Wee Craic Fest set to showcase best of new Irish music and cinema in NYC
This year, in a dramatic departure for the organizers, the festival will be held at the Studio Space in New York’s famous Webster Hall. It’s a venue that’s familiar to just about every Irish music fan, since most every Irish rock act of note has played there at least once.
“We chose Webster Hall because we like to take creative risks and because the festival is outgrowing its roots in smaller venues,” says Mulligan. “What I like about the Studio at Webster Hall is that it holds 300 people and it’s a nice intimate night.”
Things have been going so well between the festival and the venue promoters that the Irish Voice can reveal that Webster Hall may well host the rock portion of 2010’s Film Fleadh next March, a coup for both the organizers and the attendees.
“I can let that leak out now,” says Mulligan. “First we’ll get the Wee Craic fest up and running and then we’ll follow up. It’s a good venue, I like it and it’s well known to the Irish community here in New York.”
The short films in this year’s festival have been handpicked from the prestigious Galway Fleadh in Ireland and are seeing the light in New York for the first time. Mulligan knows his audience, and so he’s eager to make sure these are films with broad appeal.
Blip, an animation short, features two aliens trying to take over the same planet. Then Rat Race deals with a very relevant new Irish experience: corporate downsizing.
But don’t worry if that strikes you as too close to the bone right now. There’s also Granny O’Grimm’s Irish Fairytales fairy tales to delight and unsettle you in equal measure.
“It’s a 45 to 50 minute short film program, and what we like to do is keep it confined to two to seven minute long short films,” says Mulligan.
“You gotta come right at people with something that’s fun and lively and often animated or visually powerful in some way. The reason is that you’re going to be following the screenings with live music.”
In preparation for next year’s three-day festival Mulligan will also attend the Toronto Film Festival next month, where no less than eight new feature films from Ireland will screen at the annual Canadian bash.
“We’ll be throwing a little beer and wings pool party for the cast and crew of films like Ondine (directed by Neil Jordan and starring Colin Farrell) and Perrier’s Bounty (written by Mark O’Rowe and starring Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson and Conleth Hill). The plan is to score some Irish premieres for the Film Fleadh,” says Mulligan.
“We have good relationships with the industry people and the cast. I believe that Neil, Colin and Cillian will be in town, as will some of the producers, and our relationships are a bit like family now -- it’s more like getting old friends together rather than business deals.
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