The inaugural Irish Screen America (ISA) Film Festivals that took place recently in Los Angeles and New York sold out their opening ceremonies, screenings and events attracting more then 3,000 attendees over the duration of the programmes. Launched in 2015, ISA is an organisation created to seek out and promote influential and emerging Irish talent to the U.S. and showcase the very best of contemporary Irish film, TV, animation, video games and interactive media.

The festival’s Executive Director and Curator Niall McKay and Deputy Directors Clodagh Bowyer and Marissa Aroy welcomed guests on both coasts to the festivals which came to a close in New York on Monday.

[quote title=”Niall McKay – Irish Screen America, Executive Director”]This year, we were able to showcase over 13  films to over three thousand people in both New York and Los Angeles and introduce our participating filmmakers to important industry professionals. Of course, none of this could happen if they weren’t making beautiful films that we are able to showcase. It’s really a great time for Irish filmmaking. It was also really gratifying to see that many of the projects from our local Irish programme in New York, such as “You Are Beautiful,” “Creativity Requires Courage,” and “On the Lig,” sprung out of the relationships created at the prior editions of the festivals.[/quote]

[quote title=”Barbara Jones – New York Irish Consul General”]Traditionally in Ireland the word “Meitheal” was used to describe the village coming together to bring in the harvest.  Niall is asking us rightly, to come together to promote this wonderful harvest of new Irish film talent for audiences in the US and I would ask everyone to help him in this important work.[/quote]

Irish writer/directors Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy were on hand in both Los Angeles and New York to introduce guests to their confident, timely, Opening Night thriller Traders.

ISA presented an award at the Los Angeles Opening Night Reception to “outstanding new filmmakers & influential and emerging Irish talent”.  Recipients of the 2015 ISA Rising Talent Award were Rachael Moriarty, Peter Murphy, Barry Keoghan, Liam Hallihan, Cathy Brady, Laura McGee, Naomi Sheridan and Dónall Ó Héalaí.  The awards were presented to the filmmakers by Teresa McGrane, Deputy CEO, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

[quote title=” Teresa McGrane – Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board,Deputy CEO”]What we have witnessed this weekend is the extraordinary breadth of Irish talent living and working in the US and Ireland – Irish Screen America is an incredible platform to share stories. Thank you to Niall and the ISA team – we know the hard work they put in and we wish ISA every success in building on an amazing launch.[/quote]

Highlights of the combined program included Daisy Asquith’s documentary After the Dance, Gerard Barret’s Sundance Award-winning and IFTA-nominated Glassland, and Frank Berry’s I Used to Live Here.

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board is a sponsor of ISA. The 2015 ISA Film Festivals in LA & NY are co-presented by USC School of Cinematic Arts and NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House. Sponsors also include Culture Ireland, Tourism Ireland, The Consulate General of Ireland – San Francisco & New York, Media Factory, Grant Thornton, The Irish Film Institute and Radisson at USC.

For more information about Irish Screen America visit their website, NY Facebook Page, LA Facebook Page, or Twitter.

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