Our opening film is Gold, starring James Nesbitt, young Maisie Williams of "Game of Thrones", and David Wilmot with lots more info when you click on 'Gold' on our schedule.
Our committed films after Gold are Standby, with Montréal actor Jessica Paré, Song of the Sea (a 2015 Oscar nominee), Broken Song, and Pilgrim Hill. We have those names plugged in and we'll be adding cast, trailers and write-ups very soon on them.
If you`re ready to commit to our 2015 membership, click on Cost here or above to see what it is, and our Membership page will tell you how to buy it.
See you at the movies.
We have our dates picked out for our 23rd season, although some changes may still be made. Sign up if you'd like to be on our email list and get our latest updates. Visit our Members' page to read how to enrol as a member for our 2015 Season - only $65, again this year.
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 . Our banner this year has lots of links to IFI content. As our schedule takes shape, we can tell you that we will have stars from Mad Men and from Game of Thrones on screen. Watch this space.
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 this past 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.
88 min - Dir: Niall Heery with Cast: James Nesbitt, Maisie Williams, David Wilmot, Kerry Condon.
"The story skirts tragedy on its leisurely passage from mishap to misadventure, but Gold remains the sort of picture you want to hug indulgently to a welcoming bosom. It gives humanism a good name." - Irish Times [Donald Clarke]
"Gold is a comic take on a tragic story, which is made by strong performances from David Wilmot and Maisie Williams." - JDIFF [Brogen Hayes]
"Maisie Williams, the film's plucky teenage daughter groomed for sporting success, is emerging as the most promising new talent to come out of Game of Thrones." - The Guardian [Leslie Felperin]
"It strikes comedy gold with a sharp script and superlative performances all round." - Cineworld Magazine
Twelve years after he left town because his childhood sweetheart dumped him and took his child away, Ray (David Wilmot) returns to see his ailing father. Ray decides to catch up with his former partner Alice (Kerry Condon) and his daughter Abbie (Maisie Williams), only to discover that Alice is dating his former high school PE teacher Frank (James Nesbitt).
There is something rather familiar about the premise of Gold, which makes the film not only comforting, but a lot of fun. David Wilmot plays up the loser, slacker character of Ray, making him likeable and sweet, and also a man who is hurt that his family has moved on, because it seems that he was never able to. Kerry Condon carries on her streak of playing extremely likeable and conflicted characters with Alice, James Nesbitt ramps up the silly with his performance as Frank. Not only are Frank's fitness videos verging on the ridiculous, but he is a man so intense and intent to make a difference, that he comes off as ridiculous as well. Maisie Williams rounds out the cast as Abbie, a young woman who is angry with the world, and takes most of her rage out on her family.
Writers Niall Heery and Brendan Heery have managed to find veins of tragedy and comedy in a familiar situation. They may not reinvent the wheel when it comes to the genre of family break up comedy, but there is something warm and sweet about the story of a man who is trying to make good, albeit several years too late.
Gold is a comic take on a tragic story, which is made by strong performances from David Wilmot and Maisie Williams. The dynamic between the two makes the film warm and funny, and lends weight to the choices that Ray must face. James Nesbitt does a fantastic job as the over the top PE teacher and, while the film is not going to change the world, it is a treat to see an Irish film with a whole lot of heart. JDIFF - Brogen Hayes
craic-it.com - Director Heery previously won the Breakthrough Talent Award at the IFTA's for his first feature Small Engine Repair. With a top-notch cast including James Nesbitt and Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams and co-written with his brother Brendan, Heery's film tells the tale, much like his breakthrough short, of a man very much on the edge of what would be described as a normal existence.
83 min - Dir: Rob Burke, Ronan Burke with Cast: Brian Gleeson, Jessica Paré, Stanley Townsend, Francesca Cherruault
Rom-coms and the Irish don't exactly go hand-in-hand. We're not big into sweeping romantic gestures here; they'll just get you grief from the lads down the pub. Standing in the rain whilst delivering a relationship-affirming monologue? Sure, you'll catch your death of cold. Perhaps it's because there's a distinct lack of authenticity in these Hollywood romances. In reality relationships are hard-work, full of little awkward moments and compromise. In that sense, Standby is very much a 'realistic' rom-com. Oh, it has cheese to spare but Gleeson's and Paré's dynamic gives this film a layer of thoughtfulness that is sadly lacking from its mainstream counterparts.
Alan (Gleeson) is in a bit of a slump. He's quickly approaching his thirties, was left at the alter by his fiancé, fired from his affluent banking job, is living at home with his Dad (Townsend) and restless with unfulfilled musical ambitions. It's a situation all Generation Y-ers can depressingly relate to.
Working with his mum in a part-time job as a tourist advisor in Dublin Airport, a chance twist of fate finds Alan face to face with Alice (Paré), the girl he had fallen in love with eight years prior while working for a summer in America. When the summer ended, however, Alan left and never returned, thus putting an end to their blossoming relationship. Stuck on standby for a flight home to New York - and experiencing similar artistic frustrations - Alan manages to convince Alice to stay the night with him so they can have a much needed catch up with one another.
She agrees, after some understandable hesitation, and so our protagonists embark on a Ulysses-like journey of self-discovery around the fair city of Dublin. A bit of a stretch perhaps but this is a film as much about Dublin as it is about its core couple's relationship. The capital is looking its best here and the audience is brought from one end of the city to another and back again throughout the course of the film. We fall in love with Dublin as we do with the characters. Plus, one always gets a sense of strange satisfaction when recognising a location used on screen.
That said Alan and Alice's relationship is what really makes the film work. In short, it feels genuine. They're both different people from who they were eight years ago when they first met and so the film dedicates some time for the two to get to know one another again. It's a little strained at first and they both tell some fibs to save face. This of course makes for some pretty inevitable reveals and 'I-can't-believe-you-lied-to-me' arguments but these scenes are handled surprisingly well, mainly thanks to Gleeson's and Paré's delivery. In fact, throughout the entire film directors Rob and Ronan Burke take the conventions of the rom-com genre and manage to make them seem fresh - not an easy feat. There's an overarching formula at work here but the Burke brothers are not afraid to play around with audience expectations in the middle scenes. The banter between the characters feels like something you would overhear in an average Dublin pub and never comes across as hackneyed, which unfortunately some other Irish films are prone to do.
There's also some interesting commentary about how we tend to approach the battle of the sexes as an 'us vs them' type scenario when in reality it takes two to make a successful relationship. Again, this is not a new concept but the film seems to take this question seriously rather than just see it as a chance for some gendered-stereotype humour.
Overall, this is a very charming film. Gleeson and Paré make for an unusual
yet undoubtedly endearing couple as they come to find that what they shared before never really died.
All the cast deliver engaging performances- and a particular shout out to Francesca Cherruault
as the been-there-done-that Beatrice who had many in the cinema laughing at loud multiple times.
FilmIreland - Ellen Murray