The 11th annual Capital Irish Film Festival starts Thursday, March 2 and runs through Sunday, March 5.

Opening the festival this year is “Born and Reared”, a moving documentary that explores contemporary Northern Ireland through the lives of four men living in the aftermath of violent conflict. Director Henrietta Norton and Producer Dan Dennison will be on hand for the post-screening discussion and a reception hosted by the Northern Ireland Bureau.

This year, for the first time, all films will be shown in the beautiful theaters of the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Md. Five filmmakers will join us to engage the audience in discussions of Irish film-making.


Thursday, March 2, Opening Night, followed by reception.

  • 7:15 pm — BORN AND REARED

(Visiting artists Henrietta Norton, director, Dan Dennison, producer)

Friday, March 3

  • 5:30 pm — OUTCASTS BY CHOICE
  • 7:15 pm — LIFT (Visiting artist Kealan Ryan, writer-producer)
  • 9:45 pm — SING STREET

Saturday, March 4

  • 1:00 pm — CIFF Shorts Program I : (Total run time. 53:69 mins.), Little Flower, Pebbles, The Debt, Specters of Modernity, Here Lies Mrs. Higgins.          
  • 5:30pm— BOBBY SANDS: 66 DAYS
  • 7:45 pm — WAR ON EVERYONE

Sunday, March 5, Closing Night.

  • 1:00 pm — Shorts Program II : (Total run time. 58:00 mins.), Mother's Milk & Cookies,    Reel: Irish Women, January Hymn, Strangers of Kindness, Strawberry, Barty Carty. 
  • 2:30 pm — ATLANTIC (Visiting artists Marie-Therese Garvey, producer)
  • 4:45 pm — SOUTH
  • 6:30 pm — THE YOUNG OFFENDERS (Visiting artist Hilary Rose, comedian-actress)


Documentaries –

Atlantic” focuses on the two biggest resources in the North Atlantic: fish and oil. Narrated by actor Brendan Gleeson, it was shot across Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland, Canada as it follows the fortunes of three small fishing communities struggling to maintain their way of life. Directed by Risteard O'Domhnaill and produced by Marie-Therese Garvey, who will join us for the screening and audience discussion.

 “Born and Reared” is a moving documentary that explores contemporary Northern Ireland through the lives of four men living in the aftermath of violent conflict. Director Henrietta Norton and Producer Dan Dennison will be on hand for the screening and discussion after.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days”, directed by Brendan J. Byrne and produced by Trevor Birney, reexamines the fatal hunger strike that caught the attention of the world and changed the course of events in the Northern Ireland conflict.

Outcasts by Choice” follows the Belfast punk band The Outcasts as they head back out on the road as Punk nears 40 and they are approaching 60. This documentary starts in tumult and ends up somewhere else. Directed by Kate McCarroll and Paul McCarroll.


In “Lift” Sean’s vicious attack leaves a man unconscious and the attacker stranded in an elevator with five other people. In the confines of the lift, love has a chance of blossoming, violence could erupt at any time, but one thing is certain, Sean, played by Fiach Kunz, has little chance of escape. Producer/Writer Kealan Ryan will join us for the screening and audience talkback.

The second feature from up-and-comer Gerard Walsh (“A Day Like Today”), “South” is a coming-of-age charmer about Tom, played by Darragh O’Toole, a young man struggling with the recent death of his nurturing father who hits the road to find his estranged mother.  Along the way, he overcomes his crippling stage fright as a musician, and meets a free-spirited young woman who captivates his mind and heart.


The Young Offenders” (Alex Murphy and Chris Walley) cycle 160 km on stolen bikes pursued by police to find a missing bale of cocaine, valued at 7 million Euro. Set around a real event, Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure in 2007, this whacky comedy also stars Irish comedian Hilary Rose as one of the boys’ mother. She will join us to sort out the mischief after the screening.
And more….
Two blocks of Shorts will take us to the tenements, the dating scene, funerals and funny moments as they introduce us to some of the newest Irish filmmakers.
Two beautiful films in Irish “Fís na Fuiseoige: The Lark’s View” and “Deargdhúil: Anatomy of Passion” explore both the place of poetry and poetry and place in Ireland.

CIFF showcases films about subjects pertaining to all of Ireland, Irish identity and culture or that are examples of Irish artistry. Entries are invited for feature-length or short films, including comedy, drama, documentary, animation, experimental and musical. CIFF welcomes Irish language films, which must contain English subtitles.

Images from last year's festival



The Capital Irish Film Festival (CIFF) is a production of Solas Nua, (Irish for new light), a District of Columbia-based non-profit dedicated to the showcasing of contemporary Irish arts. CIFF is the largest Irish film festival in the United States and shows more Irish language films than any American film festival. Since 2005, CIFF has sought to introduce new Irish filmmakers to American audiences with feature films, documentaries, shorts and animation. We welcome films in the Irish language. This year’s theme, in a nod to the “Year of the Gathering” in Ireland is “The Irish on Ireland.” Filmmakers were asked to submit films in early summer and panels of members screened the submissions for the best work of contemporary directors.

For schedule and tickets, visit