The 5th Irish Film Festival London will take place in the English capital from November 18th to 22nd, at various venues including Regent Street Cinema, Tricycle Cinema, Bertha Dochouse at Curzon Bloomsbury, the Prince Charles Cinema, Rio Cinema, Europe House, and Grange Hotel.
The festival will kick-off with a screening of Maurice Sweeney’s WB Yeats: No Country For Old Men, on Wednesday November 18th at Regent Street Cinema. This fascinating documentary explores the unknown history of one of Ireland’s most renowned literary geniuses, regarded as the poet laureate of the new nation, William Butler Yeats. Described as a modern interpretation of Yeats’ life, and providing a chance for the general public to reawaken the interest in Yeats, it focuses on the poet’s later work and the themes that inspired him as an ageing man. The screening will be accompanied by short films from US-Ireland Alliance head Trina Vargo’s “Teaching High School Students about Irish Poet WB Yeats” campaign featuring Yeats’ readings by Irish actors including: Sarah Bolger, Elaine Cassidy, Dermot Crowley, Adrian Dunbar, and Dearbhla Molloy. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director hosted by his Excellency the Irish Ambassador to the UK, Dan Mulhall.
The festival will also feature a preview screening of Lenny Abrahamson’s award-winning Room, in the Rio Cinema Dalston on Friday November 20th. The Canadian-Irish drama is written by Emma Donoghue, based on her novel of the same name, and stars Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, and William H. Macy. The plot sees a young woman being held captive with her five-year-old son, in a garden shed.Seven years after she was kidnapped, they find themselves still locked in “Room”, itching to get out.
The festival will close with the UK premiere of Alex Fagan’s Older Than Ireland, at the Tricycle Cinema Kilburn on Sunday November 22nd. The film, which won Best Irish Documentary at the Galway Film Fleadh, is a landmark documentary that covers a hundred years of life in Ireland as seen through the eyes of thirty centenarians. These centenarians, as the title suggests are actually older than the state in which they now live. This remarkable group of centenarians, all born before 1916, are the last generation to have borne witness to Ireland’s bloody transition from a newly formed fledging republic through to its development into a mature European state. These centenarians are our living history and it is through their wit, wisdom and philosophy that the film explores the more universal themes of life.
Other films are yet to be announced, but will include the Irish language drama An Klondike. The first western to be entirely filmed in Ireland, An Klondike follows the Connolly Brothers; three Irish emigrants who travel from Montana to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush of the 1890’s in the hope of striking it rich. The film sees the Connolly brothers pitch up in the town of Dominion Creek where they become embroiled in a deadly feud with Jacob Hopkins, the man who runs the town.