Sep 132012

Starting with a gala screening of “probably the most popular Irish film in history” Friday night, and continuing Saturday and Sunday with acclaimed dramas and even an Oscar-nominated animated feature, the Prytania Theatre will host the inaugural New Orleans Irish Film Festival all weekend.

Independent filmmaking is a significant part of the Irish film industry because the nation is so far from Hollywood — films are made first, and distribution deals sought afterward, festival director Robert Bell told NOLA Defender. The Irish government supported the festival in New Orleans in hopes of creating more of a partnership as the film industry here continues to thrive, Bell said.

For a complete list of films and descriptions, see the brochure at the Irish Network website. For more details, see the news release below.

Irish Network bringing rare movies from the Emerald Isle to the silver screen

The first annual New Orleans Irish film festival takes place this weekend at the city’s historic Prytania Theatre.

The three-day event kicks off with a special showing of The Quiet Man, the legendary story from the golden age of Hollywood directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. The Oscar-winning tearjerker will be preceded by a gala celebration featuring food and drink from the Olde Country including Guinness, whiskey, and hors d’oeuvres from celebrated local supplies like The Irish House and St James Cheese Company.

Most of the movies have never been seen in the city before and offer a diverse range of celluloid talent, stretching from silent movies from the 1920s to award-winning children’s films, to current documentaries and modern dramas. Festival organizers have also clinched debut screenings of a number of critically-acclaimed independent shorts and full-length films.

On Saturday at noon, the Prytania will show the kids’ movie The Secret of Kells, followed by a display of Celtic dancing from the McTeggart Irish Dancers of Louisiana. Admission is just $5 for adults and children, and for the rest of the movies the charge is $10. The opening night gala is priced at $40 for IN NOLA members and $50 for nonmembers.

On Sunday at 12:30pm the classic 1922 silent film Come On Over will get a rare public viewing, and will be accompanied by a live piano player. The festival closes at 8pm that night with this year’s release Pilgrim Hill, a tale focusing on the dark side of rural Ireland.

Festival Director Robert Bell said: “This is an excellent chance for film goers to see the latest in Irish cinema, and there are many highlights in this collection of rare movies. The opening night promises to be a fantastic event, and The Quiet Man is an especially poignant choice as this legendary film is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary. Come and see Ireland in stunning and glorious Technicolor green on the big screen!”

The New Orleans Film Fest runs from Friday September 14 at 7pm until Sunday September 16 at 8pm. Information and tickets can be found at

For more details please contact Irish Network Vice-President Aidan Gill at (504) 415-1419 or Festival Director Robert Bell at (504) 865-3094.

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