Guess what? You don’t have to wait till March to get your fix of the best of Irish films, music and craic.
As fans, friends and followers of the Craic Festival know, their halfway to St. Patrick’s Day night-out will cure what ails you.
This year’s Wee Craic will be held on Thursday, September 29 at the Mercury Lounge on Houston Street, kicking off with a pre-reception at Lucky Jacks on the Lower East Side from 7-9 p.m. (Stella Artois and Jefferson Bourbon sponsor the drinks specials).
Then it’s over to the Mercury Lounge for the best of Irish Short films beginning at 9 p.m. Expect to see specially selected shorts from the award-winners at last month’s Galway Film Fleadh.
Stutterer, a recent Oscar-winning short film by director Benjamin Cleary, will be screened. The Irish produced film portrays a handsome but reclusive typographer with a debilitating speech problem, until the day comes when he must face his worst fear if he’s ever to win the girl he dreams of.
Made for just £5,000, or less than $10,000, it’s a testament to the power of a dream. Cleary reportedly raised the money by renting out his Dublin apartment and sleeping on other people’s sofas for months until he could pay for three and a half days of filming in August 2014. How about that?
Also screening is Wifey Redux, in which a middle-aged husband’s relationships with his wife and teenage daughter are put to the test when he becomes obsessed with fending off his teenage daughter’s new boyfriend. Based on the short story by Kevin Barry, it stars Aidan McArdle, Angeline Ball, Lauryn Canny, Craig Grainger, Shane O’Meara and Wallis Day.
Joining the Dots follows Luna, a little girl who traces constellations, which then come alive in the night sky. She tries to show her dad, who struggles to understand her imaginary world, in a tender and moving new short feature.
Gridlock was an audience favorite at the 2016 Galway Film Festival starring gifted Irish actor Moe Dunford. A thriller set during a traffic jam on a country road, when a little girl goes missing from one of the cars, her father puts together a desperate search party to find her, and soon everyone is a suspect in this tense drama.
Also screening is The Caller, director Steve Gunn’s story about what happens when an unemployed man receives a visit from a Dublin rent allowance inspector and things get a little out of hand.
Festival director Terence Mulligan has some straightforward criteria for making his picks.
“The films included each year must be Irish in theme, or have been shot in Ireland, or feature Irish talent either behind or in front of the camera, or have been made here in New York City by local Irish filmmakers,” he tells the Irish Voice.
The special musical guest on the night (the Craic always has a rock component) is Mark Geary and Count Vaseline (formerly known as The Mighty Stef).
This year marks the 17th annual Wee Craic, which is still presented by Stella Artois and Boru Vodka, so keep them in mind when you order. “It’s a one-night event which celebrates Ireland’s freshest, coolest short films and music, with plenty of fun thrown into the mix,” says Mulligan.
“We have some brilliant shorts from the Galway Fleadh and Mark Geary always delivers with his stage presence. So bring along some friends, make some new ones, open your eyes to some of Ireland’s best short films, and enjoy music and drinks. It’s all part of the Craic!”
Other shorts scheduled to be screened include Groundless, director Anthony McDonagh’s tale of a mother’s love triumphing over the lure of the Dublin streets. The Lost Letter by director Kealan O’Rourke is the tale of a young boy as he prepares his neighborhood for Christmas.
For more info contact 917-373-6735.
Full line-up at www.thecraicfest.com.