Irish Boarding School Doc Receives Big Premiere At IDFA 2016

The Irish Film Board has announced that IFB funded documentaries In Loco Parentis and Forever Pure will be shown at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, which runs from November 16 – 27.

Neasa Ní Cheanain and David Rane’s In Loco Parentis will screen at the festival, the film’s world premiere, from November 19 -27. In the process, their film will become the first Irish film to compete for the coveted IFDA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary.

In Loco Parentis tells the story of Headfort, the last remaining boarding school for primary age children in Ireland. Directed by Ní Chianáin with co-direction for David Rane and set on a sprawling estate in Kells, Co. Meath, the documentary melds two seemingly incongruent worlds as the ultra-modern teaching of Headfort’s brilliant staff is set against the 18th century backdrop of the school’s grand reception rooms, long corridors and secret doors. The idyllic surroundings provide a space where teachers become mentors and surrogate parents as they usher the young pupils through their last days of childhood.

Commenting on the news that In Loco Parentis will receive its world premiere at IDFA as well as being nominated for a major award, Ní Chianáin said:

“We are over the moon. I’ve always aspired to have one of my films in the Feature Doc Competition at IDFA, and to be the first ever Irish feature doc in 29 years of IDFA to be in this section is very special. Every competition film screening is sold out and the audiences are fantastically receptive. There is also a huge industry presence and this can lead to excellent broadcast, theatrical and VOD sales.  The Feature Competition is also covered extensively by the media.”


Maya Zinshtein’s Forever Pure will receive its IDFA screening from November 17 – 26. The film,  co-produced by Irish producer Alan Maher, explores the structures of money and power as Zinshtein embeds herself into the tumultuous 2012-2013 season in Jerusalem’s Beitar football club. Where the extremely loyal fans are known as La Familia, Beitar is recognised as one of the most controversial teams in Israel; priding itself on never fielding a Muslim player.

Alan Maher says the team behind the documentary is “delighted that Maya Zinshtein’s powerful and brilliant film is continuing its international run after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in September to exceptional acclaim,” adding that he was also delighted that “Irish audiences can see the film at the Cork International Film Festival on November 18.”

 Forever Pure examines the devastating effects of extremism and racism through its portrayal of the series of events that occurred when Beitar owner Arcadi Gaydamuk brokered a deal that transferred two Muslim players to the team. The two players feel the racist wrath of the fans-turned-opponents as Zinshtein’s documentary becomes a cautionary polemic about the harrowing effects of mob behaviour.


About Luke Dunne

Luke is a writer, film addict and Dublin native who loves how much there is for film fans in his home county. A former writer for FilmFixx and the Freakin' Awesome Network, he founded Film In Dublin to pursue his dual dreams of writing about film and never sleeping ever again.

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