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Irish Film Festival 2019 takes Aussie audiences on a Celtic journey

irish film 3

Irish Film Festival 2019 takes Aussie audiences on a Celtic journey

Coming to Sydney and Melbourne for the fifth time, the Irish Film Festival returns with a jam-packed program of movies directly from Ireland until May 5, 2019 in Sydney, and from May 9-12, 2019 in Melbourne.

This year, the festival is home to seven full-length feature films, five documentaries and six shorts films, ranging from compelling dramas, hilarious comedies and hard-hitting real stories.

Irish Film Festival director Enda Murray said the festival acts as a pathway for Irish expats and Irish-Australians to reconnect back to their roots through the various stories and music coming out of the nation.

“For Irish expats, Ireland is changing so quickly that it’s very possible for people like myself, who left Ireland 30-odd years ago, to really not recognise the Ireland that exists today,” he said.

“I think it’s really interesting for expats to see how contemporary Ireland has changed from the past.

For Irish-Australians, people who are maybe second-generation, a lot of them are reconnecting ... and they are becoming more interested in where their families have come from and it has become a way for them to articulate their Irish-ness.

Irish Film Festival 2019Still from Float Like a Butterfly – Photo by Martin Maguire – copyright Samson Films and Port Pictures

The official opening night on May 2, 2019 at Chauvel Cinema in Paddington, Sydney took audiences on a rollercoaster of emotions with internationally acclaimed film Float like a Butterfly, an uplifting drama set in 1972 when Muhammad Ali was set to fight in Dublin, and it tells a story of young Irish traveller girl Frances, who dreams of becoming a champion boxer.

Other feature films include:

  • No Party for Billy Burns follows a would-be cowboy Billy, an innocent farm hand about to leave his dreary life behind him for big dreams of excitement, adventure and romance on the open road.
  • Metal Hearta poignant coming-of-age comedy that follows twin sisters Chantel and Emma who couldn’t be more different. One  a goth and one a beauty queen, the sisters’ sibling rivalry and teenage angst make for a crazy journey.
  • The Drummer and The Keeper follows two Dublin youths with mental health issues who form an unconventional bond through the love of music. Meeting in rehab, Gabriel and Christopher join forces and form a band to help them deal with their demons.
  • Dublin Oldschool is a look into the chaotic lifestyle of wannabe DJ Jason (Emmet Kirwan), and the drug-fuelled Dublin rave scene of the 90’s. Jason sets out on a bender weekend filled with drug busts and old school dance music when he reconnects with his drug addicted brother in a bizarre turn of events.

Irish Film Festival 2019Still from Dublin Oldschool

Dublin Oldschool director Dave Tynan said he is very excited to be in Australia to showcase his film to Australian audiences, with the screening of his first feature-length film set to happen on May 4, 2019 in Sydney and May 11, 2019 in Melbourne.

“It’s quite a Dublin-specific film, so it’s really nice to bring that over to people who don’t have any idea of what the city is like, and for Irish people away from home, it’s maybe a bit of a nostalgia trip,” he said.

“I also can’t wait to watch the film at Chauvel Cinema in Paddington, because I’m a big fan of just getting to nerd out in cinemas in different places, that’s real treat for me.”

This year’s festival also features a series of short films direct from The GAZE International LGBT Film Festival, including the two below:

  • Thirst follows Drew and his unfortunate string of disappointing hook-ups, leaving him wondering if there a happy ending for him
  • Cat Calls sees a sexual predator getting his comeuppance when he tries to target girls who aren’t exactly shrinking violets

Tickets and full program are available HERE

Plus follow the Irish Film Festival on Facebook HERE, on Instagram HERE, and on Twitter HERE


Anisha Mistry

As the Editor of CulturalPulse, Anisha is passionate about listening to, writing and sharing stories of Australia's multicultural achievement. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: editor@www.culturalpulse.com.au