Irish Film Festival

Film, Film festivals
The Lodgers Irish
Photograph: Supplied The Lodgers

Emerald City gets a fourth season of films from the Emerald Isle

The 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 will be marked during the 4th Irish Film Festival in Australia with four films that explore the legacy of the Troubles. 

The prolific and incisive American documentarian Alex Gibney (We Steal Secrets, Going Clear, Taxi to the Dark Side) has made No Stone Unturned, which investigates the murder of six Catholics in a pub in County Down in 1994 (the Loughinisland massacre), and points to British government collusion.

Maze dramatises the 1983 Maze prison breakout – Maze was the prison in Northern Island that housed paramilitary prisoners. The Journey dramatises the negotiations between Loyalist leader Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall) and republican Martin McGuiness (Colm Meaney) towards the historic power sharing agreement in 2007. And In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America looks at civil rights campaigner John Hume’s work to bring the US into the peace process to get Britain to come to the bargaining table.

The festival comprises eight feature films and a short film competition session, for which filmmakers in Australia and elsewhere may enter if they're telling an Irish story or are of Irish descent. 

"Be in bed by midnight's bell..." Chilling Gothic horror tale The Lodgers has orphaned twins confined to a crumbling mansion in the 1920s and suffering under a family curse; Harry Potter's David Bradley is in the cast. The Flag meanwhile is a farce about an Irish labourer who plots to steal an Irish flag from an officer’s mess in a British army barracks in London.

Song of Granite is a black-and-white biopic on the life of Irish traditional singer Joe Heaney. And documentary Coming Home follows Irish migrants from around the world (including Dubliner Vera Finnegan, who lives in Sydney) who pursue their dream to return to live in Ireland.

Screenings will be at the Chauvel, except on April 18 when the first of two opening night screenings of Maze takes place at the Penrith Gaels. Tickets are on sale now; to book and see what's screening when, click on the Dates and Times tab above.


By: Nick Dent


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