Disappear Here Film Festival to offer ‘world class experience’

The film festival takes place later this month.
The film festival takes place later this month.

The Disappear Here Film Festival now in its third year, returns to Ballyliffin village from September 27- 29.

This increasingly popular three day event celebrates independent film-making from all corners of the country and has developed into a thought provoking and diverse showcase of all the industry has to offer.

Festival highlights include screenings, industry workshops and masterclasses, children films and lively post-screening interviews and debates.

Festival Director Michael McLaughlin takes us though this year’s programme.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this event back to Inishowen, with the support of Ballyliffin Rural Enterprises, Donegal County Council, Creative Ireland and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. With their encouragement, we are able to curate a world-class experience for our audiences locally and for the visitors that it brings to the peninsula, many of whom have never been to the county before. Our programme is jam-packed again this year, with feature films, shorts, documentaries, and animated works, and many of these films are having their Irish premiere right here in Ballyliffin.

“Highlights include our opening film ‘Never Grow Old’ at 8pm on Friday, September 27, a terrific old-fashioned western set during the 1849 Californian goldrush. Starring John Cusack and Emilie Hirsch, it tells the story of an Irish immigrant undertaker as he steers his family through the difficulties of the time.

“On the documentary side, we have the multi award-winning ‘For Sama’, a first hand account of the war in Syria, and the powerful and beautifully shot GAZA, which gives the viewer a glimpse inside this fortified land and a chance to meet the real people who inhabit it.

“After the success of our environmental film programme with Donegal ChangeMakers last year, we will again partner with this Irish Aid funded body, this year to discuss Gender Equality, as part of their efforts to raise awareness of local and global development issues.

“We work closely with the Donegal Film Office, and last week they joined forces with Cinemagic in Belfast to deliver the very first cross-border film camp for young people in Donegal and Northern Ireland. A short film ‘You Are Here’ is the result of that collaboration and was filmed entirely in Clonmany. We are beyond excited to have the world premiere of this film on Sunday, September 29 at 2pm.”

Michael continued: “Workshops include a children’s class, teaching the skills of filming and editing using a smartphone, and we are delighted to be bringing up Ireland’s leading casting agent Maureen Hughes, to conduct an audition masterclass for actors. Maureen has cast the hugely popular TV series ‘Love/Hate’, and the 1916 feature ‘Rebellion’ and more recently the critically acclaimed ‘Taken Down’ for RTE.

“We will continue to offer awards in every category, and our ‘Northern Exposure Award’ in association with the film office again, will reward an emerging new talent from the North West region. Our previous winners Shaun Kelly and Brendan McCallion were both from the county, and their winners bursary will no doubt ensure the industry here continues to grow apace.”

Michael concluded: “Running a film festival in a rural area of Donegal comes with its challenges, but to see Disappear Here Film Festival beginning to register on the radar of creatives all over the world is hugely satisfying, and we will continue to pioneer this unique model that has audiences at its core.”

Full programme details will be released next week, and will be available in hardcopy and via the website at

www.disappearherefilmfest.com