The Capital Irish Film Festival (CIFF) celebrates annually the best of new Irish features, documentaries, shorts and animation, and particularly welcomes Irish language films. The four-day event, on the first weekend in March, places special emphasis on emerging talent in the Irish film industry. With the support of Culture Ireland, CIFF hosts visiting directors, producers and actors and makes them available for talkbacks and conversation after screenings. In its 12th year, CIFF is again partnering with the American Film Institute to screen films at their Silver Theatre in downtown Silver Spring. CIFF also produces Irish popcorn! an occasional free film screening series airing at various locations in Washington D.C
“The Farthest” Chosen “Audience Favorite”
Solas Nua announced its first “Audience Favorites” for the Capital Irish Film Festival. “The Farthest”, directed and written by Emer Reynolds and edited by Tony Cranstoun, the dazzling space documentary about the U.S. Voyager missions that closed the film festival this year, gained the highest ratings in the feature category.
In the shorts category, the hilarious “Thespish”, directed by Maureen O’Connell, about actors auditioning for a cheese commercial, won Audience Favorite Short Film.
CIFF 2018 introduced audience voting and feedback for the first time in the festival’s 12-year run. Film fans were able to rate the film they had just seen in the lobby of the AFI Silver Theatre or go online to rate the films.
Runner-ups in the feature-length category were “Maudie”, directed by Aisling Walsh, a biopic about beloved Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke; and tying for third place “It Tolls for Thee”, written and directed by Andrew Gallimore, a documentary about Mary Elmes, the only Irish person named “Righteous Among the Nations” for her work rescuing children from the Holocaust, and “The Breadwinner”, directed by Nora Twomey, an animated account of a young girl’s struggle to save her family in Afghanistan, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Among the short films, submitted by filmmakers, “Throwline”, written and directed by Mia Mullarkey, a documentary about Irish taxi drivers who prevent suicides, came in second, and “Proclaim” written and directed by Maureen O’Connell, about the printing of the 1917 Easter Rising Proclamation, won third place.
Solas Nua is grateful to the audience members who took the time to rate the films and to the Irish Film Board, Culture Ireland, the Irish Film Institute and the American Film Institute for their assistance in finding and acquiring all of the excellent films at the 2018 Capital Irish Film Festival
Thu, Mar. 1, 7:15 p.m.
Q&A with director Colin McIvor, plus post-screening reception sponsored by the Northern Ireland Bureau
IN THE NAME OF PEACE: JOHN HUME IN AMERICA
Fri, Mar. 2, 5:15 p.m.
Fri, Mar. 2, 7:45 p.m.
BAD DAY FOR THE CUT
Fri March 2, 9:45pm
CIFF Shorts Program I
Total runtime: 67 min
Sat, Mar. 3, 11:00 a.m.
THE BREADWINNER (2017)
Click on film images to read film summaries and see the trailers
Sat, Mar. 3, 12:30 p.m.
THE SECRET SCRIPTURE
Sat, Mar. 3, 2:30 p.m.
POC NA NGAEL [PUCK OF THE IRISH]
Sat, Mar. 3, 4:45 p.m.
Q&A with director Éamonn Ó Cualáin
Sat, Mar. 3, 6:45 p.m.
Sat, Mar. 3, 9:15 p.m.
CIFF Shorts Program II
Total runtime: 64 min
Sun, Mar. 4, 11:00 a.m.
IT TOLLS FOR THEE
Sun, Mar. 4, 12:30 p.m.
A DATE FOR MAD MARY
Sun, Mar. 4, 2:30 p.m.
Sun, Mar. 4, 4:30 p.m.
Q&A post-screening will be moderated by Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhall with "The Farthest" editor Tony Cranstoun and Dr. Heidi Hammel, vice president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, and one of the stars of the film.