The eighth year of the San Francisco Irish Film Festival is going to be a really special treat. In the past, they have screened such films as Adam and Paul, Once, and Palme D’or winner The Wind that Shakes the Barley, but this years festival blows the past years’ out of the water. Instead of a traditional festival format, the 2011 Irish Film Festival is focusing on 10 of the best Irish films from the past 10 years. This is something I am truly exited about!
There are three specific films that jumped off the page while I was scanning it: In the Name of the Father, Hunger, and Bloody Sunday. In the Name of the Father, one of my favorite Daniel Day Lewis films, tells the story of a man and his father forced to confess to an IRA bombing that they didn’t commit. It really pulls on the heart strings and is one of the better fighting-the-legal-system films I have seen. Hunger and Bloody Sunday I have not yet seen but you can bet that I’m not going to miss a chance to see them at the festival. For being a smaller festival, I’m pleasantly surprised with the quality of films that are being offered this year.
The festival takes place at the Roxie Theater from September 22nd through the 25th. For the schedule and other information follow the jump below.
Opening Night Film Thursday September 22, 8:00pm
After a South American pilot crashes his plane in Cork, Ireland — Paco, a young boy without a father, rallies the locals and against all odds tries to build a runway and get the pilot home. Writer/Director Ian Power will attend the Q&A.
Friday, September 23, 7:00pm
Fred Daly returns to Ireland with nowhere to live but his car. Then dope-smoking 21-year-old Cathal parks beside him and brightens up his lonely world. Encouraged by Cathal, Fred meets attractive music teacher Jules. Growing closer, these three outsiders are set on a course that will change their lives forever. Parked is a triumphant story of friendship, hope, and perseverance. Winner of the best feature from the Galway Film Festival.
Friday, September 23, 9:00pm
Hold onto your fingers as we follow the misadventures of Git and Anto, who undertake a mission for the mob in Paddy Breathnach’s crime comedy.
Saturday September 24, 5:00pm
Irish teenagers Lauren and Tara navigate the trials of life, dressed all the while in their uniform of rebellion: pyjamas. Balancing tenderness with hilarity, Pyjama Girls tracks the explosive micro-dramas of teenage life against the bleak backdrop of Dublin’s inner city flats
Saturday, September 24, 3:00pm
To help complete an ancient magical book, a young boy named Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest filled with mythical creatures. Magic, fantasy, and Celtic mythology come together in this 2010 Academy Award-nominated animated film.
Magners ‘n’ Shorts
Saturday September 24, 7:00pm
Magners ‘n’ Shorts: Kick up your heels, have a free Magners hard cider, and enjoy the very best in contemporary Irish short films.
Saturday, September 24, 9:00pm
The film tells the story of a street musician (Glen Hansard of the Irish band “The Frames”) and a Czech immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story in this modern day musical set on the streets of Dublin.
Sunday, September 25, 3:00pm
Based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, Gerry Conlon’s (Daniel Day Lewis) coerced confession to an IRA bombing he didn’t do imprisons his father as well. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
Sunday, September 25, 6:00pm
Set in Northern Ireland’s notorious Maze prison, the film follows the final months of Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender), the Irish Republican Army activist who protested his treatment at the hands of British prison guards with a hunger strike. The film received its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival where it won the Golden Camera award.
Sunday, September 25, 9:00pm
Written and directed by Paul Greengrass (Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum) this documentary-style drama shows the events that lead up to the tragic incident on January 30, 1972 in Derry, Northern Ireland, when a protest march led by civil rights activist Ivan Cooper was fired upon by British troops, killing 13 protesters and wounding 14 more. The film won numerous awards, including an audience award at Sundance Film Festival.