Iben Hjele and Ciaran Hinds in Conor McPherson's "The Eclipse"

The 2009 Los Angeles Irish Film Festival has announced they will open with “The Eclipse,” the Conor McPherson movie starring Irish actor Ciaran Hinds and Irish-American acting favorite Aidan Quinn.

The acclaimed Irish supernatural tale premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews, and was soon after picked up for distribution by Magnolia Pictures in the first major sale at the festival in years.

The announcement of its headliner screening at the Los Angeles festival on September 23 has only further boosted the hype surrounding McPherson’s directorial debut film.

The Irish playwright also penned “The Seafarer,” which had a successful Broadway run last year.

“We wanted to find an exceptional film to open our second edition and we got our wish with the west coast premiere of ‘The Eclipse’ from the talented Conor McPherson,” said festival director Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman.

Based in and around an Irish literary festival, “Eclipse” follows Michael (Hinds), a widowed teacher who works as a volunteer at the festival. To his surprise he finds himself becoming increasingly obsessed with a female horror writer (Iben Hjejle) participating in it. 

To offset sad sack Michael, Quinn plays Nicholas, a successful, full-of-himself American writer who comes to lord over the Irish festival.

Meanwhile, Michael has been seeing ghostly apparitions and is too scared to tell anyone about them.

“The Eclipse” will receive its West Coast premiere at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood and will be followed by a reception hosted by the Irish Film Board at the Pickford Center.

The film will be released in U.S. theaters next year.