A Date For Mad Mary
Ahead of its general release on September 2nd, this film adaptation of Irish actress and writer Yasmine Akram’s one-woman show 10 Dates with Mad Mary (2010) won the coveted award for Best Irish Feature Film at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh in July, an accolade that has previously gone to films like The Guard and Song of the Sea. It tells the story of Mary, just released from prison, trying to find a date for her best friend’s wedding. Directed by Darren Thornton, it has garnered extremely positive reviews, being called ‘the best Irish film…in a long time’ by the Irish Independent.
The Young Offenders
The other joint-winner of the Galway Fleadh’s Best Irish Feature award, The Young Offenders is inspired by true events – that is, the biggest cocaine seizure in Irish history. A comedy about two young men from Cork city who set out to find the rumoured missing bale of cocaine in the wilds of West Cork, it has been described as ‘a hugely funny, genuinely sweet Irish comedy’. The first feature film by multi-award winning writer/director Peter Foott, it comes to Irish cinemas on September 16th.
Opening the Irish Film Institute’s annual documentary festival on September 22nd is Mattress Men, a documentary following a Dublin mattress salesman in his 60s who created a new persona in an attempt to save his business. Michael Flynn and his friend Paul Kelly sought to make ‘Mattress Mick’ into an internet sensation in order to boost sales and lift them both out of the difficult circumstances they were in, similar to those being experienced by many others thanks to the post-crash Irish government’s austerity measures. Director Colm Quinn and the stars of the documentary, Paul Kelly and Michael Flynn (Mattress Mick), will participate in a post-screening Q&A session at the IFI.
Dare To Be Wild
Initially screened as part of the Dublin International Film Festival in March 2015, Dare to be Wild gets its cinema release on September 23rd. Telling the true story of Irish landscape designer Mary Reynolds and how she came to win a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show, the film is Irish writer, director and environmentalist Vivienne de Courcy’s directorial debut. With the importance of humanity’s relationship with nature at its heart, and a love story thrown in for good measure, this is a beautifully shot feel-good romance.
This October 1st, Fingal Film Festival will screen South, the second feature film from award-winning Dublin-born director Gerard Walsh. Premiered at Galway Film Fleadh, South tells the story of a young man trying to cope with grief after the death of his father. Tom, the protagonist, sets out to find his estranged mother, making friends and learning lessons along the way. Shot over nine days in Dublin and Galway, this is a must-see for those who loved Walsh’s striking debut A Day Like Today (2014).
Also showing at the Fingal Film Festival, Atlantic is an award-winning documentary by The Pipe director Risteárd Ó Domhnaill, narrated by Irish actor Brendan Gleeson. Bringing the voices of small fishing communities in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland to the big screen, it shows how industrial fishing and oil drilling is both driving them to the point of extinction and putting entire ecosystems at risk. Winner of the Best Irish Documentary award at the Dublin International Film Festival 2016, this film has been called ‘an absolute must-see’ by Film Ireland.