Irish Films in Cinema 2016

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Keep an eye on the Irish films scheduled for release in cinemas in 2016.

 I Am Not a Serial Killer (Billy O’Brien)

9th December

A troubled teen with homicidal tendencies has to hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer while suppressing his own inner demons.


Crash & Burn (Seán Ó Cualáin)

2nd December

Crash & Burn tells the story of Dundalk-born Tommy Byrne, who, for a fleeting moment in the early ’80s, was the world’s greatest driver


Moscow Never Sleeps (Johnny O’Reilly)

11th November

The lives of six very different people mix in the most exciting and drammatic ways in today’s Moscow

 


The Land of the Enlightened (Pieter-Jan De Pue)

11th November

A gang of Afghan kids from the Kuchi tribe dig out old Soviet mines and sell the explosives to children working in a lapis lazuli mine. When not dreaming of the time when American troops finally withdraw from their land, another gang of children keeps tight control on the caravans smuggling the blue gemstones through the arid mountains of Pamir.


Further Beyond (Christine Molloy, & Joe Lawlor)

21st October

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A deconstructed biopic of the extraordinary Ambrosio O’Higgins, who left Ireland to become the captain general of Chile in the Spanish Empire.


The Flag (Declan Recks)

14th October

Irish Londoner Harry Hambridge comes across an extraordinary testimony from his Grandfather, claiming that it was he who hoisted the Irish flag on top of the GPO during the 1916 rising and that the self same flag was hung upside-down in an army barracks in Hampshire, Harry knows his long awaited call in life has arrived.


Mattress Men (Colm Quinn)

7th October

A bittersweet and moving tale of friendship and the struggles of two men that is sure to delight audiences everywhere.


Dare to Be Wild (Vivienne De Courcy)

23rd September

Irishwoman Mary Reynolds goes from an outsider to a champion at the Chelsea Flower Show.


The Young Offenders (Peter Foott)

16th September

Two teenage boys from Cork steal bicycles and ride off on a quest to find a missing bale of cocaine worth 7,000,000 euros.


A Date for Mad Mary (Darren Thornton)

2nd September

‘Mad’ Mary McArdle returning to Drogheda after a short spell in prison – for something she’d rather forget. Back home, everything and everyone has changed. Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is maid of honour. When Charlene refuses Mary a ‘plus one’ on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong. But her attempts at dating are a disaster and she winds up feeling more alone… until she meets Jess and everything changes.


Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village (Aoife Kelleher)

12th August

Explores the big question of faith, in a small Irish village.


Viva (Paddy Breathnach)

19th August

Viva follows Jesus, an eighteen-year-old Cuban who is lost and struggling to realize his true identity. Unsure of himself or his future direction, he works at a local Havana drag club where he entertains dreams of becoming a performer whilst earning his money through hustling. At home he finds solace listening to the records his mother and grandmother left him. Into his life, however, comes a force to challenge his direction and free


Bobby Sands: 66 Days (Brendan J. Byrne)

5th August

A cinematic portrait of the Irish Republican martyr’s epic 66day hunger strike that grabbed the worlds attention in the early 1980s.


Mom and Me (Ken Wardrop) 

15th July

A creative documentary that delicately challenges the familiar love story shared between a son and his mother. It is a story that reveals comedy in the everyday and misery on some other days.


The Price of Desire (Mary McGuckian)

25th May

The Price Of Desire is the controversial story of how Eileen Gray’s influential contribution to 20th century architecture and design was almost entirely wiped from history by the egotistical ‘Father of Modernism’ Le Corbusier, and of how her relationship with philanderer Jean Badovici (Le Corbusier’s promoter by way of his influential architectural publication L’Architecture Vivante) further fuelled the rift between the two architects, both personally and professionally, consigning her legacy to a century of neglect and long-overdue recognition.


Who is Dervla Murphy? (Garret Daly)

23rd April

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A profile of Ireland’s most prolific travel writer who has written twenty four books, been on countless journeys, and has a worldwide fan base and massive critical success.


My Name is Emily (Simon Fitzmaurice)

April (8th April)

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After her mother dies and her father is institutionalized, Emily is placed in a foster home and in a new school where she is ostracized. When her father’s annual card fails to arrive on her 16th birthday, Emily knows something’s wrong. She decides to take matters into her own hands and, enlisting her only friend at school, Arden, sets off on a road trip to break her father out of the psych ward. As their journey progresses Emily and Arden become close, and both come to realize important truths about the nature of relationships, both to their parents and to each other.


Mammal (Rebecca Daly)

1st April

A love story between a woman who has lost her son in tragic circumstances and the relationship she develops with a homeless youth.


Atlantic (Risteard O’Domhnaill)

29th April 

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Atlantic is the latest film from the makers of the multi-award-winning documentary, The Pipe (2010). This film follows the fortunes of three small fishing communities – in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland – which are at turns united and divided by the Atlantic Ocean. In recent times, mounting challenges within their own industries, the fragile environment, and the lure of high wages for young fishermen on the oil rigs have seen these fishing communities struggle to maintain their traditional way of life. As the oil majors push into deeper water and further into the Arctic, and the world’s largest fishing companies chase the last great Atlantic shoals, the impact on coastal communities and the ecosystems they rely on is reaching a tipping point. Atlantic tells three very personal stories of those who face the devastating prospect of having their livelihoods taken from them, and their communities destroyed both environmentally and economically.

Sing Street (John Carney)

18th March

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Having experienced a tough time at home, a young boy strikes out on his own and forms a band.


Traders (Rachael Moriarty, Peter Murphy)

11th March

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Harry is offered a new business proposition. Two people convert all their assets to cash, arrange to meet, dig one grave and fight to the death. Winner buries the loser and instantly doubles his value.


The Truth Commissioner (Declan Recks)

26th February

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Set in a post-troubles Northern Ireland, The Truth Commissioner follows the fictional story of Henry Stanfield, a career diplomat who has just been appointed as Truth Commissioner to Northern Ireland. The story revolves around the lives of three men who are directly or indirectly involved in the disappearance, 20 years earlier, of the 15-year-old Connor Roche. Though Stanfield starts bravely, he quickly uncovers some bloody and inconvenient truths about those now running the country; truths which none of those in power are prepared to have revealed. Everyone claims to want the truth, but what is it going to cost, and who is going to pay for it?


The Survivalist (Stephen Fingleton)

12th February

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He was one of those people who thought the end was coming. What if he was right?


Strangerland (Kim Farrant)

5th  February 

The Parker family, new to the remote desert town of Nathgari, are thrown into crisis when parents Catherine and Matthew discover that their two teenage kids have mysteriously disappeared just before a massive dust storm hits the town. With the town now eerily smothered in red dust and darkness, the locals join the search led by local cop David Rae. But scorching temperatures mean the chances of survival are plummeting with each passing day and Catherine and Matthew find themselves pushed to the brink as they struggle to survive the uncertainty of their children’s fate.


Room (Lenny Abrahamson)

15th January

To Jack, Room is the world…. It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. But while it’s home to Jack, to Ma it’s a prison. Through her fierce love for her son, Ma has managed to create a childhood for him in their ten-by-ten-foot space. But as Jack’s curiosity is building alongside Ma’s own desperation – she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely.


Shem the Penman Sings Again (Pádraig Trehy)

8th January

Shem The Penman Sings Again is an experimental feature film that provides a way into James Joyce’s creative imagination and the conception of “Finnegans Wake”.


Last Hijack (Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting)

8th January

A true tale of survival in Somalia told from the pirate’s perspective.  The film takes an innovative hybrid approach to explore how one Somali pirate – Mohamed – came to live such a brutal and dangerous existence.


dom – his long-lost father Angel, once a celebrated boxer and newly released from a 15-year prison term..


 

 

 

 

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Irish Film Review: My Name is Emily

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DIR/WRI: Simon Fitzmaurice • PRO: Kathryn Kennedy, Rebecka Lafrenz, Lesley McKimm • DOP: Seamus Deasy  • ED: Emer Reynolds • DES: John Hand • MUS: Stephen McKeon • CAST: Evanna Lynch, Martin McCann, Michael Smiley, George Webster

 

Crashing in a tumble of water. As an army of bubbles pulse to the surface. Eyes wide open, dead set, staring up at the ceiling. Straight up into space. Emily’s submerged in a bathtub. Her fair hair floating in a ghostly web, framing her pale face.  Under the surface, Emily reflects on her fractured experience of life up to that point, in an intoxicating jigsaw of images and memories.  Childhood with her father. Her unconventional upbringing, feet running on the sandy beach with her Father and Mother. Ditching school. Travelling with her makeshift hippie philosopher father. Her father’s monkish silence. His distance before she was even born. How the bursting colour of her birth ignited her father’s richly optimistic perspective. Gave him a new lease on life, opened up his eyes. Broadened his horizons. He began lecturing, writing, helping others try live happier, richer, more meaningful lives. Giving hokey well-meant new age advice on happiness and sex, leading the charge with an army of naked middle-aged arses straight into the icy sea. Charging straight to international celebrity, fronting seminars, all over the world promoting his unorthodox philosophy.  And the shattering depression, that took hold of her father after her Mother’s Death. But he kept rocking the boat of acceptability, pushing the bar, further and further trying to soldier on. Until his own mental health was brought into question.

Right off the bat, writer/director Simon Fitzmaurice masterfully invites us inside Emily’s head, and sets up an unquestionably potent relationship with her and the audience. She bursts through the surface gasping for air and into the suffocating present.

Presently, Emily’s in foster care, her father’s been institutionalized for years. It’s her sixteenth birthday and his card hasn’t arrived.  He always sends a card. Emily’s cagey about this, but when she finally freaks, she coaxes her eager beaver would be boyfriend (George Webster) into skipping class, and setting off in a goofy yellow car on a coming of age odyssey, to the find her father up north.

Evanna Lynch’s central performance brings an unflinching volatility to Emily, that’s magnetic to look at. New kid on the street, George Webster, shows some serious acting chops, proving he’s more than just a one direction look alike, his genuine sense of naivety gives endless warmth and charm. And the inimitable Michael Smiley radiates true genius as he gravitates from comic to tragic in the blink of an eye.

In My Name is Emily, Irish director Simon Fitzmaurice lovingly creates a deeply personal film about challenging the boundaries of reality. Fitzmaurice himself suffers from MND, which is an aggressive physically disabling disease. So it’s easy to understand why he might be totally invested in this theme. This is a film about opening the doors of perception, striving for something more, about thinking, and possibly living outside the box, in an effort to appreciate the important things in our lives. The people around us, those that we love and care for. Everything else, is just needless material baggage.

Fitzmaurice’s strong visual palate harvests the senses, seen first-hand through Seamus Deasy’s evocative cinematography. This sensory enlightenment is further cultivated by the textured musical soundtrack, which includes real gems from James Vincent McMorrow, Lisa Hannigan, Cat Dowling, Liza Flume, Hudson Taylor, Lisa Mitchell, Printer Clips and Jake Bugg.

Michael Lee

94 minutes

12A (See IFCO for details)

Sing Street is released 8th April 2016

My Name is Emily – Offical Website

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Review of Irish Film at Galway Film Fleadh: My Name is Emily

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Deirdre Molumby was at the premiere of Simon Fitzmaurice‘s film My Name is Emily, which opened this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

 

The opening film at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh was life-affirming and truly extraordinary given the feat that it took to make the feature. Simon Fitzmaurice, the director of My Name is Emily, was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in 2008. It did not, however, deter him from continuing to make movies (having previously directed award-winning shorts Full Circle and The Sound of People), and so he wrote the script for My Name is Emily and used iris-recognition technology to direct the film. Simon Fitzmaurice was present at the screening in Galway as were a number of cast and crew members.

The film stars Harry Potter starlet and Irish actress Evanna Lynch in the titular role. Evanna also attended the Fleadh and thanked the director for his incredible hard work on the movie. On behalf of all the cast present – who also included George Webster and Michael Smiley – she expressed their extreme gratitude at being a part of his film and said that he was an inspiration to them all throughout the project. In a Q&A following the screening, the writer-director himself stated that the film was made for his children, to teach them to never give up.

My Name is Emily follows a sixteen year old girl (Lynch) who lives with foster parents. We follow the events of Emily’s emerging into her parents’ life, her father (Smiley) becoming a motivational writer, her mother (Deirdre Mullins) passing away, and her father eventually being committed to a psychiatric institution. As a result, Emily grows up into a rebellious, apathetic teenager, but one with a distinctive and even philosophical view of the world. A fellow student, Arden (Webster), recognises this in Emily and while others think her existential questioning is ‘weird’, Arden finds himself immediately attracted to her. Soon after her birthday, Emily decides to leave home and break her father out of the institution, enlisting Arden’s help. They embark on a road trip across Ireland, learning much about life and death, as well as loss and letting go, along the way.

As the above summary promises, the film is simple and sweet throughout, and makes a welcome addition to what can often be overwhelmingly bleak Irish cinema. Last year’s Fleadh winners for Best Irish Film, Glassland and Patrick’s Day, provide two examples of this while this year’s winner, the feel-good and visually enrapturing family animation Song of the Sea, reveals a trend that lighter content is in greater demand as of late (My Name is Emily itself took the runner-up prize for Best First Irish Feature this year at the Fleadh, after Mark Noonan’s You’re Ugly Too).

My Name is Emily is touching in its depiction of the irrepressible bonds of family and funny in its relating of being a socially awkward, weird teenager. It mourns loss but ultimately celebrates life. The photography of Seamus Deasy (who won an award in Galway for his work) is quite remarkable, giving the film a transparent and otherworldly effect. The casting is also on form with Lynch and Webster as the endearing young leads while the tragic character of Robert, Emily’s father, is given a sensitive, poignant performance by Smiley. Big thumbs up.

 

My Name is Emily screened on Tuesday, 7th July as part of the Galway Film Fleadh (7 – 12 July 2015)

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‘My Name Is Emily’ Opens Galway Film Fleadh

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The Galway Film Fleadh, which takes place from Tuesday 7th July until Sunday 12th July, has announced that it will open with the World Premiere of the debut film from award winning director Simon Fitzmaurice, My Name Is Emily.

 

Managing Director of Galway Miriam Allen says “we’re honoured to screen MNIE as the opening film for our 2015 Festival.  After watching the film we were moved to tears, not only due to powerful film-making but also by Simon Fitzmaurice’s own inspirational story”

 

Shortly after his second short film The Sound of People premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, director Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with MND, the debilitating disease for which the viral ice-bucket challenge raised awareness last September.  Now completely paralysed, Fitzmaurice typed the script for the film, as well as his best-selling book It’s Not Yet Dark through the movement of his eyes and iris recognition software.  This is also how he communicated to direct the film during a six week shoot last year.

 

Simon says “I’m deeply honoured that The Galway Film Fleadh has invited My Name Is Emily to open the festival.  Everyone involved with the making of this film has worked so hard and I cannot think of a better reward and a better place for our film’s world premiere”

 

It’s Emily’s 16th birthday and for the first time in her life, doesn’t receive a birthday card from her Dad.  After meeting a fellow outsider at her new school, Emily and her handsome ally, Arden, decide to embark on a road trip adventure across Ireland to find her missing father.  They are an odd couple, this pale girl and the boy in the velvet suit, and along the way, they find love as well as some hard and unexpected truths.

 

My Name Is Emily is a life-enhancing story starring Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter), Michael Smiley (The Lobster, Kill List, A Field in England) and newcomer George Webster (City of Dreamers, Blood Moon) and boasts an amazing soundtrack including James Vincent McMorrow who composed a song specially for the film, Lisa Hannigan, Cat Dowling, Liza Flume, Hudson Taylor, Lisa Mitchell, Printer Clips and Jake Bugg.

 

On being offered the role of Emily, Lynch said, “After I read the script, it was all I could think about for weeks; it is so different to anything I’ve read and so real and dynamic.”  Michael Smiley commented, “It’s one of the most beautiful scripts I’ve read in a long time” and the film also features Simon’s long-time collaborator Martin McCann (’71, Clash of the Titans).

 

My Name Is Emily will be distributed by Eclipse Pictures and was produced by Newgrange Pictures and Kennedy Films, alongside Scandinavian co-production partners Garage Film and Paradox.  The film was financed by IFB, BAI, Section 481 and TV3 with co-production finance from Film i Väst and SVT in Sweden.  Production funding was completed via a crowd-sourcing campaign; vocal proponents of which included Jim Sheridan, Lenny Abrahamson, Colin Farrell, Sam Neill and Alan Rickman, who supported the film not just because of the adversity faced by Simon but due to the cinematic talent he displayed in his earlier work and quality of script.

 

 

 

My Name Is Emily will receive its World Premiere on Tuesday 7th July at 7:30pm in the Town Hall Theatre, with cast and crew in attendance. For tickets, further details and information, log onto www.galwayfilmfleadh.com

 

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Final Days for Funding Campaign for Simon Fitzmaurice

On the 7th November, Kennedy Films and Newgrange Pictures launched a major crowd-funding campaign for Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented writer/director and father, who is also physically incapacitated with Motor Neurone Disease. Their target was an ambitious €200,000, the sum required to fund Simon’s on-set support, to enable Simon to direct the film he has written – My Name is Emily

The response has been nothing less than extraordinary – in less then 3 weeks, messages flooded in from the local and international film community with words of support from Sam Neill, Colin Farrell, Alan Rickman and Jim Sheridan amongst others. The Irish media and public have rallied behind the team all the way, raising nearly €90,000 to date. Support for a crowd funding campaign in Ireland is unprecedented and the Irish public have proved themselves exceptionally supportive.  This week, the story of Simon’s quest to make My Name is Emily has broken in US press with a feature in world renowned Vanity Fair magazine.

Simon Fitzmaurice is an award winning film director who was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in 2008 – just after his 2nd short filmThe Sound Of People screened at the prestigious Sundance Film festival.  At the time he was the father of 2 children with a 3rd on the way and was heralded as “Ireland’s most promising film-maker” .

Simon didn’t allow his disease to affect his drive to be a feature film director and started writing his script My Name is Emily.  As his MND condition worsened, Simon gradually lost all physical function, but he persisted and eventually after 5 years, he finished the script with an iris-recognition screen, effectively typing with his eyes.

The crowd-funding campaign for My Name is Emily closes on 7th December.  Proceeds are halfway towards the ambitious target. The Irish public have been incredible, and you can help and support this one last push to make this wonderful film become a reality.

To view the crowd-funding campaign, visit Indiegogo.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Name-Is-Emily/487433757959486

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SimonsFilm

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