Fresh from an LA run, Irish Screen America is bringing the best of new Irish film to NYC.iStockphoto

Irish Screen America, the annual festival that acts as a transatlantic bridge between the thriving Irish film industry and American audiences, is coming to New York this weekend.

Fresh from an LA run, Irish Screen America is bringing the best of new Irish film to NYC.

Presented with the support of Glucksman Ireland House, the bi-coastal festival will feature premieres of new Irish films, television series and short films. Among the festival’s special guests will be ‘accidental activist’ and renowned drag queen Panti Bliss, figurehead of last year’s equal marriage referendum in Ireland. Ms. Panti Bliss will open the festival as the star of the documentary, "The Queen of Ireland," a film that is equal parts an intimate portrait of the performer’s life and a stirring record of an historic vote. On hand for the audience Q+A will also be the film’s director Conor Horgan ("One Hundred Mornings").

Other features playing the festival include the kidnapping thriller "Tiger Raid" about two Irish mercenaries in Iraq; and the Dutch/Irish co-production "Mammal", a tense relationship drama starring Academy Award-nominated actress Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under, Muriel’s Wedding).

Covering the full scope of the Irish audio-visual industry, the festival will debut the first two episodes in a new Irish television series called "Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope" – a show written, directed and produced by women, about the lifestyle and relationships of two out-of-control, twenty-something Irish girls. Written by  Stefanie Preissner, the show stars Seána Kerslake (A Date for Mad Mary) and Nika McGuigan (Philomena). Director Cathy Brady and producer Ailish McElmeel, will be present to discuss the making of the show and the female diversification of Irish entertainment.

Co-hosted by Women in Film and Television Ireland, the festival will host a panel discussion called Stories from the Field featuring Irish professionals working in the fields of film development, distribution and marketing in the U.S.

Rounding things out are two programs of short films – one featuring shorts made in Ireland and another showcasing work by Irish filmmakers in New York, including the short "We Have Each Other" by the Oscar-nominated writer/director Naomi Sheridan.

With the Emerald Isle ever punching above its weight in the arts – the Irish industry accrued an impressive nine Oscar nominations in various categories last year – Irish Screen America has cherry picked an impressive program of features for New York audiences, that have so far only bowed at tent pole fests such as Sundance and Toronto, or domestically in Ireland.

The Irish Screen America festival runs from today, Friday Sept. 30, to Sunday October Sunday 2 at NYU’s Cantor Film Center.

 To see the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit