Irish Screen America, the annual festival that acts as a transatlantic bridge between the thriving Irish film industry and American audiences, has revealed its programme for its 2016 event.
Presented with the support of Glucksman House Ireland, the bi-coastal festival will feature premieres of new Irish films, television series and short films. With a mission to seek out and promote influential and emerging Irish talent to the U.S. and showcase contemporary Irish film, TV and other media, Irish Screen America has cherry picked an impressive program of features for New York and LA audiences, that have so far only bowed at tent pole fests such as Sundance and Toronto, or domestically in Ireland.
The Los Angeles leg of Irish Screen America will open on Thursday Sepember 22nd with an exclusive screening of Handsome Devil, fresh from its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. This tender comedy-drama about an unlikely friendship between the fey outsider and the star athlete at a rugby-mad school features Andrew Scott, Moe Dunford, Amy Huberman, and Ardal O’Hanlon. Leading man and rising star Fionn O’Shea (Jadotville) will be present along with writer/director John Butler and producers Rob Walpole and Rebecca O’Flanagan for a post-screening Q+A. On the east coast, the festival will open with the New York premiere of the documentary The Queen of Ireland, with director Conor Horgan and star Ms. Panti Bliss herself on hand for a chat with the audience.
Other features playing New York and LA as part of the festival include Rebecca Daly’s Mammal, the tense relationship drama starring Academy-nominated actress Rachel Griffiths, which went on release in Ireland earlier this year and the kidnapping thriller Tiger Raid about two Irish mercenaries in Iraq, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
Making its North American premiere at Irish Screen America will be Twice Shy, a film about a young couple forced to travel to the UK seeking an abortion. Twice Shy is the second film from Tipperary director Tom Ryan, who will be presented with Irish Screen America’s inaugural Rising Star Award.
Commenting on Twice Shy‘s inclusion, Director of Irish Screen America Niall McKay said:
When we saw Twice Shy at the Galway Film Fleadh, we recognised it as the kind of truly independent production Irish Screen America was founded to support and this award is our way of announcing to our peers in New York and Los Angeles that Tom Ryan is one to watch.
Covering the full scope of the Irish audio-visual industry, the festival will debut the first two episodes in RTÉ2’s new darkly comic drama series Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope – a show written, directed and produced by women, about the lifestyle and relationships of two out-of-control, twenty-something Irish girls. Written by Stefanie Preissner, the show stars Seána Kerslake (A Date for Mad Mary) and Nika McGuigan (Philomena). Director Cathy Brady is a two-time IFTA-winning director from Newry, Co. Down best known for her work on Can't Cope, Won't Cope and upcoming feature Wildfire. and producer Ailish McElmeel, will be present at the show’s premiere in New York and Los Angeles to discuss the making of the show and what female diversification – a hot topic of discussion in Hollywood – looks like in Ireland.
Rounding out the festival is a series of panel discussions called Stories from the Field featuring Irish actors working in Hollywood and Irish professionals working in the fields of film development and distribution in New York.
There will also be two programs of short films – one featuring shorts made in Ireland and another showcasing work by Irish filmmakers in the U.S.
The Irish Screen America festival runs from Thursday September 22nd to Sunday 25th at the Laemmle NOHO theatre in Los Angeles and from Friday September 30th to Sunday October Sunday 2nd at NYU’s Cantor Film Center in New York.