Four Irish shorts are set to feature at the 2014 Palm Springs International ShortFest. The festival, which takes place in Palm Springs California from June 17th to 23rd, is one of the most prestigious short film festivals in the world, with 97 short films over its 19-year history going on to secure Oscar nominations in the short film categories.
This years event sees 330 short films feature, including 84 world premieres. It’s not just the indie crowd that feature either with the festival set to include films starring Hollywood heavyweights such as Sarah Paulson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nick Offerman, Sophia Loren, Danny Devito, Rose McGowan, Oscar Isaac, Rutger Hauer, Alex Karpovsky, and Sally Hawkins.
The four films that will take part in the festival from our fair isle are Lee Cronin’s Ghost Train, Ian Fitzgibbon’s Breakfast Wine, Paul Ó Muiris’ The Ledge End of Phil, and Brian Deane’s Volkwagen Joe.
Ghost Train, which we are huge fans of, is a horror story about two brothers Michael and Peter who make a reluctant pilgrimage to the old fairground yard where their friend Sam went missing when they were boys. This year, Michael has something to tell Peter that will cast light on the incident, something that will change the rest of their lives. The film was written and directed by Cronin and stars Steve Wall, Owen McDonnell, Sean Gormley, Matthew Broe, and Matthew Dillon. Ghost Train features as part of The Other Side stream on Friday, June 20th.
Breakfast Wine is a black comedy, which earned a special mention at last year’s Galway Film Fleadh and took home Director’s Choice at the Boston Irish Film Festival. The film stars some of this country’s finest actors including Ruth Bradley, Pat Shortt, Dylan Moran, and David Pearse, and is based on the delightful premise of “They say it takes just three alcoholics to keep a small bar running in a country town, but what if you’ve only got two?” Frequent Lenny Abrahamson collaborator Stephen Rennicks, who gave us the delightful soundtrack for Frank, provided the score for Death of a Superhero and Perrier’s Bounty director Fitzgibbon. Breakfast Wine plays as part of the Idiot’s Delight stream on Wednesday, June 18th.
The Ledge End of Phil is an animated tale of a man who is stuck on the outside looking in, but who is forced to face the world he has been ignoring. The film won Best Animation at the Los Angeles Film and Script Festival. Academy Award nominated Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon are behind the short, which was funded by the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. as part of the Frameworks initiative. The Ledge End of Phil plays as part of the Odd Jobs stream on Wednesday, June 18th.
Finally Volkswagen Joe is a Northern Irish based drama set in 1981. A tense political drama, the film sees a conflicted bordertown mechanic faced with an impossible decision. The film has already picked up awards for Best Short at the Boston Irish Film Festival, and for Best Short at the Rome Irish Film Festival. Volkswagen Joe marks the film adaptation of the award winning short play of the same name, and stars Stuart Graham, Janet Moran, John Delaney, Matthew O’Brien, Paddy Rocks, and Helen Roche. The film will screen as part of the Daytripping stream on Saturday, June 21st.
We wish all the films the very best of luck in the festival.