Magazine article Variety

Socal Fest Throws Spotlight on Ireland

Magazine article Variety

Socal Fest Throws Spotlight on Ireland

Article excerpt

This year, the Newport Beach Film Festival will again hold its Irish Spotlight and, thanks to last year's successful program and the continuing support of Culture Ireland, 2017's slate has been greatly expanded, with 10 features and 14 shorts on the schedule - with several filmmakers set to attend.

Over the past decade, nearly 60 Irish films have screened at the festival for more than 500,000 guests, making it a signature attraction that places a special emphasis on Irish cinema, cuisine and culture. "Through its Irish Spotlight event, NBFF not only provides a salient platform for these films to gain further international traction, but also affords California audiences an opportunity to view some of that country's most promising and emerging talents alongside works by internationally renowned and prolific Irish filmmakers such as Jim Sheridan and Juanita Wilson," says Irish Film Board CEO James Hickey.

Films at the showcase include "A Date for Mad Mary," which won for Irish Feature Film and the Bingham Ray New Talent Award at Ireland's 2016 Galway Film Festival. Directed by Darren Thornton, it follows a woman who has just returned home from prison and needs a date to attend her best friend's wedding. …

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