The Irish Film Festival London has announced the UK Premiere of Tom Ryan’s independent feature Twice Shy and a very special screening of Conor Horgan’s The Queen of Ireland.

A modern coming-of age-drama, Twice Shy centres around a young couple, Andy & Maggie, who set off on a road trip from Ireland to London as the result of an unplanned pregnancy. While on the road they reflect on their relationship and find themselves facing difficult decisions that will change the rest of their lives. Twice Shy explores an incredibly timely issue, that of the daily exodus of young women from Ireland (where abortion is still illegal under all circumstances) to London, in a remarkably sensitive, nuanced and non-judgmental manner by writer/director Tom Ryan and features a supporting cast that includes celebrated actors Ardal O’Hanlon and Pat Shortt.

The Queen of Ireland meanwhile, follows Rory O’Neill, better known as Drag Queen Panti Bliss, as she rises from ‘giant cartoon woman’ to fearless activist. The film begins as a classic caterpillar-to-butterfly drag queen bio, but expands into a richly peopled and deeply considered account of cultural change in Ireland and the hard-fought campaign for same-sex marriage and is beautifully realised by Director Conor Horgan.

Speaking on the decision to include the Festival Director Kelly O’Connor said:

These two films stand out for us as important documents, reflecting the socio-political landscape in Ireland. Their consecutive programming is no accident and we hope to provide a forum for discussion around these issues. With these films, we are proud to celebrate the recognition given to Irish same sex couples, and fully support the hard work of the pro-choice movement.

Twice Shy and The Queen of Ireland screen at Regent Street Cinema on Thurs 23rd November. Twice Shy screens at 6.45pm, followed by a Q&A with director Tom Ryan and cast, while The Queen of Ireland is at 8.45pm, followed by a Q&A with director Conor Horgan and Niall Sweeney, longtime collaborator of Rory O’Neill / Panti. Tickets for Twice Shy can be found here,  while tickets for The Queen of Ireland can be found here.

Returning to the capital’s cinemas this November for the 6th year, the Irish Film Festival London (IFFL) will bring an exciting line-up of the very best in contemporary Irish cinema to London audiences. The five-day festival, which counts Director Lenny Abrahamson (Room, Frank, Garage) and Casting Director Ros Hubbard (The Lord of the Rings, The Bourne Ultimatum) among its patrons, brings together industry professionals, film fans and fans of Irish Arts & Culture alike. Focusing on Irish productions, scripts and casts, it provides a significant platform for Irish Film in London, and ensures that the best of Irish creative talent is promoted here in the UK. Irish films and filmmakers also have the opportunity to walk away with one of our coveted festival awards. The festival gets support from the Emigrant’s Support Programme, Irish Film Board, the IFI, Film London and Culture Ireland. Irish Film London also runs events throughout the year, including the film section of the St. Patrick’s Day Festival with the GLA, children’s cinema programmes, networking and film industry talks/ workshops.

The Irish Film Festival London runs from 23rd to 27th November 2016. See www.irishfilmlondon.com for more details.

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