Capital Irish Film Festival Opens with “Born and Reared”



Feb. 20, 2017

Contact: Pat Reilly

Phone: (540) 316-8635



Capital Irish Film Festival Opens with “Born and Reared”

Documentary Explores Lives of Northern Irish Men in the Aftermath of Conflict


SILVER SPRING, MD -- The Eleventh Annual Capital Irish Film Festival, sponsored by Solas Nua, opens on March 2 at the AFI Silver Theatre with the piercing documentary “Born and Reared”, a film that explores contemporary Northern Ireland through the lives of four men living in the aftermath of a conflict that ended in 1999. The film has been praised in Ireland as an unflinching look at what it was like to grow up in Northern Ireland during the “Troubles,” three decades of sectarian violence.


“Born and Reared” was inspired by director Hen Norton’s own childhood, during which she spent weekends and holidays with her stepmother, Maureen “Mo” Mowlam (who served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland). Producer and Director of Photography Dan Dennison is an Irish photojournalist who has worked in conflict zones around the world. Norton and Dennison’s experiences inspired them to create a film that tells an honest and even account of Ireland’s conflict and those coping with the aftermath.


“’Born and Reared’ is a great film to kick off our 11th year,” said Pat Reilly, director of the Capital Irish Film Festival, “It is a first feature-length documentary by two journalists who have made film their medium.” Reilly added, “We are especially thrilled to have the filmmakers with us to engage the audience in discussion after the film.”


The Capital Irish Film Festival is a production of the Washington, DC-based group Solas Nua, which is dedicated to the promotion of contemporary Irish arts. For the first time, the festival will be held in the theaters of AFI in Downtown Silver Spring, MD. The festival includes a number of feature films, including two in the Irish language, and shorts and runs through March 5.


For more information, go to:







Capital Irish Film Festival 2015 - Press Pack

Click here to download the press pack with our brochure, images and more.

Solas Nua Presents:

Capital Irish Film Festival

02/05/15 – E Street Cinema. 02/06/15 to 02/08/15 at Goethe-Institut.

Capital Irish Film Festival to Open with Comedy “Gold”

Washington, D.C., Jan. 5, 2014 — The ninth annual Capital Irish Film Festival kicks off on Feb. 5 with Niall Heery’s Gold, a comedy that has won the hearts of audiences since its premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh in July. Showing at the E Street Theater, Gold is an offbeat comedy with dramatic depth starring David Wilmot (Calvary) and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones). A father returns after a 12-year absence to find his girlfriend, the mother of his daughter, has married his self-important gym teacher.

CIFF continues at the Goethe-Institut from Feb. 6-8 with An Bronntanas (The Gift) a thriller in Irish and English set off the West Coast of Ireland. In An Bronntanas a lifeboat crew must decide between following the law and saving their village. It’s a favorite of Irish Breaking Bad fans and is Ireland’s submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film. Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank, an eccentric musical odyssey, that premiered at Sundance will head the program on Feb. 7. Also that day is a special program of music and moving image. This unique concert presentation of work by Irish composers, filmmakers and media artists is also a contest that will be judged by the audience. The program includes heartwarming animated opera, an edgy take on Irish dance and abstract video art with ambient electronics.

Award-winning feature documentary Blood Fruit tells the story of Irish supermarket workers who created national news by refusing to sell produce from South Africa during the Apartheid years. It will be followed by a director’s talk with Sinead O’Brien on Feb. 8.

Docudrama A Terrible Beauty, which offers a fresh perspective on the bid for Irish independence known as the Easter Rising of 1916, will close the festival on Feb. 8. Afterwards there’s a closing reception with the producer of the film, Dave Farrell.

Visit to download a brochure or view our complete lineup and watch trailers. A variety of passes and single screening tickets are available at

The Capital Irish Film Festival is a production of Washington-based Solas Nua, the only U.S. organization dedicated exclusively to contemporary Irish Arts. It is sponsored by Culture Ireland.

Gold Synopsis: The Irish Times calls Gold "the sort of picture you want to hug." Gold tells the story of Ray who returns to his hometown to visit his dying father and reconnect with Abbie, the daughter he abandoned more than a decade before. These days Abbie is being groomed for athletic success by her highly competitive stepfather who just happens to be Ray’s former teacher. Still, Ray does his best to reconnect with his daughter and ex-wife, but things don't always go to plan and he risks ruining everyone's life.

Gold Director: Niall Heery is a writer-director based in Dublin, Ireland. He won the Breakthrough Talent Award at the Irish Film & Television Awards for his first feature film Small Engine Repair. In addition to directing Gold he co-wrote the screen play with Brendan Heery. We are pleased to announce that Niall Heery will attend CIFF 2015. He'll be available for an audience meet and greet after the screening. 

CIFF Special Guests: Niall Heery (Gold, Director); Sinead O'Brien (Blood Fruit, Director); Dave Farrell (A Terrible Beauty, Executive Producer); Colin Farrell (A Terrible Beauty, Project Manager and Actor).

David Monahan: "On Leaving" Photographer

“On Leaving” Photographer

talks about documenting Irish migration

Free and open to the public

Solas Nua presents Irish photographic artist David Monahan at two venues April 23 and 24 to talk about his multi-year project On Leaving, a major photographic study of Irish people who are emigrating for economic reasons. Starting in 2010, Monahan took 84 portraits of 120 Irish men and women on the night before they left Ireland, possibly forever. The first phase, Leaving Dublin, has been exhibited as a projection in 13 cities worldwide.
Monahan is now traveling the world to photograph his “sitters” for a second time in their new homes as part of a broader piece, On Leaving. Monahan says of his subjects, “They are making a huge jump into the void of uncertainty and this needs to be commemorated perhaps like never before.”
Monahan will speak Wednesday April 23 at 5 p.m. at the Catholic University's Pryzbyla Center, Great Room A. Admission is free and the public is welcome. Event details here.

On Thursday April 24 at 6:30 p.m., Solas Nua and Irish Network DC are teaming to present Monahan at the Georgetown Irish pub Rí Rá, at 3125 M St. NW. Admission is free and the discussion will continue after the talk. Event details here.


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David Monahan press image


Irish Book Day to debut original short stories, poetry



For immediate posting                                                                                              Contact: Pat Reilly


540 316-8635


Irish Book Day to debut original short stories, poetry

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, will again be Irish Book Day, when the Irish arts organization Solas Nua gives away books that give voice to Irish authors and poets. This year, Solas Nua is introducing a new collection of short stories and poetry by Ireland’s best contemporary writers called What’s the Story?


Solas Nua volunteers will be giving away thousands of copies of What’s the Story? at Metro stops including Dupont Circle, Gallery Place/Chinatown, Judiciary Square (morning) and Columbia Heights during morning and evening rush hours. Other locations will be tweeted throughout the day by @SolasNuacht. Readers are invited to share their responses using #whatsthestory on Facebook and Twitter.

The stories and poems collected in What’s the Story? were selected by The Stinging Fly literary magazine and published in association with Solas Nua. The book was underwritten by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Solas Nua members. Authors included in the 139-page book are Mary Costello, Kevin Barry, Elaine Feeney and many others.

Explore our site to learn more about What’s the Story?, plans for Irish Book Day and Irish film, literature, music and theater, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Download press release

Download What's The Story? cover image