5 Documentaries to Stream at the national Irish Film Festival

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Special Irish Film Festival 2021 Feature:

Dr Enda Murray, Director of the Irish Film Festival said, We are delighted to be presenting these great Irish stories online to an Australian audience. It’s a tough time for the Irish diaspora, many of whom have missed trips home this year and I hope the Irish Film Festival can bring some Gaelic sunshine to Australia in these dark times!” 

Below are the documentaries slated to appear as part of this year’s curation which are among many new Irish cinema releases, award-winning dramas, Irish-language features and comedies direct from Ireland, with no fewer than 11 Australian premieres:

Sé Mo Laoch (He is My Hero) Steve Cooney

This lively, music-filled documentary is about Australian-Irish musician, Steve Cooney. Melbourne born Cooney is widely regarded as one of the best traditional guitarists in Ireland today and has played with Stockton’s Wing, the Chieftains, Altan and Clannad. 

When Women Won

A touching documentary about the Referendum on the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which resulted in a win for women’s rights. Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws had been regularly criticised by a number of international human rights bodies. The repeal of the article of the Constitution allowed Government to change Ireland’s laws on abortion, which up until then had been illegal unless a woman’s life was at substantial risk. The documentary won the Special Jury Prize at the Irish Film Festival in Boston earlier this year.

The Ballymurphy Precedent

Award-winning director Callum Macrae’s new feature documentary explores the deaths of eleven civilians killed by the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment of the British Army on a Catholic housing estate in Belfast in 1971 – five months before the infamous Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry.

Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens

A touching tribute to one of Ireland’s greatest contemporary writers, Seamus Heaney. Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” It also acts as a history of the Irish ‘Troubles’ in words and verse, and what that experience was like for people who lived through it.  

Endless Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

John Connors’ emotionally raw film traces the true story of Ireland’s online star blogger Jade McCann who documented her own cancer diagnosis and that of her father’s diagnosis online. Connors, who shot to fame for his performance in Irish TV drama Love/Hate, is a proud member of Ireland’s Traveller Community. He has successfully made the transition from actor to director and took his one-man show, Ireland’s Call to Australia in 2019. 

The Irish Film Festival runs from 3 to 12 September, 2021, tickets are available for single films, multi or full season passes.

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