Alex Gibney’s latest documentary to headline the 4th Annual Irish Film Festival

The Irish Film Festival has announced its program for 2018 for both Sydney and Melbourne, including a new documentary by US Oscar winning filmmaker Alex Gibney headlining the program.

The 2018 festival will also mark the 20th anniversary of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, as the Irish Film Festival pays respects with four new films examining the historical significance of ‘The Troubles’, a sectarian conflict that took place in Northern Ireland for more than half of the 20th century.

Alex Gibney’s documentary No Stone Unturned will dive into the collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and the British government investigating the murder of six Catholics at a local pub in County Down in 1994.  Trevor Birney, the film’s producer, will also be attending screenings in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Maze will be shown on opening night, revolving around the mass breakout from the Maze Prison which took place in 1983. The film stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Love/Hate) and has been breaking box office records in Ireland since its release in September 2017.

The Journey will give audiences a fictionalised look into the negotiations that may have taken place between Loyalist Leader Rev. Ian Paisley and republican Martin McGuinness, a former IRA leader. The film will feature performances from Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney, as the film will explore the relationship between the two leaders.

In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America will round off the Northern Irish films as a landmark documentary centred around Civil Rights campaigner and politician John Hume, as he attempts to bring the US into the peace process, forcing Britain to take part in the discussion at hand. The film’s director Maurice Fitzpatrick will also be attending screenings in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Song of Granite will appeal to music-lovers as a documentary exploring the life of traditional singer Joe Heaney.  Song of Granite was also this year’s Irish entry in the Academy Awards Foreign Language category.

The Flag is a hilarious comedy featuring funny man Pat Shortt (Song of the Sea) in a light-hearted tale revolving around an Irish navvy who hatches a plot to steal an Irish tricolour (flag) from its resting place, which happens to be in an officer’s mess in a British army barracks in London.

Cathal Kenna’s debut feature Coming Home follows a group of Irish migrants from around the world who pursue their dream to return to live in Ireland after a lifetime in abroad.

The Lodgers is a thrilling gothic horror story revolving around two supernaturally gifted twins who also happen to be cursed and living in a crumbling house in rural Ireland in the 1920’s. The film will feature a cast including Bill Milner (Dunkirk), Eugene Simon (Game of Thrones) and David Bradley (Harry Potter series).

The festival will also feature a Short Film Competition for the first time, with entires flooding in from young local filmmakers from both Ireland and Australia. Finalists for the competition will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Opening Night Gala will take place at the Chauvel in Paddington on 19 April, and run until 22 April. The Melbourne leg will take place at the Kino Cinema in Collins Street from 26-28 April.

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Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @sirchunkee, or at the Dagobah System, chilling with Luke and Yoda.

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