#IrishAbroad: Five Irish films head to HotDocs, North America’s largest documentary festival
Four Irish feature documentaries – Feargal Ward’s The Lonely Battle Of Thomas Reid, Maurice Sweeney’s I, Dolours, David Sington and Heather Walsh’s Mercury 13and Katrina Costello’s The Silver Branch will screen at this year’s HotDocs festival in Toronto – the largest documentary festival in North America. They will be joined by Smithy & Dickie a short directed by Hannah Quinn.
The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid will be having its North American premiere at the festival. Ward’s documentary, a poetic telling of bachelor farmer Thomas Reid’s struggle to hold onto his farm after receiving a compulsory purchase order from the IDA had its World Premiere in the Main Competition at IDFA in Amsterdam and recently won Best Irish Film at ADIFF.
I, Dolours, which is enjoying its World Premiere at the festival, is a complex portrait of Dolours Price, militant IRA activist, hunger striker and dissident Republican who two years before she died gave a filmed interview on condition that it would not be broadcast in her lifetime.
Mercury 13profiles women who were tested in 1961 for spaceflight, but had their dreams dashed when only men were chosen to become astronauts. The film is a Netflix Original screening as a special presentation at HotDocs.
In The Silver Branch, Patrick McCormack is an Irish farmer/poet who is trying keep his relationship to the natural world intact and to make a difference in the world. Patrick and his rural community are drawn into a divisive battle with the government, which wants to increase tourism to the area, thus destroying the fragile landscape. The film was nominated for the Best Documentary IFTA in 2018.
Smithy & Dickie which screens as an opener to Dreaming Murakami is the charming documentary which celebrates old love letters that have stood the test of time, while questioning how the current digital age is potentially obliterating any record of our most precious moments.
We are delighted to be bringing our film to Canadian audiences at HotDocs this year. As the biggest documentary festival in the Americas, the festival’s profile and prestige will provide a great platform for our film. Many thanks are due to the Irish Film Board and Culture Ireland for their support. Luke McManus, Producer – The Lonely Battle Of Thomas Reid
HotDocs is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. Its 25th annual edition will run from April 26th to May 6th, 2018.