Film Event: The Irish for Hope Film Festival, London

If, like me, you're excited to get back to cinemas and enjoy one of the many film events going on around London this year, you may be pleased to know that The Irish for Hope film festival* is still taking place and has a show-stopping finale at the iconic Rio Cinema this week. Here's how you can learn more and get tickets to attend.

Still from Jellybabies by Sophia Cadogan

I'm excited to attend the Irish for Hope Film Festival at the Rio Cinema in Dalston, East London. Having started from the first weekend in August, the Irish for Hope series welcomed live audiences back to London cinemas, offering the chance to see original Irish stories, imbued with hope for new beginnings, better tomorrows and the goodness that can be found in humanity. And let's face it, new beginnings and hope is exactly something we can get on board with following the events of the last year and a half. 

Organised by Irish Film London*, the film event champions Irish film and animation in the UK, encouraging live audiences back to cinemas following Covid-19 closures - and it's exciting to learn that the first two screenings at the Rio Cinema in early August were sold out. 

Still from Caravan by William Anderson

Irish Film London was founded to champion Irish film and animation in the UK community. Founded by Kelly O’Connor in 2010 and now in its tenth year, Irish Film London presents the latest and greatest of Irish film and animation to UK audiences. 

Through premiere screenings, Director Q&A sessions, workshops, exhibitions, and performances, Irish Film London aims to bring together industry professionals, film fans and fans of Irish arts & culture alike. Focusing on Irish productions, scripts and casts, IFL provides a significant platform for Irish film in London, and ensures that the best of Irish creative talent is continually promoted here in the UK.To see out the festival with a bang, eight Irish filmmakers will be showcasing their short films at the final screening on 22 August. The event will present short films from young, emerging and award-winning filmmakers across many genres including some incredible pieces of animation, documentary, comedy and drama. 

Gerry Maguire, Head of Irish Film London, said: “The Irish for Hope series showcases some of the most inspiring feature films and shorts from new and established Irish filmmakers. We’ve really missed the communal experience of watching films together and hope audiences join us back in cinemas to enjoy these films on the big screen where they belong.”

The shorts programme will be screened at 3:45pm on Sunday 22 August at Rio Cinema: 

Travel Bud by Niall Farrell - the debut animated film from the Dublin-based filmmaker which has already been selected for 19 film festivals and won three awards. 

Tea by Paul Mulgrew - a romantic comedy with a twist on the great tea versus coffee debate that has been selected for the BBC’s ‘Two-minute Masterpiece’ series and is available on BBC iPlayer. 

Jellybabies by Sophia Cadogan - a drama about a bereaved woman that was written during lockdown and filmed in the Wicklow Mountains in just two days. 

Caravan by William Anderson - a London Film School MA graduation film shot in neo-Western style and featuring actors John Lynch and Madeleine Dunbar. 

Building the Ark by Pat Boran - a poetic documentary filmed on a smartphone that explores the essential relationship between humans and our companions in the natural world. 

Tears to the Sea by Luciana Baseggio and Emma Smith - a bi-lingual film by Brazilian cinematographer and director Luciana Webber Baseggio and IADT Dublin graduate Emma Smith that follows a woman’s journey to meet her estranged father. 

Pogonophobia by Thomas Ryan - a comedy drama that addresses the little-known but truly debilitating fear of beards. It won Best LGBTQ Short Film at Berlin Short Film Festival 2021. 

Leave the Road Behind You by Daniel Butler - an Irish language coming-of-age drama that won the Lumi Award at the Belfast Film Festival 2020.

Still from Building the Ark by Pat Boran

The screenings are part of Film Feels Hopeful, a UK-wide cinema season, supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network, that celebrates films’ unique ability to connect us and inspire hope. 

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI, said: “We’re delighted that the Film Feels UK-wide film programme provides a welcome opportunity for audiences to experience something different with exciting new voices and a showcase of in-venue screenings and activities, as well as online events, with the support of the BFI Film Audience Network. Film Feels Hopeful will allow a diverse mix of organisations across the country to express their creativity and programming ambitions. This will enable venues and programmers to amplify new stories and reconnect with audiences following the challenges of Covid-19 for the exhibition sector, all supported thanks to National Lottery players.”

Still from Tea by Paul Mulgrew

Tickets for The Irish for Hope screenings are available now and can found here. Irish Film London members can attend the events free of charge. Find full details about membership here. Irish Film London run various events throughout the year, including the film section of the Brigid’s Day Celebration of Women, in collaboration with the Embassy of Ireland in London, the St. Patrick's Day Festival with the Mayor of London so it's worth signing up for updates and the latest news. 

Well, that's it for another exciting London film event. But tell me, will you be attending the final screening this weekend? What are some of your favourite Irish films and short films? As always, I love reading your comments so please do share your thoughts below. 

Until next time fellow film fans,

*Disclaimer: This post is part of a paid collaboration with Irish Film London. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.



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