Film festivals continue to return across Ireland, and in the midlands this month you can experience a five-day event for film fans and pros alike in the Offline Film Festival. Since 2010 they’ve brought the best of the big screen to Birr, and a selection of screenings and events begins today as the film festival runs 13 – 17th October.
Across a variety of venues, the Offline Film Festival will be providing a selection of screenings for short and feature films, including some eagerly anticipated international cinema. Ben Sharrock’s Limbo will be one of the features showing this Saturday 16th October. This offbeat observation of the refugee experience sees a group of new arrivals await the results of their asylum claims on a Scottish island. Among them is Omar, a young Syrian musician burdened by the weight of his grandfather’s oud, which he has carried all the way from his homeland.
Some of Ireland’s own directors will be showcased as part of Offline’s shorts programme. Filmmakers including Tristan Heanue, Natasha Waugh and Megan K. Fox will have their films screening as part of the free programme this Friday, 7pm at the Birr Theatre and Arts Centre. The following morning at 11am, more free shorts will be showing in the international selection, a mix of genre and styles including films from the US, UK, Russia, France, Denmark and Australia.
A variety of events will also be taking place to offer the full festival experience. ‘Made in the Midlands’ will be taking place Thursday 14th, a celebration of being caught in the middle with a variety of screenings shown at the Birr Theatre and Arts Centre. On Friday at the delightfully named Tin Jug Studio, a free event hosted by director and artist Terry Rudin will document a group of female artists in their 70s on a collective residence in Mayo, delving into their art, experience and more in ‘Dawn to Dusk’. At the Chesnut Bar on Friday, a screening of the Coen Brothers’ classic O Brother Where Art Thou? will accompany a delicious meal, bookings for tables of 4 – 6 available for €25. A film festival isn’t always just what’s on screen, but the evenings, entertainment, craic and connection around them, and it’s great to see such scheduling return to the film calendar. Finally, families can get in on Offline at the Family Film screening of Pixar’s Wall-E, 11am at the Birr Theatre and Arts Centre – tickets costing €5 for kids, while the adults go free. Get your kid to treat you so!
All this and more as part of the now live and online Offline Film Festival. If your central this week and you love the cinema, be sure to check it out.