In 1992 the Saint Patrick's Society of Montréal...
...with the urgings first of Anthony Kirby. and then of Lynn Doyle, Gus O'Gorman, Michael Kenneally and several other worthies, it was decided that Montréal's Irish community - indeed, Montréal's film community - needed an Irish film series.
The funding was forthcoming, and the Society has remained our most important and generous donor; Concordia University and Le Conservatoire d’art cinématographique de Montréal provided a cinema and an array of Irish films to offer to our audience.
Latterly, the School of Canadian Irish Studies has given us an even firmer footing in Concordia, and within Montréal's Irish Community. Ireland's Embassy to Canada has been an enthusiastic supporter all along the way. The ranks of our sponsors have grown over the years and we thank all of them, and you our audience.
So here we are, 25 years on from our founding, one of the longest running Irish film series in the world. This is a momentous year as you can see from our banner, with our celebration sharing the stage with Montréal, Canada, and the NHL. For our celebration, we hope to show 25 films - some long, some short. Join us.
Our programmers have been scanning film fleadh catalogues and soliciting recommendations and screeners from our film and filmmaker contacts in Ireland, and especially from IFI, the Irish Film Institute .
We are, of course, always interested in direct contact from filmmakers with films they'd like to submit. The 2013 winner of our first-time Short Films Audience Award was Shimmy Marcus, with Rhinos. He had contacted us with a submission before we'd discovered it ourselves. He was back again the next season with a second winner, Hannah Cohen's Holy Communion!
We are always interested in submissions and recommendations of Irish-related films, whether they be features, shorts, documentary, animation, in Irish or English.
85 min - Dir: Peter Foott with: Alex Murphy, Chris Walley, Hilary Rose, PJ Gallagher and Dominic McHale
:: Guest Speaker:
Comedy feature inspired by Ireland's biggest cocaine seizure of €440 million off the coast of Cork in 2007, The Young Offenders follows two Cork inner-city teenagers, Conor and Jock, as they embark on a 160km road trip on stolen bikes in the hopes of finding an unrecovered bale of cocaine.
The Young Offenders premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh on 8 July 2016, and won Best Irish Feature Film at the festival. The Irish Examiner scored it 4/5, saying "huge potential for that rare breakout hit which also attains a cultish following with endlessly quotable one liners." The Irish Times named it as one of the highlights of the Fleadh, saying "Chris Walley and Alex Murphy are brilliant as track-suited layabouts who, though lazy, impulsive and ignorant, remain endlessly lovable throughout." The film had its United States premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin Texas on 23 September 2016, where it won a Special Mention for Best Comedy Debut. The Austin Chronicle commented saying "The Young Offenders is a charming return for Irish comedy."
105 min - Dir: Brendan J Byrne with: Martin McCann, Fintan O'Toole, Charles Moore, Richard English, Norman Tebbit, Tim Pat Coogan, Dessie Waterworth, Gerry Adams
Drawing on an Irish Republican tradition of martyrdom, Sands' emotive, non-violent protest to be classified as a political prisoner became a defining moment in 20th century Irish history.
Sands' death after 66 days marked a key turning point in the relationship between Britain and Ireland, and brought a global spotlight to the Northern Irish conflict which eventually triggered international efforts to resolve it. - The Irish Post [Stephen Martin]
66 Days is a major feature length documentary exploring Sands' remarkable life and death, 35 years on from his ultimate sacrifice. The spine of the film is comprised of Sands' own words, drawn from his hunger strike diary, a unique insight into the man and his beliefs as he embarked on his final journey.
Directed by award winning filmmaker Brendan J Byrne and produced by Trevor Birney of Fine Point Films, this landmark non-fiction feature film will have its world premiere at a major international film festival in 2016. - Wikipedia
65 min - Dir: Claire Dix
Roads Entertainment presents a new documentary from award-winning filmmaker Claire Dix. We Are Moving – Memories of Miss Moriarty (Ireland, 2016) is an intimate portrait of Joan Denise Moriarty, a visionary who overcame enormous odds by doggedly following her dream of bringing ballet to every corner of Ireland. A pioneer of early 20th century Irish dance, Joan Denise Moriarty dared to create a uniquely Irish form of ballet inspired by her love of nature and Irish folklore.
A divisive figure, both her professional and personal life has been subject to much scrutiny over the years, and remain contentious issues for those who knew her. Despite these controversies, Joan Denise Moriarty has left behind a remarkable legacy of dancers and dance lovers who may never have found ballet without her influence.
82 min - Dir: Darren Thornton with: Seána Kerslake, Tara Lee, Charleigh Bailey, Denise MacCormack, Siobhán Shanahan
Joint winner of Best Irish Feature at this year's Galway Film Fleadh, A Date for Mad Mary, based on Yasmine Akram's theatrical monologue, sees director Darren Thornton make an auspicious feature debut, centred on an exceptional performance by lead actress Seána Kerslake. Upon release following a six month prison sentence, Mary returns home to Drogheda, eager to reunite with best friend Charlene (Charleigh Bailey), for whom she is about to act as maid of honour.
Mary's evolving relationships with Charlene, Jess (Tara Lee) and her mother (Denise McCormack) form the engine of this impressively focused film, which uses words with admirable economy and tells its story in a truly cinematic fashion. That places huge demands on Séana Kerslake, who's on screen constantly and examined relentlessly in telling close-ups. She's superb, an extraordinary talent, and surely bound for bigger things. from www.independent.ie