Bay Area Irish Film News

We’ve had a great year for Irish film in the Bay Area. Here are some of the films that came our way:

A Date for Mad Mary •

Emerald City •

Rocky Ros Muc •

SF Irish Film Fest. Sep 21-23. Visit for updates and tickets

School Life • Opera Plaza

Directed by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane, this intimate and touching documentary presents a portrait of two educators who take on that “In Loco Parentis” role at the Headfort boarding school in Kells, Ireland.

School Life (formerly In Loco Parentis) has had rave reviews since its IDFA and Sundance premieres, and has picked up awards at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival (Jury Prize), Docville (Best Feature) and Visions du Reel (Prix du Public/Audience Award). The film was acquired by Magnolia Pictures after Sundance.

40th Mill Valley Film Festival • October 5-15

Song of Granite

Song of Granite is a lyrical journey through the life of traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney. Blending exquisitely shot narrative scenes with archival performances by its celebrated subject, this unusual biopic captures the profound beauty and melancholy of Heaney’s sean nós style, as well as the changing times he lived through. In English and Gaelic with English subtitles. Tickets
Saturday, Oct. 7 at 3:45 PM at Smith Rafael Film Center
Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6 PM at Lark Theater

A Nation Holds Its Breath (featured in Shorts Program)
The Nation Holds Its Breath plays as part of MVFF’s 5@5 It’s No Game Shorts Films. On the day of the most important football match in Irish history, a young father to be is torn between witnessing the miracle of childbirth and witnessing the miracle of reaching the quarter finals of the World Cup. Tickets
Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 9:15 PM at Smith Rafael Film Center
Thursday, Oct. 12 at 2:30 PM at CinéArts Sequoia

Visit MVFF festival website for updates on dates/times.

Irish Film

Irish Films Shown in Bay Area 2017

The Journey •

In 2006 the Democratic Union Party and Sinn Féin met for the first time in peace talks to discuss a ceasefire after 40 years of bloodshed. In one corner is Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall), the deeply conservative British loyalist; in the other is Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney), a former Irish Republican Army leader who has devoted his life to the cause of Irish reunification. Opposites in every way, the two men at first seem to have little chance of ever finding common ground. But over the course of an impromptu, detour-filled car ride through the Scottish countryside, each begins to see the other less as an enemy, and more as an individual—a breakthrough that promises the possibility that simple humanity can overcome political division. John Hurt, Freddie Highmore and Toby Stephens co-star.

A Date for Mad Mary, Frameline Festival June 2017

Written and directed by Darren Thornton, this feature set in Drogheda, Ireland, is a sweet and melancholic film about letting go of the past — in order to make room for the future.

Handsome Devil, Frameline Festival June 2017

An unlikely yet authentic bond develops between two teenage boys at an Irish boarding school, in this charming, rugby-centric dramedy from talented Irish writer-director John Butler.


Stricken with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Maud (Sally Hawkins) faces rejection from her own family in 1930s Nova Scotia. But she finds acceptance in the home of another outsider, curmudgeonly fishmonger Everett Lewis, who hires her to be his housekeeper. Aisling Walsh’s drama spans 35 years, depicting the growth of Maud’s unexpected career and her relationship with a difficult husband.

San Francisco Irish Film Festival Documentary Film Fest, March 2017

Coming Home

Coming Home is a feature length documentary by Dublin based filmmaker Cathal Kenna. It follows a selection of five Irish emigrants on their journeys as they return to and depart from Ireland. The concept of home and what it means to different people is at the heart of this intimate portrayal of Irish emigrant life. 1hr 23 mins

A Fanatic Heart

Musician and advocate Bob Geldof examines the life and work of one of the 20th century’s greatest poets, William Butler Yeats. 1hr 38 mins

How to Defuse a Bomb

The extraordinary untold story of how an NYPD bomb disposal expert played a key role in helping defuse the decades old “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. 1 hr 30 mins

Film Event Archives