It’s all about Irish cinema in America right now, with no less than three Irish Film Festivals taking place. The San Francisco and Los Angeles Irish Film Festivals, as well as the special Irish Film New York Screening Series are all showcasing everything Irish. And, as always, an Inishowen lady is at the centre of it all.
Lisa McLaughlin from Malin is co-founder and director of the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival, which is now in its fourth year. She works very closely with Niall McKay, the founder and director of the San Francisco and New York events.
Inishowen has always featured high on her agenda, with the Henry Girls having performed at the festival at the premiere of A Shine of Rainbows, and this year is no different.
Lisa explains: “I’m showing the little short documentary called Bye Bye Now which is about disappearaing phone boxes in Ireland. The film features the one in Malin and has a number of interviews with local people including John McLaughlin (Henry), Ronald Boggs and Liam Kearney.”
Lisa says it’s all about getting the right mix. “In LA, every night is very different. Opening night is The Guard screening, honouring Fionnula Flanagan. Friday night will be our music night, with the 20th anniversary screening of The Commitments and a screening of The Swell Season. We’ll have the writers of The Commitments, Ian Le Frenais and Dick Clement, here, along with the film’s music arranger Paul Bushnell.
“We have photo exhibitions with never-before seen pictures of The Beatles, taken by Curt Gunther. Saturday night is the classic night with The Quiet Man’and Dreaming the Quiet Man and Sunday is contemporary Irish films.”
For more information on the festivals, visit www.lairishfilm.com, www.sfirishfilm.com or www.irishfilmnyc.com.