Hugh O’Conor’s touching coming-of-age drama Metal Heart will have its U.S. premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, screening in the Independent Competition sponsored by Panavision on January 31st. That screening is followed by an appearance at the Glasgow Film Festival to play in the Pioneer strand on March 2nd, a showcase for global filmmakers at the start of what promise to be glittering careers.

Fraternal twin sisters Emma and Chantal are worlds apart. Emma is self-conscious and unsure of which path to take in life. She dreams of starting a band (they have a pie-chart) with her best friend Gary, who secretly has a crush on her. Chantal, meanwhile, is beautiful, confident, and knows exactly where her life is headed. When their parents go away for the summer, their simmering sibling rivalry threatens to boil over, especially when the mysterious boy next door moves back in.

Metal Heart is O’Conor’s directorial debut from a script by Paul Murray. The film stars Jordanne Jones, Leah McNamara, Moe Dunford, Seán Doyle, and Alan Heffernan. It is produced by Claire McCaughley, Rebecca O’Flanagan, and Robert Walpole for Treasure Entertainment, with support of Screen Ireland.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a non-profit arts and educational organization. Over the past 34 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and panels, fulfilling their mission to “engage, enrich, and inspire people through the power of film. We celebrate the art of cinema and provide impactful educational experiences for our local, national and global communities.”

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival tries to shines a light on independent and ethnic film-makers. The 34th edition takes place Wednesday, January 30th to Saturday, February 9th.

Across 12 days, Glasgow Film Festival’s city-wide celebration of cinema will host 7 world premieres, 102 UK premieres and 49 Scottish premieres. The 2019 Glasgow Film Festival takes place February 20th to March 3rd.

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