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Foyle Film Festival Launches 2015 Programme

05 November 2015

Screen International rising star Kevin Guthrie, director of the box-office smash Filth, Jon S. Baird, documentary filmmaker Deborah Perkins and BAFTA-winning director Damien O’Donnell are among the special guests that will be in attendance at this year’s Foyle Film Festival.

Running from November 18 to 22, the programme features a number of exclusive film premieres, gala screenings, industry-focused events and special cinematic experiences in key venues across Derry~Londonderry.

The festival, a flagship project of the Nerve Centre, will open on November 18 with a gala screening of Terence Davies’ Sunset Song, an adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s novel about a farming family torn apart by tragedy on the eve of WW1. Actor Kevin Guthrie, who has recently starred alongside Ray Winstone and Emma Thompson in The Legend of Barney Thomson, will attend the Northern Ireland Premiere in Brunswick Moviebowl.

The Festival will bring much needed attention to injustices around the world – from the mass organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China (Hard to Believe), the flawed and often brutal prison system in Florida (The Mind of Mark DeFriest) to the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, where 438 young women were murdered in 2010 (Blood Rising). Closer to home, A Kind Of Sisterhood tells the story of female political prisoners in Armagh and Maghaberry jails during the Troubles, told in their own words. Directors Claire Hackett and Michele Devlin will join some of the women featured in the film in a post-screening discussion.

Special events include the return of Tom McGrath from New York to his native Ireland to complete a 12-hour marathon to raise funds for the Foyle Hospice. A documentary about Tom’s life, Running Man McGrath, receives its World Premiere at the festival with a special screening in the historic Guildhall.

Guildhall Press will launch local author Desmond Doherty’s much anticipated third Valberg novel, Deadlight, in Eighty/81, Ebrington. The Valberg series of books have recently been optioned by award-winning producer Andrew Eaton’s Revolution Films and will be adapted for the screen by writing duo Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry (Good Vibrations). Hosted by BBC NI’s Marie-Louise Muir, Glenn, Colin and producer Mark McCauley will discuss the adaptation process.

Seven of the documentaries competing for an Oscar® at the 2016 Academy Awards® will have a one-off screening at this month’s festival. They include; The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which follows the rise of the Black Panther movement; a film documenting the story of how one of the most charismatic and volatile movie stars of all time would lose almost everything in the pursuit of his dream, Steven McQueen: The Man & Le Mans and Welcome to Leith a feature documentary chronicling the attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb.

'Vapid, vacuous and plastic': Russell Brand labels ex-wife Katy Perry's lifestyle the 'very thing I detest' in the explosive new documentary BRAND: A Second Coming - receiving its Northern Ireland Premiere at the Festival.

Families will enjoy the Special Premiere of Disney Pixar’s latest animated film, The Good Dinosaur, in Brunswick Moviebowl, and family classic Aladdin on the big screen. Also, in Brunswick Moviebowl, as part of the BFI and Film Hub NI blockbuster season The Good, The Bad and The Toxic, love and romance on the silver screen is celebrated with screenings of The Last Picture Show and My Beautiful Laundrette.

The Closing Night Gala on November 22, Grandma stars Lily Tomlin as a sharp-tongued, taboo-breaking granny who comes out fighting for her pregnant teenage granddaughter (Julia Garner) in this constantly suspiring comedy-drama from About A Boy director Paul Weitz.

Bernie McLaughlin, Foyle Film Festival Director and Programmer, said: “Each year the Festival brings together a rich and diverse selection of films that aims to entertain audiences of all ages. We have no fewer than 13 films and documentaries that will have their Irish or European Premiere at the Festival. This is a great opportunity for film-goers to try a genre they wouldn’t normally watch – they might be surprised at what they’ll discover.”

The festival’s Light in Motion (LIM) awards, sponsored by City of Derry Crystal, will be celebrated with a free From Shorts to Features’ conference on Friday 20 November at the Nerve Centre. Directors Jon S. Baird and Damien O’Donnell will be among the film industry luminaries taking part in the event, which is designed to give filmmakers the knowledge and skills required to make the transition from short film production to making their first feature film.

The Foyle Film Festival is the only Oscar® affiliated festival in Northern Ireland and, in addition to the conference, will offer an exciting programme of in-competition documentaries, short films and animations from across the world. The 2015 winners will be announced on the Closing Night at Brunswick Moviebowl. 

Once again the festival welcomes the support of Brunswick Moviebowl. Caoimhin McClafferty, Operations Manager, said: “It is an absolute privilege and a pleasure to be hosting the prestigious Foyle Film Festival at Brunswick Moviebowl again this year. Everyone here at Brunswick Moviebowl is so excited to be part of such a wonderful cinematic event for the entire city and would like to wish Bernie and her team every success with this year’s festival.”

Foyle Film Festival is a flagship project of the Nerve Centre, funded by DCAL through Northern Ireland Screen and by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion says the Foyle Film Festival is a huge success story for the city and region, showcasing a diverse range of films and documentaries with contemporary and foreign language films as well as workshops and events to suit every audience. She said: “The Festival continues to be a huge success showcasing creative talent and encouraging audiences to enjoy high quality films and be part of a festival that has so much to offer in terms of competitions, special screenings, and animation. This year’s programme is phenomenal with something for everyone to enjoy. I look forward to being part of yet another hugely successful festival for the city and district.”

For programme and booking information visit www.foylefilmfestival.org or call the festival box office on 028 7126 0562.