There’s been nothing quiet about the success of one of the finest Irish films in recent years. It was confirmed today that An Cailín Ciúin, Colm Bairéad’s emotional and immersive Irish language film, has passed €1 million at the Irish/UK box office.
Since picking up the Audience Award and Dublin Film Critics Circle’s Best Irish Film Award after the 2022 Dublin International Film Festival, the pioneering film’s momentum hasn’t stalled at all. Still running in a number Irish cinemas, the film has been on local screens since mid-Spring. Alongside long-running blockbusters like Elvis and Top Gun: Maverick, the relative underdog’s staying power speaks to the enduring power of word-of-mouth among audiences, and represents a record-breaking achievement for an Irish language feature. After 22 weeks and counting, An Cailín Ciúin has now taken in over €1m in box office receipts.
Colm Bairéad told Film In Dublin how pleased he was that Irish audiences have embraced the film, and was keen to credit author Claire Keegan also:
It’s hard to believe we’ve reached this milestone. We’re so grateful to Irish and UK audiences for taking An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl into their hearts. We never set out with any real commercial ambition when we made this film. We just wanted to make something that we could be proud of and that honoured Claire Keegan’s original work. It’s remarkable the life that the film has taken on. Testament, I think, to the power of “Foster” and to the dedication and craft of our extraordinary cast and crew. A red letter day for Irish-language cinema.”
Claire Keegan was recently nominated for a Booker Prize for her novel Small Things Like These.
The hope among the Irish industry now is that the film’s momentum continues through to further international acclaim in the New Year. In August, announced that the Irish-language feature film has been selected as Ireland’s entry for the Oscars Best International Feature Film category at the upcoming 95th annual Academy Awards. Last month, US distrubutors Super acquired the North American rights to the film.
An Cailín Ciúin is an intricate, deeply felt coming-of-age drama that delves into the meaning of family through the eyes of a neglected young girl. Set in rural Ireland in 1981, the film follows Cáit (Catherine Clinch) as she is sent from her overcrowded, dysfunctional household to live with distant relatives for the summer. She is welcomed with open arms by Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley), but her husband (Andrew Bennett) keeps Cáit at arm’s length. Slowly, however, a warmth grows within this makeshift family and Cáit begins to blossom in their care. But in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth.
Produced by Cleona Ní Chrualaoi of Inscéal as part of the Cine4 funding scheme for Irish-language film, in partnership with Screen Ireland, TG4, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), and the film is also in receipt of the Irish Government’s Section 481 tax incentive.
Have you seen An Cailín Ciúin yet? Even if it’s no longer screening at your local cinema, the film is available now on Irish platforms Volta and IFI@Home.