The second Los Angeles Irish Film Festival (LAIFF) opens on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009, with the Gala screening of Conor McPherson’s The Eclipse, which will be screened at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
Running from the 23rd to Sunday the 27th, this non-competitive film festival focuses on celebrating the Irish love for story-telling and the deep-rooted Irish love for the tellers of tales. Coupled with the screenings that exhibit Ireland's movie making past, LAIFF presents modern cinematic works with the goal to create a cinematic barometer of the current cultural climate in Ireland.
Irish films receiving their US premieres at the festival include Lisa Barros D’Sa’s Cherrybomb, Macdara Vallely’s Peacefire and Pat Collins' Gabriel Byrne:Stories from Home; Tom Collins' The Boys of St Columbs, and the recently rediscovered 1988 Guests of Another Nation.
Other films being showcased include Vittoria Colonna di Stigliano’s ‘Identities’ and Tomm Moore’s ‘The Secret of Kells’. IFTA winner Lance Daly’s ‘Kisses ’ and Joel Conroy’s ‘Waveriders’ which won the George Morrison Feature Documentary IFTA earlier in 2009 will also be shown at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica’s American Cinematheque.
The LAIFF Festival Director, Lisa McLaughlin, remarked “We are proud of the exceptional programme for the second edition of The Los Angeles Irish Film Festival and are excited to be screening five US premieres".
There will also be a showing of several short films including the US premiere of Norman Whitten’s short silent film ‘In the Days of St Patrick’ made in 1920, Nicky Phelan’s animated Short ‘O'Grimm Sleeping Beauty’, Louis McCullagh’s ‘Call Me Son’, ‘Countdown’ by David Tynan, ‘Atlantic’ by Writer/Director Conor Ferguson, and Michael lavelle’s ‘Out of the Blue’.
The festival closes on Sunday 27th with a tribute to Hugh Leonard with a screening of DA, the feature film based on Leonard's award winning play of the same name and a discussion with Martin Sheen on his performance in the film.
Co-presenter of the festival is ELMA, a private foundation that partners with organizations seeking to make European films more widely-available to American audiences and looks to promote a greater understanding and appreciation between cultures. Executive director of ELMA, Pascal Ladreyt, yesterday told IFTN that he took on the role of executive director of ELMA having recognised a lack of Irish cinema presence in L.A.
Ladreyt is no stranger to Ireland having lived for six years in Cork and was delighted to be involved in promoting Irish cinema through the LAIFF in conjunction with Lisa McLaughlin and her team. He also shared his thoughts on this year’s upcoming event, commenting, “We are delighted to be co-presenters for the second year in a row of the Irish Film Festival LA and help celebrate Irish culture and bring the best of Irish cinema to Los Angeles.”
The festival's Industry Partner is the Irish Film Board, and is supported by Culture Ireland, IFI, Reel Ireland and IFTA.
The L.A. Irish Film Festival will run from the 23rd to the 27th September. For more information visit www.lairishfilm.com