Ten narrative feature films and ten documentaries will compete for the Golden Gate Awards at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, which will run April 5th to 19th. Ireland is represented in the competition by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane’s heart-warming documentary In Loco Parentis.
In Loco Parentis tells the story of Headfort, the last remaining boarding school for primary age children in Ireland. Directed by Ní Chianáin with co-direction for David Rane and set on a sprawling estate in Kells, Co. Meath, the documentary melds two seemingly incongruent worlds as the ultra-modern teaching of Headfort’s brilliant staff is set against the 18th century backdrop of the school’s grand reception rooms, long corridors and secret doors. The idyllic surroundings provide a space where teachers become mentors and surrogate parents as they usher the young pupils through their last days of childhood.
In Loco Parentis is produced by Soilsíu and financed by the Irish Film Board, the Broadcast Authority of Ireland, RTÉ, TVE, and Creative Europe. Critics at some of the world’s top documentary film festivals including IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam) and Sundance have variously described it as ‘engaging’, ‘uplifting’, ‘delightful’, ‘compelling’, ‘magical’ and ‘utterly charming’.
The SF Film Society has been a champion of emerging and international filmmakers since its first edition 60 years ago. We continue to believe that festivals are in a unique position to advocate for films from a variety of cultures and viewpoints, often in languages other than our own. The Golden Gate Awards provide an opportunity to bring additional exposure and awareness to these artists and their work.
Rachel Rosen, SF Film Society director of programming
In Loco Parentis had its Irish debut at the Audi International Dublin Film Festival last week, where it received rapturous applause. It is currently on tour in cinemas around Ireland. For full listings see www.inlocoparentis.ie