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“Have you got Soul Brother”? It has been 25 years since Alan Parker’s The Commitments appeared on our cinema screens and charmed its way into our hearts. Comprised of unknown performers and set in working class Ireland, this adaptation of one of Roddy Doyle’s most famous works captured the brutal economic hardships of a post-recession Dublin but also the zest and exuberance of what it was like to be young and have a dream.

In 1991, Ireland had the youngest population in Europe and some of the highest unemployment. The Commitments depicted a gritty working class Dublin that up until this time was absent in Irish cinema. A lot has changed in the 25 years since the film’s initial release.  Now a hugely successful West End Musical, the show has recently enjoyed several sell out shows here in Dublin. What better time for Film in Dublin to break down this Irish classic and see if it still has soul after all these years?

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Director: Richie Smyth Starring: Jamie Dornan, Mark Strong, Jason O’Mara Runtime: 108 minutes

Netflix has recently added Irish gem The Siege of Jadotville to its collection. The film premiered at Galway Film Fleadh in September with a ceremony beforehand announcing that the ‘Jadotville Jacks’ were being honoured with a unit citation. Siege is a military-film with heart and humour, check it out next time you can’t find anything worthwhile on Netflix.

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With eight selections at Toronto International Film Festival, Bobby Sands 66 Days box office success, Love is a Sting winning Best Foreign Film Award at the LA Shorts Fest , not to mention recognition of Room and Brooklyn at the Oscars, it seems that the World has grown a real taste for our National Cinema. And now it has been announced that six feature films funded by the Irish Film Board will be shown at the London Film Festival.

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Love is a Sting won the Best Foreign Film award at the L.A. Shorts Fest. The category is recognised as an Oscar qualifying award which means this is a major success for Irish cinema. Along with the Grand Prix at the 60th Cork Film Festival last November, this is the second Oscar qualifying award that the short has won, which puts it in for a chance to win Best Short Film in the 2017 Academy Awards.

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The Fingal Film Festival was launched in September of 2012 and has run every year since. The festival endeavours to place a spotlight on local independent filmmaking by screening locally produced films, running workshops with some industry bigshots and celebrating the diversity of cinema by screening some national and foreign films. The schedule for this Year’s festival has just been announced, check it out below.

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As you may remember, Irish cinema will be represented at the Toronto International Film Festival by The Secret Scripture, Unless, Maudie and Without Name, Northern Irish Film The Journey and the Irish co-production Forever Pure. Handsome Devil directed by John Butler (The Stag) and Gerard Barrett’s Brain on Fire (Glassland) have just been announced as additions to the line-up. That brings the total of Irish productions being recognised at the festival to a whopping eight.

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Director: Aoife Kelleher  Release Date: Aug 26th  Run Time: 90 mins


Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village is the latest documentary from Aoife Kelleher, Director of the award winning One Million Dubliners.

The small village in question is Knock, Co Mayo.  One dark evening in August of 1879 this rural Irish town was host to an apparition of none other than the Virgin Mary herself.  It is said that she appeared outside the local parish church, along with Saint Joseph, Saint John, a host of angels, and the Lamb of God, for a period of up to two hours.  Multiple passers-by would claim to have witnessed the vision.  And so, after a series of inquiries into the occurrence, the site was declared a Marian Shrine by the Catholic Church.

Today, the town is host to over one million pilgrims each year, bringing business, religious validation, and a sense of purpose to the local community.  The documentary provides a window into the mindset of those whose lives it impacts most.Read more…

The Irish Film Institute is screening a selection of family-friendly Irish shorts in celebration of Culture Night on Friday the 16th of September. The programme is in three parts; 6:15pm, 7pm and 7:45pm. Free tickets are available at the IFI box office. The evening will begin with an introduction from the IFI’s programming team and will proceed to explore the history of Irish short film production through a mixture of live-action and animation, newsreels, dramas and public information films to create a picture of modern Ireland that is sure to appeal to young and old alike. The IFI advises that some of the films are recommended for those aged 7+

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