Irish Film Festival, Boston has announced the awardees for the 17th Annual BIFF awards and its line-up of over thirty Irish films to screen in Boston at this year’s event. The film festival takes place from March 23rd to 26th, 2017, in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA.

The BIFF Awards were inaugurated in 2003 to honour those filmmakers whose work represents the very best of Ireland and the Irish on screen. Awardees for the 2017 BIFF Awards include The Young Offenders for Best Breakthrough Feature Film, directed by Peter Foot, produced by Julie Ryan. Cast member Dominic Mac Hale will attend the screening. Gridlock for Most Inspiring short film, directed by Ian Hunt Duffy and produced by Simon Doyle, who will be travelling over for the screening; Rocky Ros Muc for Most Inspiring Documentary, directed by Michael Fanning and produced by Maire Bhreathnach. Both will attend the festival for the World Premiere of their film.

The Director’s Choice feature award goes to A Date for Mad Mary directed by Darren Thornton produced by Juliette Bonass and Ed Guiney. This will be the US Premiere for A Date with Mad Mary and cast members Seana Kerslake and Tara Lee will travel to Boston for the screening. The Director’s Choice short film award goes to Terminal directed by Natasha Waugh, who will also attend the festival.

Other filmmaker’s attending the festival include Risteard O’ Domhnaill for the screening of his film Atlantic, Sara Dempsey for her short film Hand in Hand, and Brendan Byrne and Trevor Birney for their film Bobby Sands 66 Days.

Other films screening at the festival include Mattress Men by Colm Quinn; The Nation Holds Its Breath by Kev Cahill; The Wall by David Kinsella; How to Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story by Des Henderson, Out of Innocence by Danny Hiller; Revolutions by Laura McGann and Dead along the Way by Maurice O’Carroll. Henrietta Norton’s film Born and Reared will screen and Len Collin’s film Sanctuary will also be presented. The closing film will be Liam McGrath’s intimate and revealing portrait of Paddy Maloney: Chieftain. There are hopes that Paddy can make an appearance for the closing night as the Chieftains are currently in the USA on tour.

The festival will also present two short film programs, one in association with the GAZE international LGBT Film Festival Dublin. Sara Dempsey’s film Hand in Hand is part of this program which also includes Lily Directed by Graham Cantwell, Breathe by James Doherty, Little Doll by Kate Dolan, and Between Us by Daithí Ó Cinnéide. The new Irish shorts program includes Adulting, Time and Again; Disappear, The Nation Holds its Breath, Groundless, Reel Time, Dear Marianne, The Climb, and The Ladies.

All screenings will take place at the historic Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville, MA.

The BIFF Awards were inaugurated in 2003 to honour those filmmakers whose work represents the very best of Ireland and the Irish on screen. Irish cinema has emerged as a dynamic global phenomenon, expressing a culture focused on the island of Ireland but spread out to all four corners of the globe. Encompassing a near-limitless array of experiences and aspirations, Irish filmmakers from around the world challenge traditional notions of Irishness and force us to expand our understandings of what it means to be Irish in the 21st century. Sponsored by BA Event Promotions, who bring the renowned Ras na hEireann to the Somerville, the festival is also supported by Culture Ireland, The Department of Foreign Affairs, The Irish Arts Council and in part by the Somerville Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural council. Founded in 1999, the festival has screened over five hundred Irish films since its inception and is the go-to for sneak peaks and US distributor-sponsored screenings. The Festival has played host to some of the greatest names in Irish cinema, including Jim Sheridan, Gabriel Byrne, Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, Terry George, Colm Meaney, Fionnula Flanagan, John Boorman, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Ruth McCabe, Dylan Moran and Pat Shortt.

For more information, visit www.irishfilmfestival.com

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