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
:: Guest Speaker:
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.
Oíche Nollaig na mBan / Women's Christmas Night
(2016 6 mins, poetic interprretation) dir. Oonagh Kearney
Women's Christmas Night/Oíche Nollaig na mBan is a visual response to the famous poem by Irish language poet Seán Ó'Ríordáin. Working with a schoolgirl choir and intergenerational cast of women based in Cork, the film celebrates the power of the 'unleashed feminine' in a radical re-imagining of his poem.
Best Cork Short
An Rinceoir (4 mins, documentary) dir. Elaine Gallagher
At a competition, a young dancer waits nervously in the wings. Once on stage, however, she shines, demonstrating her great passion for Irish dancing.
Official selection at festivals in Ireland, Russia,
Turkey, Italy, Sweden and the United States
Moore Street Masala! (5 mins, musical) dir. David O’Sullivan
In Ireland’s first indigenously produced Bollywood musical, shop clerk Baba falls for the sexy estate agent across the street. When he sells her lunch, she steals his heart. There is only one way their love can make it... Bollywood Style!
Audience Award, Cork Film Festival
91 min - Dir: Irvin Kershner with: Robert Shaw, Mary Ure, Liam Redmond, Tom Harvey, Libby McClintock, Leo Leyden, Powys Thomas, Tom Kneebone, Leslie Yeo, Vernon Chapman, Paul Guèvremont. Scenario: Brian Moore.
"The Luck of Ginger Coffey is a 1964 film directed by Irvin Kershner. It was filmed in Montreal by Crawley Films, and is based on the Governor General's Award winning novel by Northern Irish-Canadian writer Brian Moore." Wikipedia
"What is attractive about this picture is the way it is made and played. It has a neat and crisp naturalness about it, a compelling illusion of truth. Brian Moore's screenplay, written from his novel, is firm in structure and dialogue and an air of reality is given to it by dandy location shooting in Montreal." - New York Times [ Bosley Crowther]
"Downtown Montreal of the mid 1960's is displayed here like you have never seen. And Irvin Kershner, the director of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, proves here that he was quite capable of handling a small, intimate picture."
An ambitious Irishman emigrates with his wife and daughter to Montreal with plans
of becoming a successful journalist. He soon discovers that it takes more than luck to make it in this hostile foreign land.
Barely able to survive, his family begins to lose faith in him as he makes one drunken promise after another to them in his quest for success.
Will his wife and daughter return to Ireland or will they stand by his side through thick and thin?
Robert Shaw (most famous for Jaws, but also known for performances in A Man for All Seasons and The Sting, among many others) and Mary Ure (Look Back In Anger, Sons and Lovers) give outstanding performances in this screen adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel by Brian Moore (Black Robe, Hitchcock's Torn Curtain).
This is a truly excellent film adored by critics everywhere and it is one of those films that, once you see it, you wonder why it is not better known. Part of the reason it has languished in obscurity is because it was never given a proper release during or following its limited theatrical run. Fortunately, Montreal's C/FS (Le Cinéclub / The Film Society) has located a very nice uncut 16mm film print for you. What better way to celebrate 25 years for both Cine Gael and C/FS than a co-presentation that resurrects this Montreal-made gem of a movie. Be one of the lucky ones to see it before it returns to the shadows of obscure wonders.
Shaw's acclaimed performance and foray into Canadian film is notable given the film's release between two of Shaw's landmark performances in From Russia with Love and A Man for All Seasons. Shaw stars as James 'Ginger' Coffey, a down-on-his-luck Irishman who moves to Montreal with hopes to better his prospects and finds that little changes for his fortune in this new land. The film co-stars Mary Ure, as Ginger's wife Vera. (The two were also married in real life.) The film is adapted from the novel by Brian Moore, whose novels have provided the source for other Canadian milestones like Black Robe. www.cinemablographer.com [Pat Mullen]
95 min - Dir: John Butler with: Nick Galitzine, Fionn O'Shea, Moe Dunford, Andrew Scott, Jay Duffy, Michael McElhatton, Hugh O'Conor, Ardal O'Hanlon
In Handsome Devil, two very different boys are forced to share a room together at their boarding school. Ned's an effete, sensitive musician, and Conor the star out-half on the rugby team. Over the course of the year, the boys become unlikely friends while an inspirational English teacher (Andrew Scott) and a rugby coach (Moe Dunford) begin to exert contrasting influence upon them. Like American high school films (Dead Poet's Society, Election), this film is about finding one's own voice, and how kids sometimes end up teaching their teachers. Hinterland Films
:: Guest Speaker:
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