The summer evenings of the IRISH FILM FESTA are returning to Rome’s Casa del Cinema, Villa Borghese. From Wednesday the 20th to Sunday the 24th of July the festival, dedicated to Irish cinema, offers a mixed programme in two venues: indoors at the Deluxe Theatre, and outdoors, at the Ettore Scola open-air arena.
“2022 sees us at work once more – says Susanna Pellis, the IFF’s artistic director – on this year’s atypical calendar, so unlike our traditional March festivals which, in the past, took place around Saint Patrick’s Day. On Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd of May we returned to Rome’s Casa del Cinema, while also making the shorts section of the festival available in streaming. In July, with a broader-ranging programme, we shall welcome spectators and guests back to the open-air theatre, which we experienced for the very first time, last summer – an initiative which won the enthusiastic approval of the audience”.
At the Arena 📽️ Various genres and shorts
This summer-evening edition of the IRISH FILM FESTA (9 pm at the open-air Ettore Scola arena) proposes an overview of new Irish productions of various genres ranging from thrillers to dark comedy, to dystopic horror veined with wry humour.
It opens on Wednesday the 20th of July with Breaking Out by Michael McCormack, a documentary on the life of singer-songwriter Fergus O’Farrell, who died prematurely in 2016. Screening continues on Thursday the 21st of July with the psychological drama Wolf, an Irish production directed by the Italian Nathalie Biancheri and featuring an amazing international cast (George MacKay, Lily-Rose Depp, Paddy Considine, alongside the Irish actors Eileen Walsh, Martin McCann, Stuart Graham, Fionn O’Shea and Lola Petticrew).
Stephen Fingleton’s thriller Nightride, starring one of the festival’s best-loved actors, Moe Dunford (Patrick’s Day, The Dig), is scheduled for Friday the 22nd of July. On Saturday the 23rd the dark comedy Redemption of a Rogue by Philip Doherty brilliantly interpreted by Aaron Monaghan (Maze, ’71) will be screened.
Comic nuances characterise the film that closes the festival on Sunday the 25th, Boys from County Hell by Chris Baugh: an unlikely vampire hunt set in a small Northern-Irish town. Among the members of the cast, we find the Irish-Italian actor John Lynch.
Besides the main feature films, the summer-arena audiences will be able to view once again the winners of the shorts competition held in May.
Indoor Theatre📽️ Documentaries Made in NI and the return of great Irish Classic
The early-evening slot of the IFF programme – 7pm at the indoor Deluxe Theatre – is dedicated to documentary films produced in Northern Ireland, and to an important cultural trait of the IFF: the Irish Classic.
This slot opens with Young Plato by Declan McGrath and Neasa Ní Chianáin (Friday the 22nd of July) which deals with the future of Northern Ireland as it is constructed, day by day, in a primary school in the Ardoyne district of Belfast, notorious for having been the theatre of bloody clashes during the “Troubles”, a neighbourhood still characterised by poverty and social exclusion.
On Saturday the 23rd of July, the early slot proposes a documentary retrospective view of 50 Years of Troubles: A Journey Through Film by Brian Henry Martin, dedicated to the way cinema has represented the Northern Irish conflict over the past fifty years. The narration was entrusted to Mark Cousins, a Belfast-based filmmaker known for his monumental series of documentaries dedicated to the history of cinema, The Story of Film.
Sunday the 24th of July sees the return of an important IFF tradition: the Irish Classic, that is, the screening of a film that marked the history of Irish cinema. This year the choice has fallen on The Wind That Shakes the Barley by Ken Loach, winner of the 2006 Palme d’Or at Cannes and distributed in Italy as Il vento che accarezza l’erba.
IRISH FILM FESTA, created and directed by Susanna Pellis, is produced by the cultural association Archimedia, in collaboration with the Irish Film Institute, with the support of the Embassy of Ireland in Italy, Culture Ireland, Screen Ireland. Media Partner: Film Tv.