Richard Harris International Film Festival

#Festival: The 5th Richard Harris International Film Festival hits Limerick, Oct 26-30

The 5th Annual Richard Harris International Film Festival takes place in Limerick this October Bank Holiday Weekend.

Having being approved for funding by City and County Councillors 18th September 2017, joining forces with Limerick Film Festival and L.I.T. to incorporate the student aspect of the festival and gaining I.F.T.A. affiliation, 2017 has been a very busy year for organisers Sylvia Moore, Rob Gill, and Zeb Moore.  With screenings, an industry party in Cannes, a Women in Film event in Limerick in June, and screenings at Openhouse Limerick earlier this month.

The festival will be officially opened by Mayor Sean Lynch at a reception in The Millennium Theatre, Moylish, 5.30pm Thursday 26th October.  The first two feature screenings are films by the Irish Diaspora, Limerick man David Noel Bourke returns for the screening of his award winning and critically acclaimed Bakerman.   Described as a Nordic Falling Down, the tagline is “Don’t mess with a baker”. Writer / director Sean Hartofilis whose mother moved from Ireland to USA is thrilled to be coming to what he considers his home soil of Ireland to screen his film Covadonga. Covadonga is the story of a recently widowed young man who ….

Building on the success of previous years, where the program year on has increased by 40% – 2017 sees screenings of 9 feature films, and over 100 short films over 5 days and multiple venues in Limerick.  The Live Script Read introduced in 2016 will return to Belltable with reading of US Feature film due to be shot in Limerick in 2018 – “For the Good of the Child” focuses on the poorest of Ireland’s inhabitants in the 1950’s to 1970’s and the internment of poor children into Industrial Schools until they reached 16.  Director & Writer Marina Donohue joins RHIFF from the US with lead actress and many special guests taking to the stage.

The centrepiece of each year’s festival is the Richard Harris Retrospective Screening, which this year is the Academy Award-winning film Cry The Beloved Country directed by Darrell James Roodt.  Taking the coveted Sunday afternoon slot at the Belltable, director Darrell Roodt joins the Harris Family for the screening and a Q&A afterwards.  Tickets on sale at the Belltable Box office in person or Phone 061 953 400 or via the Lime Tree Theatre website

Goldenhair – The #RHIFF2017 is an extravaganza of music bringing to life the poetry of James Joyce’s Poetry, Chamber Music.  Originally a suite of chamber works, IFTA award winning and Golden Globe nominated Byrne sets the stanzas of select poems from James Joyce’s 1907 collection, Chamber Music to original orchestrations.  Ranging in style from adult contemporary,  to jazz, big band, spoken word, classical, bluegrass and more.    Organisers feel this is the perfect fit to Richard’s well known loves of poetry and music.  The concert takes place Saturday 28th August 2017 at UCH limerick and tickets are on sale now, 061 331549  Vocalists include Hayley Jo Murphy (Cinderella in UCH 2017 pantomime), ……

Culture at the Castle hosted by Limerick Writers Centre and Bare Reels 2017 takes place on Saturday 28th between 1pm – 4pm.  Sponsored by Treaty Brewery, MC for the afternoon is Tom Muldowney –  participants include renowned writer Gerry Stembridge, Stanza’s Poetry Collective,  The Mysterious Mr Valentine, ( jazz duo ), Bob Quinn, film maker and writer.  Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Of the 8 being screened in competition 2 come from South Africa from the production company – Phoenix Films headed by Andre Frauenstein.   Andre and producer wife Elbie travelled to Limerick last year and took home the Best Feature Award for the poignant and informative film Treurgrund.

This years selection from Phoenix films, both directed by Darrell Roodt, (Cry the Beloved Country) are polar opposites in genres.  Siembamba – a psychological horror first from South Africa focuses on a young mothers attempts to protect her newborn from the evil that she perceives around it.  It is one Sylvia Moore admits to watching from behind her hands most of the time! Friday 27th, 8pm Belltable. The trailer is available to view on the Lime Tree Website when booking, but it does carry an advisory note.  It is not for those with a sensitive nature.

The 2nd South African offering is a beautiful tale of teenage love called Mignon Mossie Van Wyk this is one to pull on heartstrings as you connect so thoroughly with the two lead actors.  The dulcet tones of the narrator, cinematography and outstanding performances from the entire cast will leave you feeling like you’ve joined Mossie’s family and are sharing in her highs and lows of teenage love.

Richard Harris International Film Festival

There are 3 Irish features screening and another US film from US production company Fake Charmer Productions, organisers  were not expecting the clever twists and turn in the script that we encountered in On the 7th Date (7.30pm Belltable, Saturday 28th). This film which harks back to the 1990’s romcom style, focusses on a couple who have been dating for a while, acknowledge it isn’t working and agree to spend their 7th and last date being themselves.  How do they end up in a Pharmacy requesting the morning after pill?  The results are quirky, clever and well written.  Filmed on a budget $7,000 (do not let that figure put you off!) this feature is truly a lesson on what can be achieved when clever, talented people decide to work on a project together.  A must for all those who think producing a lo-no budget feature is beyond their budget.

Of the 3 Irish offerings Eamonn Norris’s Making It premiered at the 2017 Galway Film Fleadh.  Another comedy featuring in the program, Making It   is about family man, Mike McMahon who loses his job and decides to enter a film making competition to win a big cash prize.
With little talent and large ambitions, his efforts soon land him in hot water with both sides of the law and the whole thing is a massive disaster with shootouts, car chases and plenty of local Kerry characters.  Eleanor McSherry for Film Ireland described it as … a mad trip of twists and turns. Very enjoyable!  “… I loved it and it is totally entertaining.”   Making It screens at 2pm on Saturday 28th at the Millennium Theatre, tickets can be booked online at or purchased at the door.  Eamonn, cast and crew will attend the screening and conduct a Q&A afterwards.  Do come along!

Co-incidentally the next two Irish Films on the program have been produced by Matt Toman.  Release written and directed by Gerard Walsh (South) was filmed as part of Bankhouse Production’s FFS (Feature Film School).  an ex-boxer retuning from prison after serving eight years for armed robbery.

Struggling to find work he fill his days by training at his old gym. Very quickly he realises that the sport he loves has been replaced by the popularity of MMA. Finding himself alone in every aspect of his life it’s not long before Andrews past comes back to haunt him.  Release screens at 5pm on Friday 27th, Millennium Theatre.

Friday 27th at 2pm in Millennium Theatre sees Urban Traffik on screen, written and directed by Jason Figgis.  Urban Traffik deals with the issue of sex trafficking in Ireland.  Adam, played by actor Damien Guiden, picks up attractive strays from off the street.  After having had his wicked way with them – a perk of the job  – Alex supervises as co-conspirators collect the girls from Adam’s bedsit and hold them for a couple of weeks (where punters are welcome to test the merchandise, so long as they don’t leave bruises) before selling them on to the International trafficking market as sex slaves.  Adam’s sister, Annie, Claire Blennerhassett plays a wonderful part of the carer for her previously abusive father, now paralysed, whilst also dating her brothers boss.. does she or doesn’t she know how he makes his money? What will she do when she is informed about the job her  brothers carries out for her boyfriend?  (you couldn’t write it.. …  well Jason Figgis did and the adjudicators thought you should see it!)

The short film program consists of 8 blocks of short films selected for RHIFF and invited screenings of Fresh Blood a horror short workshop run by Fresh Film Festival.

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