The inaugural Grace Kelly Film and Cultural Festival, being held in Newport, County Mayo, this weekend, will honor the life and career of 1950s film star and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly. The festival will be dedicated to her memory on the 30th anniversary of her death.
Newport, which does not have its own cinema, will bring in a mobile 100-seat cinema and will also use the local National school. The festival started on Friday with a “Red Carpet Gala Night” with VIP guests in attendance and a screening of “High Society”. Movie screenings throughout the weekend include “Dial M for Murder,” “Rear Window,” and “The Swan,” and a number of her other iconic films.
There will also be a Grace Kelly look-alike competition, a guided historical walking tour, and a movie quiz. The Tourism Office will host exhibitions of memorabilia of Kelly and her husband, Prince Rainier III’s visits to Newport. The festival will end Sunday evening with a screening of “To Catch a Thief.”
Monaco's royal family, the Grimaldi’s, cannot attend the festival because of prior engagements, “but Prince Albert has given the festival his blessing,” said Regina Callaghan, one of the organizers of the festival, according to the Irish Times.
Kelly’s paternal grandfather, John Kelly, was from Drimurla, a town near Newport, and he emigrated in 1887 to Philadelphia, where he made his family’s fortune by founding a leading construction company.
Kelly visited Newport in 1961 with her husband, Prince Rainier Grimaldi III of Monaco. She visited County Mayo during trips to Ireland in the 1960s and 70s and during one of these visits she purchased her family’s homestead. Many Newport residents have great memories of meeting her when she visited.
Kelly was tragically killed in a car crash on a downhill hairpin road in Monaco on September 14, 1982. Her daughter Stephanie, who was also in the car, survived the crash.
Here’s the trailer for “High Society”:
The trailer for “Dial M for Murder”:
The trailer for “Rear Window”: