LAIFF celebrates the Irish passion for storytelling, a tradition that started around the hearth of every Irish household and has found its way onto the world stage through the medium of film. Coupled with the treasures of Ireland’s moviemaking past, LAIFF presents modern works as diverse as they are unique, creating a cinematic barometer for the cultural climate of Ireland in 2010.
Kicking off the festival is a double feature of the Los Angeles premieres of MY BROTHERS and SWANSONG: STORY OF OCCI BYRNE, both powerful coming-of-age dramas portraying the complexities of family ties. Also in store is A SHINE OF RAINBOWS, a delightful, family-friendly tale of a young orphan’s voyage to an enchanting island; CUP CAKE, a quirky comedy about an introverted 20-something inheriting his family’s cupcake shop; and THE YELLOW BITTERN, a fascinating documentary about Irish folk-singer Liam Clancy. Closing the festival is Jim Sheridan’s THE FIELD, starring the illustrious Richard Harris as a willful, rough-edged farmer who refuses to auction off his family’s land to a wealthy American bidder.
Some programs for this festival are not at the Aero Theatre. It kicks off September 30 at the Motion Picture Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theatre. There will be an industry seminar on Friday, October 1st in the afternoon. For comprehensive information visit www.lairishfilm.com.
Series compiled by Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman and Juli C. Lasselle, with the assistance of Gwen Deglise. Program notes by Matt Kaszanek with additions by Beth Hanna.
AERO THEATRE – SANTA MONICA, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Friday, October 1 – 7:30 PM – Aero Theatre – Double Feature
2010, Rubicon Films. 90 min. Dir. Paul Fraser.
West Coast Premiere!
When his dying father’s watch is accidentally broken, 17-year-old Noel and his brothers Paudie and Scwally “borrow” a broken-down bread van from his employer and journey to the seaside town of Ballybunion to find a replacement.
SWANSONG: STORY OF OCCI BYRNE
2009, Kinowelt Filmverleih. 90 min. Dir. Conor McDermottroe.
Teased and bullied as a child because he has no father, Occi Byrne (Martin McCann) grows up plagued by anger, confusion and pain. In the hopes of unlocking his own identity and overcoming the past that haunts him, Austin sets out to find his father and discover the secret of his birth.
Discussion between films with directors Paul Fraser and Conor McDermottroe.
Each feature will be preceded by a short film:
DAYS LIKE THIS
2007, 3 min. Dir. Joel Simon.
The story of a man looking back on a great day: when his father took him to an international soccer match.
2010, 6 min. Dir. Maria O’Connor.
This fictional silent dark comedy drama combines animation and quirky locations as two characters struggle on a writing journey.
Introduction by film composer Joe Conlan.
Saturday, October 2 – 4:00 PM – Aero Theatre
A SHINE OF RAINBOWS
2009, 101 min. Sepia Films. Dir. Vic Sarin.
Family Matinee! Los Angeles Premiere!
Tomas, a shy eight-year-old boy, has been living a solitary life in an orphanage. Then Maire O’Donnell comes into his world. Before he knows it, Tomas is on a boat, sailing to wind-swept Corrie Island off the coast of Ireland, where he learns the secret of the seals, the mystery of the stone giant and discovers that you can find magic anywhere- if you really look.
Saturday, October 2 – 7:30 PM – Aero Theatre – Double Feature!
2010, Wee Buns. 86 min. Dir. Colin McIvor.
West Coast Premiere!
P.J., a 23-year-old eccentric who spends his time around robots and gadgets, inherits his family’s bakery, Cup Cake, after the strange disappearance of his parents. But P.J.’s out-of-touch baking and business skills lead the shop into decline. With the help of his slightly dysfunctional friends, P.J. tries one last time to revive the sweet shop back to its former glory.
THE YELLOW BITTERN
2009, 120 min. Crossing the Line Films. Dir. Alan Gilsenan.
A revealing portrait of the man Bob Dylan called “the best ballad singer I’d ever heard,” THE YELLOW BITTERN chronicles the life of Liam Clancy, the youngest of the iconic Clancy Brothers. Featuring candid interviews and never-before-seen footage, some of it from Clancy’s personal archives, Gilsenan’s masterful doc is a fascinating look at the life of one of Ireland’s great musical artists.
Plus, prior to the feature:
MOORE STREET MASALA
2009, 5 min. Dir. David O’Sullivan.
This delightful musical short tells the story of Baba, a store clerk, and his love for the woman across the street.
Sunday, October 3 – 5:00 PM – Aero Theatre – Double Feature!
2009, Hot Shot Films, 50 min. Dir. Brendan Byrne.
This documentary chronicles the monumental collapse of the aborted production of DIVINE RAPTURE, a black comedy about miracles starring Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp, Debra Winger and John Hurt. After 10 days filming in the small Irish village of Ballycotton in 1995, the movie came to a crashing halt, dashing the hopes of an entire village and breaking the heart of its ambitious young producer, Barry Navidi. Marlon Brando’s brief but heartfelt adventure in Ireland made him feel “more at home here than anywhere else in the world.
1990, Avenue Pictures Productions, 107 min. Dir. Jim Sheridan.
LAIFF Richard Harris Tribute!
In one of his finest performances, Richard Harris is “Bull” McCabe, a gruff, unforgiving man faced with losing his family’s long-time land to a rich American attempting to buy it at an auction.
Perhaps best known as King Arthur in the film and stage musical CAMELOT in the 1960s, renowned Irish actor Richard Harris gained post-millenial fame for his role as the wizard headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the first two installments of the HARRY POTTER franchise. Harris rose to fame as the Northern rugby player in Lindsay Anderson’s seminal THIS SPORTING LIFE in 1963, and received an Oscar nomination for his role in that film and for Jim Sheridan’s THE FIELD in 1990.
Introduction to BALLYBRANDO by producer Barry Navidi. Musical performance by Colin Devlin between films (see “Music” at www.lairishfilm.com for more information). Discussion following THE FIELD with director Jim Sheridan and Richard Harris’ sons Jared, Damian, and Jamie.
The discussion continues at a reception for all ticket buyers at EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY, 1333 Montana Ave (across the street from the Aero Theatre).
LAIFF partners and sponsors are The Irish Film Board (Bord Scannán na hÉireann), Ireland’s National Film Agency, Cinemagic and Culture Ireland., ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America) and The Irish Film Institute, Bushmills, Kerrygold, Kensington Caterers, Rosemarie McCaffrey, FilmTalk, My Irish Pride, Grafton On Sunset and ElaineKim.com.