“Arracht” will debut at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival this month

“Arracht,” a new Irish-language film about Ireland’s Famine, will premiere later this month at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia.

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The filmmakers said in a statement: “We are delighted to share that Arracht will have its world premiere at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival on November 29, 2019. We’re also excited that the film has been selected as part of the festival’s main competition, the Grand Prix.

“As an A-list festival, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, aka PÖFF, is one of the largest and most distinctive film events in Northern Europe, screening over 250 feature films, having an attendance of over 80,000 and hosting over 1,200 film professionals and journalists from around the world every year. It is particularly impressive for Tom Sullivan’s film to be included in the main competition, The Grand Prix.

Of his first feature film, director and Dublin native Tom Sullivan said: “I am honored that our film will have its world premiere in the main competition at Tallinn. 

“It has been a life-changing experience making Arracht. From witnessing the commitment of the cast, particularly Dónall Ó Héalaí, who’s total dedication and immersion in his process inspired us all. The crew, who were fantastic, had to battle three Atlantic storms to bring Arracht home. We are all so excited to launch the film in the beautiful city of Tallinn along with so many talented filmmakers.” 

Producer Cúán Mac Conghail of Macalla added: “I am incredibly proud of Tom and this film. Arracht was hard work but a  joy for all of us to work on and I am delighted that it has been selected in competition for the Grand Prix.” 

"Arracht" is produced by Macalla Teoranta with funding from TG4, Screen Ireland, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and Section 481.

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A synopsis of “Arracht” reveals that the film is set in 1845 Ireland on the eve of The Great Hunger. Colmán Sharkey, a fisherman, a father, a husband, takes in a stranger at the behest of a local priest. Patsy, a former soldier in the Napoleonic wars arrives just ahead of ‘the blight,’ a disease that eventually wipes out the country’s potato crop, contributing to the death and displacement of millions.

As the crops rot in the fields, Colmán, his brother and Patsy travel to the English Landlord’s house to request a stay on rent increases that Colmán predicts will destroy his community. His request falls on deaf ears and Patsy’s subsequent actions set Colmán on a path that will take him to the edge of survival, and sanity.

It is only upon encountering an abandoned young girl that Colmán’s resolve is lifted. Just in time for the darkness of his past to pay another visit.”

The featured cast includes Dónall Ó Healaí, Michael McElhatton, Siobhán O’Kelly, Dara Devaney, Peter Coonan, Seán T. Ó Meallaigh, Michelle Beamish and Eoin Ó Dubhghaill.

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You can watch the debut trailer for “Arracht” here: