The Irish Film Board has highlighted the host of Irish films that will screen over the festive period and there’s a fine crop of them! These home-grown films cover a wide range of ages and a great variety of interests, with plenty of Irish stories to showcase.
What Richard Did (2012) – 9:30pm on December 20, RTÉ2. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Frank), Jack Reynor stars as a gifted and gilded Dublin teenager whose bright future is compromised after a senseless act of violence. Reynor went on to star in Transformers: Age of Extinction and will be seen alongside Michael Fassbender in the upcoming adaptation of Macbeth. He will soon be seen in Irish films Glassland and Sing Street.
Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story (2014) – 9:35pm on December 22, RTÉ One. Directed by Ross Whittaker (When Ali Came to Ireland), this documentary tells the story of Mark Pollock, who lost his sight at the age of 22. Undeterred, he became the first blind person to race to the South Pole in 2008. However in July 2010, a fall from a second-story window left him paralysed, sending his life into turmoil once again. Unbreakable tells the story of Mark’s rehabilitation and search for cures. The film was released to acclaim in October, alongside a Q&A tour of Ireland.
The Secret of Kells (2009) –11:45am on Christmas Day, TG4. The feature directorial debut of Tomm Moore, this animated film from Kilkenny-based studio Cartoon Saloon was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature Film in 2010. A spirited retelling of the origin of Ireland’s most cherished artefact, the Book of Kells, this family film won international acclaim and features the voices of Brendan Gleeson and Mick Lally. The next feature from Moore and Cartoon Saloon, Song of the Sea, will be released in 2015.
Irish Folk Furniture (2012) – 12:30pm on Christmas Day, RTÉ One. Irish Folk Furniture is a charming animated tale bringing new life to the culture and social history of Irish farmhouse furniture. Directed by Tony Donoghue, this short was made under the IFB Frameworks animated short film scheme.
An Bronntanas (2014) – 9:05pm on December 26, TG4. Recently aired as an acclaimed miniseries on TG4, this is the feature-film edit of An Bronntanas which was chosen as Ireland’s submission in the Foreign Language Category for the 2015 Academy Awards®. An Bronntanas is a contemporary thriller following an independent lifeboat crew working off the coast of Connemara, who face a dilemma when they come to the rescue of a fishing boat carrying a cargo of drugs.
Inside I’m Dancing (2005) – 9:30pm on December 27, TG4. Starring James McAvoy and Steven Robertson. Michael is a twenty four year long-term resident of Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled. His life is transformed when the maverick Rory O’Shea moves in. Michael is stunned to discover that fast talking Rory, who can move only his right hand, can understand his almost unintelligible speech. Rory’s dynamic and rebellious nature soon sparks a flame in Michael, introducing him to a whole new world outside of Carrigmore.
Falling for a Dancer (1998) – 9:00pm on December 29 & 30, TV3. Starring Elisabeth Dermot Walsh, Dermot Crowley, Liam Cunningham and Colin Farrell. Following a passionate affair with an itinerant actor, solicitor’s daughter Elizabeth O’Sullivan finds herself pregnant at the age of 19. Limited by the social 1930’s Catholic Ireland, her parents marry her off to a widowed farmer, Neeley Scollard, who is twice her age.
Becoming Jane (2007) – 1:20pm on December 31, BBC2. Filmed on location in Ireland and starring Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters and James Cromwell. Becoming Jane is inspired by the true events of the little known romance of the young Jane Austen when she falls in love with the attractive young Irishman Tom Lefroy.
Audiences can also enjoy a wide selection of features which were filmed on location in Ireland.
Into the West (1992) – 7:00pm on Christmas Day, 3e; 2:00pm on December 26, 3e
In America (2002) – 10:15pm on Christmas Day, 3e; 2:40am on December 29, 3e
The Snapper (1993) – 9:00pm on December 28, TV3
Leap Year (2010) – 10:45pm on December 30, RTÉ One
War of the Buttons (1994) – 5:05pm on New Year’s Day, TV3
Evelyn (2002) – 9:00pm on New Year’s Day, TV3
Far and Away (1992) – 9:00pm on January 2, UTV Ireland
The Boys and Girl from County Clare (2003) – 10:00pm on January 2, TV3
King Arthur (2004) – Midnight on January 2, Sky One