IRISH FILM FESTA goes online again from the 17th to the 21st of March 2021: after the special online edition – dedicated to short films – that was held last November. This time the festival in digital form avails itself of a brand new streaming service.
While awaiting the possibility of welcoming audiences to Rome’s Casa del Cinema once more, thanks to its partnership with Dublin’s Irish Film Institute, this year’s edition of the IRISH FILM FESTA, the IRISH FILM FESTA Silver Stream, will be hosted on the brand new IFI International streaming service, reserved to international Irish film festivals.
With IRISH FILM FESTA Silver Stream, the festival is being celebrated as was its pre-Covid tradition, in March, opening on Saint Patrick’s Day, Wednesday the 17th of March. «The success of online short films festival, last November, encourages us to remain in touch with our audiences in this enforced virtual form. We are working on a series of initiatives, both in streaming and in hybrid form, and the Saint Patrick’s festival is only the first of our 2021 initiatives» says artistic director Susanna Pellis.
IRISH FILM FESTA Silver Stream’s programme offers Italy three features film in streaming, each one in the original language with Italian subtitles. The historical drama Arracht by Tom Sullivan and the documentary The Hunger: The Story of the Irish Famine by Ruán Magan provide different points of view the Great Irish Famine which – between 1845 and 1855 – caused the death of one million Irish people and the forced emigration of other two million more towards Great Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
The third film, Wildfire by Cathy Brady, unlike the other two, is set in contemporary northern Ireland in a border town and features the reunion between two sisters, exposing old secrets and forcing the family and the entire community to address the trauma of the past.
ARRACHT by Tom Sullivan
The film Arracht (Monster) marks Tom Sullivan’s debut as a filmmaker. Performed in the Irish language, it tells the story of a fisherman from Connemara who, as the potato blight spreads, is falsely accused of a crime and forced to flee. The film was screened at the Taormina Film Festival last summer.
The film was shot on the Galway coast and its powerful natural landscapes are one of Arracht’s strong point. The soundtrack is by the folk band Kíla, known for the soundtracks of films of animation by the Cartoon Saloon such as The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea and WolfWalkers.
Among the cast, we find the native speaking Irish actor Dara Devaney, with whom the audience of IRISH FILM FESTA is already familiar thanks to An Klondike, the first ever Irish western directed by Dathaí Keane in 2015, and the historical docu-drama Murdair Mhám Trasna (The Mhám Trasna Murders, 2018).
THE HUNGER: THE STORY OF THE IRISH FAMINE di Ruán Magan
The historical reconstruction presented by the documentary The Hunger: The Story of the Irish Famine is based on the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine published in 2012. It highlights the failure of the British authorities, the landed aristocracy and the Irish Catholic bourgeoisie to manage the food crisis caused by the spread of potato blight and the loss of crops between 1845 and 1850.
The Hunger was produced by RTÉ in collaboration with the ARTE channel and University College Cork. It has been broadcast in 2020 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the beginning of the Famine. The narrator is Liam Neeson.
WILDFIRE by Cathy Brady
The Northern Irish director Cathy Brady, already winner of two IFTA awards, took part in the IRISH FILM FESTA in 2014 with a short called Morning. At this Silver Stream edition of the IFF she presents Wildfire, her debut feature film starring Nika McGuigan, Nora-Jane Noone, Martin McCann and Kate Dickie.
The film is a co-production with the English branch of the Carlo Cresto-Dina’s film company Tempesta and was screened at the Turin Film Festival last November.
Sisters Lauren (Nora-Jane Noone) and Kelly (Nika McGuigan) meet again after a long separation. The strong bond between them puts a strain on the hypocrisy of the small town where they live, forcing everyone to deal with the past. Wildfire is a family drama set in a small Northern Irish town on the border, where the legacy of the Troubles is still very much alive and Brexit is causing new uncertainties concerning the future.
Nika McGuigan, who had already worked with Cathy Brady in 2016 in the TV series Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, passed away shortly after the film finished shooting, due to cancer. She was 33. Her father is Barry McGuigan, a former boxing champion.
HOW TO WATCH
The programme of the IRISH FILM FESTA Silver Stream will be available in streaming from Wednesday the 17th to Sunday the 21st March on the global IFI International streaming service. Once you have rented your film, it will remain active for 72 hours. Once you click play, you will have 48 hours to finish watching.
Viewing is possible only from Italy. Viewers can book free tickets, until available, on IFI International.
The online edition IRISH FILM FESTA Silver Stream is realized with the support of the Irish Embassy in Italy. Italian film magazine Film Tv is the media partner of the initiative.
The IFI International streaming service is a new initiative from the Irish Film Institute (IFI), supported by Culture Ireland.
As Ireland’s national cultural institution for film, the IFI provides audiences with access to the finest independent cinema, preserves and promotes Ireland’s moving image heritage through the IFI Irish Film Archive, and provides opportunities for audiences of all ages to learn and critically engage with film. This new service is a welcome addition to the IFI’s long-running IFI International initiative, a programme which works closely with cultural festivals to bring the best of new and classic Irish cinema to venues around the world.