST: Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Isabelle Huppert.

” a polished, self-aware and highly diverting piece”

Irish Film Review: Greta


Don’t Go

DIR: David Gleeson • WRI: Ronan Blaney, David Gleeson

Premiere @ Galway Film Fleadh 2018

In Cinemas 12th April 2019

Ben Slater and his wife Hazel, in the wake of the tragic death of their daughter, Molly, retreat to the west coast of Ireland to build themselves a new life in a quaint hotel by the sea. However, there is no escape for Ben who is plagued by a recurring dream of a perfect day all three of them spent on the beach last summer. Ben becomes convinced that he can change the past through this dream and bring his little girl back. As his determination to bring Molly home grows, his grasp on reality slips and his sanity is questioned by those around him. Somewhere between dreams and reality lies the truth.

CAST: Stephen Dorff, Melissa George, Simon Delaney, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Charlotte Bradley, Luke Griffin


Out of Innocence

DIR/WRI: Danny Hiller

In Cinemas 12th April 2019

After a police investigation, a young mother, confused and scared, confesses to a crime she did not commit and is charged with murder. Based on real events in 1980’s Ireland.

CAST: Fiona Shaw, Alun Armstrong, Ruth McCabe

“puts its own harrowing spin on false truths. Women are persecuted from all aspects…”

Read Jemma Strain’s review here


The Limit Of

DIR/WRI: Alan Mulligan

In Cinemas 5th April 2019

James Allen is a successful, controlling, thirty-something banker living alone and working in Dublin city at the tail end of the recession. When a family tragedy occurs due to the ruthlessness of his employer, he takes decisive action to try to make things right.

Meanwhile, his enigmatic co-worker Alison has her own agenda, which puts her on a collision course with James, triggering and a dark spiral of deceit, revenge, and murder.

CAST: Alan Mulligan, Taine King, Tim Palmer, Anthony Mulligan

“an admirably bitter diatribe against the impersonal state of modern financial institutions”

Irish Film Review: The Limit Of


The Man Who Wanted to Fly

DIR: Frank Shouldice

Premiered @ Galway Film Fleadh 2018

In Cinemas 29th March 2019

Bobby Coote left school at 13 and spends most of his time in his back shed fixing clocks and making violins, but he has never lost sight of a lifelong dream to fly. He has cut a runway in a neighbour’s field and even built a hangar. And now he’s using his life savings to buy a plane! He gets no encouragement from his brother Ernie – another octogenarian in the Coote household, who thinks the whole thing is mad. But Bobby is determined to get airborne, even if it’s the last thing he does.


An Engineer Imagines

DIR: Marcus Robinson

In Cinemas 1st March 2109

Many of the world’s modern architectural treasures including the Sydney Opera House, the Lloyd’s Building in London, the Inverted Pyramid at the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre in Paris were made possible through the innovation of Irish engineer Peter Rice. A genius who stood in the shadow of architectural icons. Until now


The Hole in the Ground

DIR: Lee Cronin • WRI: Lee Cronin, Stephen Shields

Premiere @ Sundance Film Festival 2019

In Cinemas 1st March 2019

Trying to escape her broken past, Sarah O’Neill is building a new life on the fringes of a backwood rural town with her young son Chris. A terrifying encounter with a mysterious neighbour shatters her fragile security, throwing Sarah into a spiralling nightmare of paranoia and mistrust, as she tries to uncover if the disturbing changes in her little boy are connected to an ominous sinkhole buried deep in the forest that borders their home.

CAST: Sna Kerslake, James Quinn Markey

“superbly acted, lean and highly entertaining horror film, and a fine feature debut by Cronin”

Irish Film Review: The Hole in the Ground


Cellar Door

DIR/WRI: Viko Nikci

Premiere @ Cork Film Festival 2018

In Cinemas 25th January 2019

The story of young love to tortured loss and back again, the story follows Aidie a fighter inside and out – as she searches for her son while in the grip of the Church.

CAST: Karen Hassan, Mark O’ Halloran, Karen Hassan, Catherine Walker,  Ian McElhinney

“tackles the difficult topic of Irish institutional abuse, drawing connections in a thoughtful way and forcing the audience to think throughout”

Irish Film Review: Cellar Door


Witness

DIR: Mitko Panov • WRI: Mitko Panov, Wladyslaw Pasikowski, David Riker

In Cinemas 25th January 2019

A political thriller about an enthusiastic junior officer from The Hague War Tribunal in pursuit of justice. The arrest of General Miro Pantic ends a decade-long manhunt that had frustrated his Western pursuers and left festering one of the bloodiest chapters in Europe’s recent history. He had been indicted by a War Crimes Tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity, but when an envoy from The Hague  comes looking for an internal witness – Nikola Radin, alas The General – the problems begin. Getting out of the wilderness is not easy as no one wants The General to testify against Pantic, whom they perceive as their national hero. The bloody men-hunt will give a life-changing lesson to the young envoy who will understand that there are many more shades to what he thought was a black and white picture.

CAST: Pádraic Delaney, Natasha Petrovic, Bruno Ganz


The Favourite

DIR: Yorgos Lanthimos • WRI: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara

Premiere @ Venice International Film Festival 2018

In Cinemas 1st January 2019

Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.

CAST: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone

“a terse tale fit for the chaos of the times that’s unrepentant in its originality”

Read Michael Lee’ s review here


 Shooting the Darkness

DIR: Tom Burke

Irish Focus @ IFI 5th January 2019

Photographer Martin Nangle

Documentary centres on the men who unwittingly became war photographers on the streets of their own Northern Irish towns. Expecting a career of wedding photography and celebrity photocalls, the images they produced would come to define that conflict.


Cinema Releases To Be Announced

End of Sentence

DIR: Elfar Adalsteins WRI: Michael Armbruster

Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019

After being widowed, Frank Fogle reluctantly embarks on a journey to honor his wife’s last wish of spreading her ashes in a remote lake in her native Ireland and a promise of taking his estranged son, Sean, along for the trip. As Sean steps out of prison the last thing on his mind is a foreign road trip with his alienated father.

CAST: John Hawkes, Logan Lerman, Sarah Bolger


The Last Rite 

DIR/WRI: Aoife Crehan

TBC

A comedy-drama road movie telling the story of a man bringing the body of someone he barely knows for burial with his family. His good intentions are motivated by trying to patch up his relationship with his own brother. However, en route from West Cork to Rathlin Island, both romance and family secrets emerge to complicate the trip.


The Castle

DIR: Lina Lužytė

TBA

Set in Dublin, Monika has a dream to play a one in a lifetime concert. Her mother is sceptical and reluctant to support her daughter’s dreams, and so she sells their keyboard and forbids Monika from attending the concert. However, Monika stops at nothing to pursue her dream.

CAST: Barbora Bareikyte, Gabija Jaraminaite,  Jurate Onaityte


Dirty God

DIR: Sacha Polak WRI: Sacha Polak, Susie Farrell

Premiere @ Sundance Film Festival 2019

A young woman rebuilds her life after an acid attack leaves her with severe facial burns.

CAST: Vicky Knight, Katherine Kelly, Rebecca Stone, Bluey Robinson, Dana Marineci

“Sacha Polack, as director and producer of this truly beautiful film has wrought a stunning piece of cinematic mastery”

Review of Irish Film @ DIFF 2019: Dirty God


A Girl From Mogadishu

Mary McGuckian

Premiere at Dublin International Film Festival 2019

Based on the real life story of Ifrah Ahmed – youth leader and advocate against Female Genital Mutilation in Somalia and Horn of Africa.


Highway

Alexandra McGuinness

TBA

When her best friend goes missing at a rodeo, Heidi goes on a search across the desert, digging up secrets and encountering the violence of life on the road.

CAST: Lucy Fry, Eiza González, Christian Camargo


Here Are the Young Men

DIR/WRI: Eoin Macken

TBA

Dublin teenagers Matthew, nihilistic Rez, and the deranged Kearney, leave school to a social vacuum of drinking and drugs, falling into shocking acts of transgression.

CAST: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo


Sea Fever

DIR/WRI: Neasa Hardiman

Premiere @ Toronto International Film Festival 2019

TBA

Bild: Anders Ylander

The crew of a West of Ireland trawler, marooned at sea, struggle for their lives against a growing parasite in their water supply.

CAST: Connie Nielsen, Hermione Corfield, Dougray Scott.


 Shooting the Mafia

DIR: Kim Longinotto

Premiere @ Sundance Film Festival 2019

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

In sharp contrast to the all pervasive romanticised and glamorised media image of the Sicilian Mafia, Shooting the Mafia, unflinchingly explores the stark reality of life, and death, under the oppressive yoke of the Corleonesi Mafia.

“explores the possibilities of art as a tool for challenging violence”

Review of Irish Film @ DIFF 2019: Shooting the Mafia


Wildfire (Cathy Brady)

TBA

The story of two sisters who grew up on the fractious Irish border. When one of them, who has gone missing, finally returns home, the intense bond with her sister is re-ignited. Together they unearth their mother’s past, but as they uncover the secrets and resentments that have been buried deep down, it all threatens to overwhelm them.

CAST: Nika McGuigan, Nora-Jane Noone


Vivarium

DIR: Lorcan Finnegan WRI: Garret Shanley

Premiere @ Cannes 2019

A couple looking for the perfect home, find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighborhood of identical houses.

CAST: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris, Jack Hudson


Calm With Horses

DIR: Nick Rowland WRI: Joe Murtagh

Premiere @ Toronto International Film Festival 2019

TBA

In darkest rural Ireland, ex-boxer Arm has become the feared enforcer for the drug dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five year-old son, Jack. Torn between these two families, Arm is asked to kill for the first time, and his attempt to do the right thing endangers everyone he holds dear.

CAST: Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar, Ned Dennehy, Cosmo Jarvis, Hazel Doupe


Rose Plays Julie

DIR/WRI: Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy

Premiere @ BFI London Film Festival 2019

TBA

Rose  is at university studying veterinary science. An only child, she has enjoyed a loving relationship with her adoptive parents. However, for as long as Rose can remember she has wanted to know who her biological parents are and the facts of her true identity. After years trying to trace her birth mother, Rose now has a name and a number. All she has to do is pick up the phone and call. When she does it quickly becomes clear that her birth mother has no wish to have any contact. Rose is shattered. A renewed and deepened sense of rejection compels her to keep going. Rose travels from Dublin to London in an effort to confront her birth mother, Ellen and learns a secret that has been kept hidden for over 20 years.

CAST: Ann Skelly, Orla Brady, Aidan Gillen, Annabell Rickerby


Arracht

DIR/WRI: Tom O’Sullivan

TBA

Set during the famine, a man loses everything and is accused of a murder. On the run for three years and with the help of a mysterious girl he attempts to rebuild his life. However, his past however comes back to haunt him.

CAST:


Finky

DIR: Dathai Keane, Pierce Boyce WRI: Dathai Keane, Diarmuid de Faoite

Premiere @ Galway Film Fleadh 2019

TBA 

Micí Phincí Ó Foghlú is a young musician with a tragic past who is crippled in a car accident and given a chance at redemption when he is recruited by a violent, avant-garde circus.


Ooops! Back In The Deep End
Toby Genkel, Sean McCormack
TBA

 


Rialto

DIR: Peter Mackie Burns WRI: Mark O’Halloran

Premiere @ Venice International Film Festival 2019

TBA

In the wake of his father’s death, Colm must come to terms with his actions and find the resolve to halt the crumbing facade of his home, his family, and everything he has built.

CAST: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Tom Glynn-Carney, Monica Dolan


If you have a film set for release in cinemas this year and would like us to feature it, email filmireland@gmail.com

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