It’s no secret - Irish film has been enjoying a renaissance.
From "Brooklyn" to "Room" to "The Lobster," Irish filmmakers and stars are winning Oscars and Oscar nominations, and Irish-produced TV series like "Game of Thrones," "The Fall," "Love/Hate," "Moone Boy" and "Vikings" have won Emmy Awards and legions of fans worldwide.
So while Ireland’s new wave of directors, actors and screenwriters is busy becoming tomorrow’s industry leaders, it seems a perfect time for the Irish Screen America group to step forward as a trans-Atlantic bridge between Ireland and the American market.
Presented with the support of Glucksman Ireland House, the bi-coastal festival, now in its second year, will bring new Irish films, television series and short films to New York City and Los Angeles at the end of this month, the two indisputable epicenters of American film.
LA's screenings will be at Laemmle's NoHo 7 in the North Hollywood Arts District, and New York's will be held at NYU's Cantor Film Center. The Los Angeles leg runs between September 22 and 25, and the New York showcase runs between September 30 and October 2.
Los Angeles will open an exclusive screening of "Handsome Devil," one of the most buzzed about new Irish films in years which will arrive fresh from its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Yes, that's a Smiths reference and yes, we're talking 1980's Ireland – what's not to like?
A comedy-drama about the unlikely friendship that blossoms between an artistic outsider and the star athlete at a rugby-mad school, the film stars Andrew Scott, Moe Dunford, Amy Huberman and Ardal O’Hanlon. Rising star Fionn O’Shea (the leading man) will be present for the LA screening along with writer and director John Butler.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast the festival will open with the New York premiere of "The Queen of Ireland," the groundbreaking documentary about the drag queen superstar who changed Ireland, with director Conor Horgan and star Panti Bliss herself on hand for a chat with the audience.
Features playing in both New York and LA include Rebecca Daly’s "Mammal," a tense drama starring Academy-nominated actress Rachel Griffiths, and the kidnapping thriller "Tiger Raid" about two Irish mercenaries in Iraq.
A timely new film making its North American premiere is "Twice Shy," which follows a young Irish couple forced to travel to the U.K. seeking an abortion. It's the second film from one-to-watch Tipperary director Tom Ryan, who will be presented with Irish Screen America’s inaugural Rising Star Award.
The festival will also screen the first two episodes of RTE 2’s (Ireland's national broadcaster) darkly comic new drama series "Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope," a show written, directed and produced by women, about the lifestyle and relationships of two completely out-of-control, twenty-something Irish girls.
Written by Stefanie Preissner, the show stars Seana Kerslake and Nika McGuigan. Director Cathy Brady and producer Ailish McElmeel will attend the premiere in New York and LA to discuss the making of the show and what female diversification – a particularly hot topic of discussion in Hollywood – looks like in 2016 Ireland.
There will also be two programs of short films, one featuring shorts made in Ireland and another showcasing work by Irish filmmakers in the U.S. Concluding the festival will be a series of panel discussions called 'Stories from the Field' featuring veteran Irish actors working in Hollywood, and Irish professionals working in the fields of film development and distribution in New York.
Participants will discuss breaking into their fields, how to get to know people when you’re a nobody fresh off the Aer Lingus flight, learn what the potential advantages and disadvantages of being Irish in the field are, and how the Irish film industry is perceived by global leaders in New York.
To see the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit www.irishscreenamerica.com.