The prestigious SXSW Film Festival has announced the Features lineup for its 25th edition. 132 Features will be shown from March 9th to 18th, with additional titles yet to be announced. The full lineup will include 44 films from first-time filmmakers, 86 World Premieres, 11 North American Premieres, and 5 U.S. Premieres.  Ken Wardrop’s Making the Grade will have its North American premiere at the festival where it plays in the 24 Beats per Second strand, while Michael Tully’s Don’t Leave Home world premieres in the Visions strand. The festival will also host the world premiere of SyFy’s new TV series Krypton, which shot at the brand-new Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland.

The Piano Lesson

Making the Grade

Making the Grade invites us into the world of the piano lesson. Every year teachers and students throughout Ireland prepare for graded musical exams. These exams can be pleasing for some but daunting for others. Each student has their own particular goal but reaching Grade Eight is considered a pinnacle. This endearing and uplifting documentary explores the bond between piano teachers and their pupils as they struggle through these grades. This is a story of the transformative power of music and the pride and happiness it provides both the students and teachers. It may inspire us all to keep making the grade.

Making the Grade is directed by Ken Wardrop and produced by Andrew Freedman. It is a Reel Arts film funded by the Arts Council. The film played the 2017 Audi Dublin International Film Festival under its original title The Piano Lesson. It will be released by Element Pictures Distribution on April 13th.

We’re thrilled to announce that the International Premiere of Making the Grade will be in Austin, Texas during this year’s South By Southwest Festival (SXSW). This massive creative gathering is a wonderful spotlight for both new film and music and is such an exciting opportunity for our film. I’d like to thank all of our great students, teachers, filmmaking team and the Arts Council for their support throughout this journey.
Ken Wardrop, Director – Making the Grade

Don't Leave Home

Don’t Leave Home

Michael Tully’s Don’t Leave Home shot in Ireland over 20 days last year. The film sees an American artist’s obsession with a disturbing urban legend lead her to an investigation of the story’s origins at the crumbling estate of a reclusive painter in Ireland. The cast is led by Anna Margaret Hollyman, and features Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, David McSavage, and Karrie Cox.

Krypton asks the question “what if Superman had never existed?” Seg-El, Superman’s grandfather, is faced with a conflict: Save Krypton? Or let it be destroyed in order to secure the future of his grandson-to-be? Cameron Cuffe takes the lead, supported by Georgina Campbell, Elliot Cowan, Ann Ogbomo, Rasmus Hardiker, Wallis Day, Aaron Pierre, and Irish actor Ian McElhinney. Irish director Ciaran Donnelly has directed 3 episodes of the series, which will air later this year.

The festival will open with John Krasinski’s directorial debut A Quiet Place. A selection of other highlights include: The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From A Mythical Man directed by Tommy Avallone; Blockers directed by Kay Cannon; Boundaries directed by Shana Feste; The Dawn Wall directed by Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer; Fast Color directed by Julia Hart; A Little Wisdom directed by Yuqi Kang; Nossa Chape directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist; Paradox directed by Daryl Hannah; Profile directed by Timur Bekmambetov; A Quiet Place directed by John Krasinski; A Vigilante directed by Sarah Daggar Nickson; Wild Nights With Emily directed by Madeleine Olnek. In Episodics: Barry directed by Bill Hader; The Last O.G. directed by Jordan Peele, Warriors of Liberty City directed by Evan Rosenfeld and Andrew Cohn; Vida directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios, and So Yong Kim.

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