OSCAR®-NOMINATED IRISH LANGUAGE FILM THE QUIET GIRL/AN CAILÍN CIÚIN TO OPEN THE 17TH SOLAS NUA CAPITAL IRISH FILM FESTIVAL (CIFF)
FULL LINEUP ANNOUNCED
In addition to an Academy Award® nominee, the festival includes 16 features, 9 U.S. and Regional premieres, 13 short films, featuring 11 women directors, two films in the newly-implemented family program, Q&As with filmmakers, and more
NORMAN HOUSTON SHORT FILM AWARD GOES TO TRANSGENDER NORTHERN IRELAND FILMMAKER
CALEB J. ROBERTS’ HOMEBIRD
SOLAS NUA IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER PROUD TO PRESENT CIFF, THE LARGEST PROGRAM OF IRISH CINEMA IN NORTH AMERICA
March 2nd-5th, 2023
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Silver Spring, MD
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 2, 2023) - Solas Nua announces the full lineup of films for the 17th annual Capital Irish Film Festival (CIFF), which takes place March 2nd-5th and is presented in partnership with AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. The four-day festival is the largest program dedicated to Irish cinema in North America, showcasing the latest Irish dramatic and documentary features, shorts, art films and animation releases. The CIFF program includes 16 feature films (9 U.S. and Regional premieres), the Norman Houston Short Film Award winner, two shorts programs, two films in the new family programming category (13 short films across all programming), introductions and in-person Q&As with filmmakers, and special events with dignitaries.
The 2023 festival will be opened on Thursday March 2nd by Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States, Geraldine Byrne Nason, with a gala screening of the record-breaking Oscar®-nominated feature THE QUIET GIRL/AN CAILÍN CIÚIN. The exquisite narrative debut feature from director Colm Bairéad, has just made history as the first Irish language film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award® in the Best International Feature Film category. This coming-of-age drama about a quiet and neglected nine year old girl, named Cáit, is a gentle and tender meditation on family, grief and the power of unconditional love. The screening will be followed by an in-person Q&A with the director.
The festival is also proud to announce the second recipient of the Norman Houston Short Film Award is HOMEBIRD, exploring the relationship between an emotionally reclusive father struggling to reconnect with his estranged son.
The Award honors the life, spirit and legacy of the former long-time director of the Northern Ireland Bureau in the United States, who died in 2021. Presented annually for the best new short film made within the previous two years by a filmmaker from or based in Northern Ireland, it includes a $2500 prize. The award is made possible by support from the Northern Ireland Bureau, the Embassy of Ireland, and individual contributions.
The winning film is the creation of groundbreaking talent Caleb J. Roberts, an award-winning, queer, transgender short film writer and director from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Having made his debut in 2020 with the BBC-funded micro-short FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE, Roberts was then awarded Best Debut Fiction Short (funded by Northern Ireland Screen, British Film InstituteFI and Outburst Arts) for HOMEBIRD at the BAFTA/Academy-qualifying 34th Galway Film Fleadh, in July 2022. This accolade made Roberts the first transgender person ever to be funded by Northern Ireland Screen. Focusing on themes surrounding masculinity, queerness and place, Roberts' work delivers thought-provoking and authentic queer representation from a trans-masculine perspective. He is currently supported by the BAFTA award-winning production company Out of Orbit Ltd. in realizing his visions.
On Friday, March 3rd, the current Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau, Mr. Andrew Elliott will present the Norman Houston Award ahead of the winning film’s screening. HOMEBIRD will be presented in a double-bill with YOUNG PLATO, Solisú Films’s multi-award winning feature documentary set in North Belfast about a dynamic Ardoyne school principal who uses critical thinking and philosophy to empower his young pupils and their families, in an effort to interrupt the intergenerational trauma and violence that has plagued their community for decades. These films, together with the North American Premiere of BALLYWALTER (a bittersweet comedy drama feature by debut director Prasanna Puwanarajah, starring Patrick Kielty and Seána Kerslake), Marie Clare Cushinan's award winning short film VIVA, starring Lalor Roddy and Kate O'Toole and AS IF THERE WERE TREES, Gary McKendry's, poignant short based on a story by National Book Award winner Colum McCann, have inspired and moved us. They reflect the vibrant, dynamic and diverse contemporary filmmaking culture and industry that exists in Northern Ireland today and are part of our spotlight on Northern Ireland cinema to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.
The festival’s closing night selection is Robert Higgins and Patrick McGivney's heartfelt Gaelic football drama LAKELANDS, winner of the award for Best Irish Film at the 2022 Galway Film Fleadh. Additional highlights from this year’s bold and diverse lineup include the North American premiere of bittersweet dramedy BALLYWALTER, the directorial debut of actor Prasanna Puwanarajah (THE CROWN), starring comedian Patrick Kielty in his first big screen role; THE SPARROW, Irish director Michael Kinirons' powerful coming-of-age thriller about guilt and grief set in a remote fishing village in West Cork; LOLA, a steampunk sci-fi mockumentary set in 1940s England; RÓISE AND FRANK a charming tale of grief, reincarnation and reconnection about a recently widowed woman who believes that a local stray dog embodies the spirit of her late husband; THE GHOST OF RICHARD HARRIS, a complex portrait of Ireland's first leading man in Hollywood as explored by the actor's three sons; and NOTHING COMPARES, Kathryn Ferguson's Sundance-premiered documentary about singer-songwriter Sinead O'Connor's iconoclastic career and enduring cultural impact.
The Capital Irish Film Festival is supported by Culture Ireland, Screen Ireland, the Northern Ireland Bureau, the Embassy of Ireland, the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme and Irish Film Institute. Solas Nua is also supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Solas Nua’s Capital Irish Film Festival has been showing Irish films, films by Ireland-based filmmakers and the best of Irish cinematic talent, annually for 17 years. The four-day festival is presented in partnership with AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center at their historic art-deco theater in Silver Spring, MD.
Festival passes and individual tickets are now on sale at SolasNua.org/CIFF. The full festival lineup is as follows:
THE QUIET GIRL [AN CAILÍN CIÚIN]
Thurs, March 2, 7:00 p.m.
Q&A with director Colm Bairéad
DIR/SCR Colm Bairéad, from the short story "Foster" by Claire Keegan; PROD Cleona Ní Chrualaoí. Ireland, 2022, color, 94 min. In Irish with English subtitles.
Thurs, March 2, 9:45 p.m.; Sat, March 4, 9:15 p.m.
DIR/SCR Kathryn Ferguson; SCR/PROD Michael Mallie, Eleanor Emptage. Ireland/UK, 2022, color/b&w, 100 min.
GHOSTS OF BAGGOTONIA
Fri, March 3, 12:00 p.m.
DIR/SCR Alan Gilsenan; PROD Martin Mahon. Ireland, 2022, b&w, 89 min.
THE GHOST OF RICHARD HARRIS
Fri, March 3, 2:30 p.m.
DIR/SCR/PROD Adrian Sibley; PROD David Collins, George Waud. Ireland/UK, 2022, color, 106 min.
North American Premiere
Fri, March 3, 4:45 p.m.
DIR Prasanna Puwanarajah; SCR Stacey Gregg; PROD James Bierman, Nik Bower. Northern Ireland, 2022, color, 90 min.
The 2023 Norman Houston Short Film Award: HOMEBIRD with YOUNG PLATO
Fri, March 3, 7:00 p.m.
DIR/SCR Caleb J. Roberts; PROD Callum Harrison. Northern Ireland, 2022, color, 12 min.
Q&A with co-director Neasa Ní Chianáin and producer David Rane
DIR/SCR Neasa Ní Chianáin, Declan McGrath; SCR Etienne Essery; PROD David Rane. Ireland/Belgium/France, 2021, color, 102 min.
East Coast Premiere
Fri, March 3, 10:00 p.m.
DIR/SCR Andrew Legge; SCR Angeli Macfarlane; PROD Alan Maher, John Wallace. Ireland/UK, 2022, b&w, 79 min.
Capital Irish Film Festival Shorts Program 1
Sat, March 4, 11:00 a.m.
Sat, March 4, 11:10 a.m.
DIR/SCR/PROD Sasha King; PROD Vicky Phelan, Bill Snodgrass. Ireland, 2022, color, 89 min.
THE CRY OF GRANUAILE
Sat, March 4, 12:45 p.m.
Q&A with director Dónal Foreman
DIR/SCR/PROD Dónal Foreman; PROD Edwina Forkin, Liam Beatty. Ireland, 2022, color, 82 min.
Sat, March 4, 3:05 p.m.
DIR/SCR Frank Berry; PROD Tristan Orpen Lynch, Donna Eperon, Aoife O'Sullivan, Sam Bisbee. Ireland, 2022, color, 94 min.
East Coast Premiere
Sat, March 4, 5:15 p.m.
DIR/SCR/PROD Luke McManus; PROD Elaine Gallagher. Ireland, 2022, b&w, 85 min. NOT RATED
RÓISE AND FRANK
Sat, March 4, 7:15 p.m.
DIR/SCR Rachael Moriarty, Peter Murphy; PROD Cúán Mac Conghail. Ireland, 2022, color, 84 min. In Irish with English subtitles.
Capital Irish Film Festival Shorts Program 2
Sun, March 5, 11:00 a.m.
East Coast Premiere
HOW TO TELL A SECRET
Sun, March 5, 12:00 p.m.
Q&A with co-director Anna Rodgers
DIR/SCR Anna Rodgers, Shaun Dunne; PROD Zlata Filipovic. Ireland, 2022, color, 99 min.
Capital Irish Film Festival Kids and Family Program
Sun, March 5, 12:45 p.m.
PRAY FOR OUR SINNERS
Sun, March 5, 2:05 p.m.
DIR/SCR/PROD Sinéad O'Shea; PROD Maya Derrington. Ireland, 2022, color, 81 min.
East Coast Premiere
THE SPARROW (2022)
Sun. March 5, 4:30 p.m.
Q&A with director Michael Kinirons and producer Alicia Ní Ghráinne
DIR/SCR Michael Kinirons; PROD Alicia Ní Ghráinne. Ireland, 2022, color, 92 min.
Sun. March 5, 7:00 p.m.
DIR/SCR/PROD Robert Higgins, Patrick McGivney. Ireland, 2022, color, 100 min. NOT RATED
ABOUT SOLAS NUA
Solas Nua - ‘new light’ in Irish, is a leading multi-disciplinary arts organization that is dedicated exclusively to bringing contemporary Irish arts to Washington, D.C. Solas Nua acts as an ambassador and advocate for Irish arts in the U.S., promoting multi-disciplinary Irish arts and culture. Solas Nua presents, produces, and commissions thought-provoking and ground-breaking work across the arts, and is recognized for making a substantive, unique contribution to the artistic and cultural richness of the city of Washington, DC and beyond. Support and follow Solas Nua via their newsletters, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
ABOUT AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER
A program of the American Film Institute (AFI), AFI Silver and Cultural Center offers a year-round program of the best in American and international cinema, featuring a dynamic mix of retrospectives, special events, tributes, on-stage guest appearances, specialty first-run movies,festivals, premieres and education and community-based programs in a theatrical setting of the highest standards. Anchored by the stunningly restored 1938 Silver Theatre, the three-screen AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art film and digital media exhibition venue that serves as a national model for preserving and honoring our shared film and film-going heritage. Read about all of these programs and more at AFI.com/Silver, and follow AFI Silver on social media at Facebook.com/afisilvertheatre, youtube.com/AFISilverTheatre, twitter.com/AFISilver and Instagram.com/afisilvertheatre/.