Los Angeles Irish Film Festival 2012 Program


LAIFF celebrates the Irish passion for storytelling, a tradition that started around the hearth of every Irish household and has found its voice internationally through the medium of film. Coupled with the treasures of Ireland’s moviemaking past, LAIFF presents modern works as diverse as they are unique, creating a cinematic barometer for the cultural climate of Ireland in 2012.

Kicking off the festival is a double feature of Kirsten Sheridan’s teen drama DOLLHOUSE, followed by Ian Fitzgibbon’s whimsical coming-of-age tale blending live action and animation, DEATH OF A SUPERHERO, with a discussion between films with Sheridan and actor Jack Reynor. Next up is a dark and delightfully subversive double feature of Ciaran Foy’s festival favorite CITADEL, about a single father’s nightmarish visions, and Terry McMahon’s controversial CHARLIE CASANOVA, about a man who tests fate after committing a hit-and-run. Also screening is BERNADETTE, Leila Doolan’s documentary portrait of political activist Bernadette Devlin, Kieron J. Walsh’s JUMP, about a number of colliding stories on New Year’s Eve, folk music doc LET THE PEOPLE SING, documentary veteran Robert Flaherty’s 1934 MAN OF ARAN followed by 1978’s HOW THE MYTH WAS MADE: A STUDY OF ROBERT FLAHERTY’S MAN OF ARAN, and a shorts program!

Filmmakers Kirsten Sheridan, Kieron J. Walsh and Leila Doolan and actor Jack Reynor will appear in person with their respective films, with others to be announced! Series compiled by Lisa McLaughlin and Gwen Deglise. Program notes by Barbara Lerenard and Beth Hanna.

To mark the fifth year of the ever growing LA Irish Film Festival the boat will be built over the 5 days of the festival and launched on the closing day. The five day process will begin in the lobby of the opening night gala venue and will continue through the next 4 days of the festival, amid the displayed works of Irish painters and artist and festival patrons. On day five of the festival, a family beach day is planned with the ceremonial launch of the currach in the Pacific Ocean. Currach builder Donal Mac Polin will make the journey from Ireland and shepherd a hand picked team of local craftsmen through the ancient steps of construction and assembly. In this way the preservation and handing down of Irish culture will be truly international. The Sea of Exchange continues.

The traditional currach, unique to the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, is a boat with a wooden frame, over which animal skins or hides were once stretched, though now canvas is more usual. Currachs vary in size and shape by region. Historian-boatwright Donal McPolin, who met and studied with the remaining boat makers of the virtually extinct Currach, had been researching, documenting and continuing the Currach tradition.

The Sea Of Exchange:Ireland-Los Angeles runs from September 19-November 1 at the LA Print Space- Pacific Design Center, Suite B 273, 8687 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles , Ca 90069 Tuesday-Friday 12:00-5:00

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
7:30pm – “JUMP” – 2012, 83 min
Director: Kieron J. Walsh. Writers: Kieron J. Walsh, Steve Brookes. Producers: Brendan J Byrne, Katie Holly. Cast: Martin McCann, Richard Dormer, Ciaran McMenamin, Charlene McKenna
Synopsis: This modern fairytale follows four twenty-somethings who cross one another’s paths on New Year’s Eve in Derry, Northern Ireland. Small time hood Johnny and honest Mary long for a fresh start, while Greta and Pearce meet in unusual circumstances – he prevents her from committing suicide. Visually stunning, the film’s screenplay toys with time until the clock strikes midnight, and punctuates the dark tale with real moments of comedy and black humor, with raw emotions brilliantly transmitted by the young cast. Featuring a different soundscape for each storyline on the noisiest night of the year, director Kieron J. Walsh’s latest work is a real-feel movie shot with a floating style.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012
7:30pm – “DOLLHOUSE” 2012, 95 min
Writer/Director: Kirsten Sheridan. Producers: John Wallace. Executive Producers: John Carney, Lance Daly, Macdara Kelleher, Martina Niland. Cinematographers: Colin Downey, Ross McDonnell. Cast: Seana Keslake, Johnny Ward, Kate Stanley Brennan, Shane Curry, Ciaran McCabe, Jack Reynor. Sound Design: Kieran Lynch. Production Design: Emma Lowney
Synopsis: Dollhouse explores a night in the life of a group of street teens from Dublin’s inner city who break into a house in an upper class suburb.  The break-in quickly moves into a night of frenzy, driven by a series of revelations that will leave lasting marks on each of them, and resulting in an emotional conclusion that they will carry with them.
Q & A with Director Kirsten Sheridan and Actor Jack Reynor

“DEATH OF A SUPER HERO” 2012, 97 min
Director: Ian Fitzgibbon. Executive Producers: Anthony McCarten, Paul Donovan, Matthias Esche, Jan S. Kaiser. Writers:  Anthony McCarten. Cast: Andy Serkis, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Michael McElhatton. Edited by: Tony Cranstoun. Music by: Marius Ruhland
Synopsis: Donald is a teenager with extraordinary artistic talents. His future as a graphic novel artist should be bright. As his life is consumed by fantastic daydreams, Donald soon discovers that a very real enemy is trying to kill him. With an unorthodox psychologist teaching Donald to find the light in life in an otherwise dark world, DEATH OF A SUPERHERO tells the story of discovering life, love, and death in this exceptionally honest portrayal of a teenage boy facing his own mortality.

Friday, September 28th 2012
7:30pm – “CITADEL” 2012, 85 min
Writer/Director: Ciaran Foy. Executive Producers: David Mackenzie, Kieron J Walsh, Gillian Berrie. Producers: Brian Coffey, Katie Holly. Cast: James Cosmo, Anuerin Barnard, Wunmi Mosaku. Edited by: Tony Kearns, Jake Roberts. Original Music by: Tom Hajdu and Andy Milburn (tomandandy)
Synopsis: The dilapidated suburbia of Edenstown casts a shadow over Tommy Cowley’s life. Trapped there by his agoraphobia since his wife was fatally attacked by twisted feral children, he now finds himself terrorized by the same mysterious hooded gang, who seem intent on taking his baby daughter. Torn between the help of an understanding nurse and a vigilante priest, he discovers that to be free of his fears, he must finally face the demons of his past and enter the one place that he fears the most…the abandoned tower block known as the CITADEL.
Film will be introduced by Producer Katie Holly Q & A following the film with Director Ciaran Foy

“CHARLIE CASANOVA” 2012, 94 min
Writer/Director: Terry McMahon. Producers: Terry McMahon, Franco Noonan and Emmett Scanlon. Cast: Emmett Scanlon, Leigh Arnold, Damian Hannaway. Edited by: Tony Kearns, Cinematography: Eoin Macken. Original Music by: Marc-Ivan O’Gorman
Synopsis: To an outsider, Charlie Barnum’s life is picture perfect: He is successful in work, marriage and friendship. But in reality Charlie’s business is shrinking and he’s caught up in an affair with his best friend’s wife. While driving to a conference one day, Charlie accidentally kills a girl in a hit-and-run. Unsure of what to do with the terrible predicament facing him, Charlie uses a deck of cards to determine his fate. The first film to be entirely conceived via Facebook, this pitch-black, highly controversial comedy made love-it-or-hate-it waves at SXSW 2011.
In Attendance: Kieron J. Walsh, Katie Holly, Terry McMahon, Emmett Scanlon Film will be introduced by Actor Emmett Scanlon

Saturday, September 29th, 2012
Focus on Films from Northern Ireland
4pm – “BERNADETTE, NOTES ON A POLITICAL JOURNEY” (Documentary) 2008, 88 min
Director/Producer: Lelia Doolan. Film will be introduced by Lelia Doolan.

Synopsis: Winner of the Best Feature Documentary prize at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, Lelia Doolan’s account of the tumultuous political career of Northern Irish activist and ‘speechifier’ Bernadette Devlin McAliskey atmospherically conveys the complex and volatile environment, both personal and political, in which she rose to power. Benefiting from a wealth of highly-charged archive footage, particularly from the most thoroughly recorded period of Devlin’s career, when she was elected MP for Mid-Ulster in 1969 as a 21-year-old student, the historical material is interspersed with extracts from a series of more recent interviews. In contrast to an opponent’s derisive description of Devlin as ‘Fidel Castro in a mini-skirt’, Doolan offers an in-depth perspective on a formidable figure of recent Irish politics.

7.30pm JUMP, 2012, 83 min
“THE SHORE” 2011, 29 min
Academy Award Winning Film from 2011. Writer/Director: Terry George. Cast: Ciarán Hinds, Conleth Hill, Kerry Condon, Maggie Cronin
Synopsis: The story of Joe and Paddy, whose childhood friendship is shattered by the troubles in Northern Ireland. Twenty five years later they are reunited.

Let The People Sing, (Documentary), 2011
The Wolfe Tones: Tommy Byrne, Noel Nagle, Brian Warfield. Director: Gary Kenneally. Producer: Paddy Kenneally. Narrator: Timmy Ryan.
Synopsis: Witness the story of a lifetime in this gritty, tell-all documentary film, told through candidly recorded off-the-cuff interviews and never-before-seen archive material, charting the rise of The Wolfe Tones from early beginnings in working-class Dublin to legendary status around the world.

Sunday, September 30th, 2012
7:30pm – “MAN OF ARAN” (Documentary) 1934, 76 min.
Director: Robert J. Flaherty.
Synopsis: This “fictional documentary” by Robert J. Flaherty (best known for his seminal NANOOK OF THE NORTH) focuses on the tough living conditions of native Aranites – many of whom actually play versions of themselves in the film – and bends reality while preserving the poetic atmosphere of the past. Largely silent, the film intersperses Gaelic dialogue with dramatic music, and beautifully contrasts the images of men fighting for survival with the powerful Irish seascape.

“HOW THE MYTH WAS MADE” (Documentary), 1979, 58 min
George C. Stoney, James Brown, Paul Barnes
Synopsis: Stoney says he has dumb luck. His grandfather was the doctor on the island in Ireland where the legendary maker of documentary film, Robert Flaherty, shot his film Man of Aran. So Stoney’s film, exploring the effects Flaherty’s film had on the island and its people, is digging into his own roots as an individual while simultaneously studying the work of his intellectual mentor as a producer of nonfiction films.

Monday October 1st, 2012
7:30pm – Los Angeles Irish Film Festival Shorts Programm, 112 min
Rhinos – Directed by Shimmy Marcus 
Home Turf – Directed by Ross Whitaker
Irish Folk Furniture – Directed by Tony Donoghue
Asal – Written/Directed by Tom Sullivan
Noreen –  Written/Directed by Domhnall Gleeson
Fear of Flying – Written/Directed by Conor Finnegan
The Boy in the Bubble – Directed by Kealan O’Rourke
The Girl with the Mechanical Maiden –   Directed  by Andrew Legge
A Different Perspective – Directed by Chris O ‘Hara
100 Degrees – Directed by Jason Barry, Written by Jason Barry and Glen Barry
Surprise Ending – Written by Derek O’Connor, Directed by Ian Whelan & Derek O’Connor
Foxes – Directed by Lorcan Finnegan

Notable among sponsors are: The American cinematheque, ELMA, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, Irish Film Institute, Invest Northern Ireland and Culture Ireland’s purpose.


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