Curtain ready to rise on Clonmel film festival

From the hilarious animation ‘Obama’s Irish Nite’ to the controversial ‘A Hitler’ biographical movie, this year’s Clonmel film festival promises a stunning range of movies, and there is sure to be something to catch everyone’s eye.

From the hilarious animation ‘Obama’s Irish Nite’ to the controversial ‘A Hitler’ biographical movie, this year’s Clonmel film festival promises a stunning range of movies, and there is sure to be something to catch everyone’s eye.

Just two weeks away, the International Film Festival Ireland (Clonmel) will take place between September 4 and 9.

Local organiser, Will Nugent, told The Nationalist, this week, that movies set to be shown will come from as far away as Greece and the West Coast of the USA. They will be on the schedule alongside local movies, like the Ss Peter and Paul’s bicentenary production ‘People, Parish and Church.’

Over 100 films, ranging from a 39 second animated short to a two hour feature film, make up this year’s entries. Will predicts some of the titles to watch out for, which are bound to get a reaction, are ‘Paradise East,’ ‘F my C’ and ‘A Hitler,’ a movie he says could be found offensive to survivors of the holocaust, as it portrays Hitler as a human being and not the despot we have come to know him as. However he says the acting is excellent in this movie, it combines newsreel footage and dramatisations, to give a personal look at the man as he implodes.

‘People, Parish and Church’ has been made by Philip Cullen from Waterford and in it we see people from Clonmel taking about days gone by, their memories of the parish and snippets of life going back as far as the 1920s.

A returning film maker from the first Clonmel festival, in 2009, is Donnacha Ryan, who lives in Clonmel. In 2009 he entered an animated movie, and this year he is back with his next project. In the meantime Donnacha has developed his own animation programme, EZ Animator, that is soon to be commercially launched, and Will says it has the potential to revolutionise animation, as it makes the process so much easier, especially for young animators.

Among the other movies to be shown is a movie from a young Greek film maker called ‘The death I dreamed of.’ Described as a “romantic, horror fairytale” Will says it is a very powerful film.

There is another entry that tells the story of sheep herders from the Basque region of Spain who are forced to find work in that industry in America, leading to a small Basque enclave in the centre of the US, where the Spaniards join forces with emigrating South American llama farmers.

An avant-garde movie from Japan has been sent by a young film maker who is dealing with the fall out from the recent earthquake and tsunami.

Running in conjunction with the festival is the Youth Festival. This will be hosted in the South Tipp Arts Centre where Kira Heffernan will be the screening director. All movie makers will be under 18 and movies will be shown mid-week, between 4pm and 6pm. Entry is free.

The centre of operations for the film festival this year will be Hearne’s Hotel, where the films will be shown from 11am to 8pm each day, with a break on the Sunday so local and visitors can enjoy Tipperary’s All Ireland final match. The match is also a wonderful opportunity for international film makers to get a real taste of Irish culture, Will says.

Evening screenings take place in the Pryzstan Bar in Irishtown, and there will be a ‘minima’ in Hearne’s for small groups to view movies they may have missed.

All movie screenings are free as are many of the gigs and sessions being organised around the film festival.

The only part of the festival which there is a charge for is the award night and dinner. Tickets are E20 which includes dinner, post-dinner gig and entry to the night club.

This is the final year the festival will operate under the Amritsa umbrella, and from next year will be an independent film festival.