Irish Abroad: Diverse selection of Irish films @ Chicago Irish Film Festival 2015

The Chicago Irish Film Festival has announced its lineup for 2015 and it’s full of great Irish feature films, documentaries, and shorts. This year the festival runs from February 28th until March 7th.

The festival opens with the Eoin Colfer scripted Poison Pen, which will have its Midwest premier on Saturday, February 28th at the Music Box Theater. The film is a romantic comedy starring Lochlann O Mearain and Aoibhinn McGinnity. Poison Pen was produced by the participants on the Filmbase/Staffordshire University MSc in Digital Feature Film Production.

Another Midwest premiere at the festival is Patrick Ryan’s Darkness on the Edge of Town. This revenge drama is the story of a troubled teenage sharpshooter who avenges her estranged sister’s death after she is found murdered in a public bathroom. Emma Eliza Regan, Emma Willis and Brian Gleeson star in a film that wowed at Slamdance last month, where it was acquired by international distributor CinemaVault.

The third feature, and also making its Midwest premiere, is Ireland’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Oscars, the Tom Collins directed An Bronntanas. This film follows a local independent lifeboat crew who receive a distress call on a stormy night to discover a fishing boat, its only passenger a dead woman and its cargo is over a million Euros worth of drugs. The film stars John Finn, Owen McDonnell, and Michelle Beamish.

Three feature documentaries will also screen at the festival. The first is Close to Evil, a documentary about Holocaust survivor and Irish citizen Tomi Reichental, which won the IFI Stranger Than Fiction 2013 Audience Award.

The second is Mark McCauley’s A City Dreaming, a portrait of Derry told over 50 years told through the eyes of a young boy (writer-broadcaster Gerry Anderson). And the third is It Came from Connemara!, the behind the scenes story of Hollywood director Roger Corman’s film studio in Connemara.

The festival will be peppered throughout with Irish short films, with 35 featuring in total. These are The Weather Report by Paul Murray, Inorganic by Marie-Elena Doyle, Deadbook by Richard Scobie, Boogaloo And Graham by Michael  Lennox, Dead End by Tim Nagle, In This Place by Alec Moore, I Am Here by David Holmes, Cas Timpeall by Mike Guickan and Glenn Gannon, An Cat by Helen Flanagan, Rip It Up by Steven Ryan, Open Mic by Simon O’Neill, Pedestrian Crossing by Colin Murnane, Jackie Oh! by Patrick O’Shea, Coda by Alan Holly, I Am Here by David Holmes, SLR by Stephen Fingleton, The Pa by Andrew Paul Montague, Seven Minutes With Beibhinn by David Wolfe, Cavalier by Sean Clancy, The Swing by Nora Windeck, The Return by John Corcoran, Novena by Anna Rogers, Tunnel Vision by Andrew Paul Montague, Bread And Child by Gourmane Mohamed, Sussuro by Fernando Cabral, I’ve Been A Sweeper by Ciarán Dooley, The Struggle Of Libations by Erin Mullally, Today’s Yesterday by Jade Travers, Tonn Nua? by Niall Clery / Peter Mckeown, Anya by Damien O’Connor, Senior Infants by Diarmund Hayes, Lambing Season by Jeannie Donohoe, The Good Word by Paul Kennedy, Subs by Anthony Assad, and Somewhere Down The Line by Julien Regnard.

The Chicago Irish Film Festival is dedicated to presenting the works of Irish filmmakers to the Chicago film community. Since 1999 the festival has screened over 500 features, documentaries and short films by many of Ireland’s most talented and award-winning filmmakers.

More information can be found on the CIFF website.