IFI Documentary Festival 2017 showcases fine doc filmmaking from Ireland and abroad

One of the flagship festivals and highlights in the calendar of the Irish Film Institute, the IFI Documentary Festival begins tomorrow, running over the weekend into the beginning of October. The festival will showcase fine documentary filmmaking from directors, Irish directors alongside international ones, for a programme of 16 feature length documentaries, 7 Irish premieres, as well as a world premiere.

Films from the USA, Mexico, UK, the Gambia, Lithuania, the Phillippines, Italy, the Republic of Congo and Cambodia and others will be joining Irish ones during the documentary festival, with popular Cannes selections included as the IFI continues to showcase great films from across the world. Highlights this year include Nothingwood, the film that will open the festival tomorrow September 27th at 8.20pm. A huge hit at Cannes this year, Nothingwood is a rousing tribute to the Ed Wood of Afghan filmmaking. Sonia Kronlund’s delightful feature follows the gonzo efforts of Afghan actor/producer/director Salim Shaheen and his ramshackle repertory group as they embark upon the auteur’s 110th no-budget action feature, leading the increasingly anxious Kronlund deep into the Taliban-controlled territory.

Also of note is the festival’s closing film, the world premiere of Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect, which will be shown at 8.20pm on Sunday, October 1st. The film is a profile of the Pritzker Prize-winning Irish-American architect. Although Roche has reached the top of his profession, he has not sought fame, and little is known about him here. He is best known in Ireland as the architect of Dublin’s Convention Centre. As you can see below, the renowned architect makes for a talented and insightful figure.

Other festival highlights include:

  • WHOSE STREETS?, a film that chronicles how the Ferguson flashpoint informed the nascent Black Lives Matter activist movement and exposed the deep-seeded tensions between the US police and the African American community,


  • JAHA’S PROMISE follows Jaha, a young woman who returns home from the US to the Gambia to lead a campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) – we’re delighted that Jaha Dukureh will attend the screening, along with the film’s Irish directors,


  • THE GOOD POSTMAN is set in a scenic yet economically depressed Bulgarian village on the Turkish border, split by opposing responses to the Syrian refugee crisis – the film focusses on the local postman’s attempts to be elected mayor in an effort to safeguard the town’s future,


  • ELIÁN tells the heart-breaking story of a custody battle between a young Cuban boy’s father and his Miami-based relatives, which became a vivid microcosm of turbulent relations between US and Cuba and was a winner at Toronto Hot Docs for Best International Feature – the film’s Irish producer, Trevor Birney, will attend the screening,


  • A CAMBODIAN SPRING is an intimate portrait of three people caught up in the chaotic and often violent developments shaping modern-day Cambodia – director Chris Kelly will attend the screening.

See the full schedule for the IFI Documentary Festival below, with tickets for the films (several offering Q+As) available from the IFI now.


Sept 27th  NOTHINGWOOD (20.20)
Sept 28th  
Sept 28th  
THE GOOD POSTMAN  (20.30)    
Sept 29th  
Sept 29th  
CHAVELA  (20.30)
Sept 30th  
Sept 30th  
BUTTERFLY CITY + Q&A  (13.00)  
Sept 30th  
MOTHERLAND + Q&A  (15.15)
Sept 30th  
ROCKY ROS MUC + Q&A (16.00)    
Sept 30th  
JAHA’S PROMISE + Q&A  (18.10)    
Sept 30th  
Oct 1st     
 IT TOLLS FOR THEE  (13.00)  
Oct 1st      
MAKALA   (13.20)       

Oct 1st      SPETTACOLO (15 .00)    
Oct 1st      
A CAMBODIAN SPRING + Q&A  (15.30)    
Oct 1st      
ELIÁN + Q&A   (17.10)


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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