“Jewish-Irish” experience a highlight of the first Los Angeles Irish Film Festival announces line-up

Deborah emails:

Dear Luke:

Following, please find a press release announcing the line-up for the inaugural Los Angeles Irish Film Festival for your consideration.  The festival will showcase the ‘Jewish-Irish Experience,’ with the west coast premiere of "Grandpa…. Speak to Me in Russian" directed by Louis Lentin and "Shalom Ireland" directed by Valerie Lapin.  In his personal film, "Grandpa …..Speak to Me in Russian," director Lentin uncovers the inspiring story of his family and the lost world of the Jewish shtetl, reconstructing the life of his paternal grandfather, Kalman Solomon Lentin. In "Shalom Ireland," director Valerie Lapin (born and raised in Los Angeles) reveals Ireland’s small but vibrant Jewish community, focusing on three Irish-Jewish families, a community whose existence takes many by surprise, with a soundtrack that fuses traditional Irish music and Klezmer music.  

THE FIRST LOS ANGELES IRISH FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LINE-UP 

Opening night film will be west coast premiere of award-winning EDEN  

LOS ANGELES, CA, August 20, 2008 – The Irish Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFF) announced today highlights of the program for the first Irish Film Festival of Los Angeles (Thursday, October 2 through Sunday, October 5) at the Clarity Theater in Beverly Hills, including the Opening Night Film and Closing Night Event.  The Irish Film Festival of Los Angeles is the first stand-alone Irish Film Festival to be presented in the city. Tickets will be available on www.lairishfilm.com on August 25th.

Festival Director Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman said, "I am pleased to announce that we have secured "Eden" as our Opening Night Film courtesy of the US distributor, Liberation Entertainment.  Declan Recks is an extremely talented director and I am proud to kick-off the festival with the west coast premiere of such a wonderful film." 

"Eden," directed by Declan Recks, is a new film from the producers of the Irish box office sensation, "Once".  The film follows a married couple in a picturesque Irish town as they prepare for their 10th anniversary and confront their fears of the future.  A vivid portrayal of marriage and the vulnerability of love, the film features tour-de-force performances by Eileen Walsh (Best Actress, Tribeca Film Festival) and Aidan Kelly. "Eden" is written by Eugene O’Brien, and adapted from his play of the same name.

The Closing Night Special Event will include two rare Irish silent films accompanied by a live orchestra with an original contemporary score composed by Eimear Noone, Irish film composer and conductor of the Los Angeles Ballet.

The festival will screen "Kings," from director Tom Collins, the first Irish-language film ever submitted in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards.   "Kings" was nominated for a record 14 Irish Film and Television Awards in 2008 and won five IFTA Awards.  A universal story of disenfranchisement and search for identity, "Kings" tells the past and present stories of six ambitious Irishmen who dreamed of making their fortunes in the construction industry of 1970s London.  The film stars Colm Meaney, Donal O’Kelly, Brendan Conroy, Barry Barnes and Donncha Crowley. 

The festival will also showcase the ‘Jewish-Irish Experience,’ with the west coast premiere of "Grandpa…. Speak to Me in Russian" directed by Louis Lentin and "Shalom Ireland" directed by Valerie Lapin.  In his personal film, "Grandpa …..Speak to Me in Russian," director Lentin uncovers the inspiring story of his family and the lost world of the Jewish shtetl, reconstructing the life of his paternal grandfather, Kalman Solomon Lentin. In "Shalom Ireland," director Valerie Lapin reveals Ireland’s small but vibrant Jewish community, focusing on three Irish-Jewish families, a community whose existence takes many by surprise, with a soundtrack that fuses traditional Irish music and Klezmer music. 

The festival will feature the documentary film "Learning Gravity" (aka "The Undertaking") directed by Cathal Black an award-winning documentary about Irish-American poet and undertaker Thomas Lynch. 

The festival will present a rare screening of "The Luck of Ginger Coffey" (1964), starring Robert Shaw ("Jaws") and Mary Ure. An early film from director Irvin Kershner ("Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back") the film is based on the late Belfast-born writer and Malibu resident, Brian Moore’s ("Black Robe," "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne") autobiographical novel of the same name.  Winner of the Canadian Film Award for Best Feature Film, the film is an extremely well-crafted, sombre portrait of an Irish emigrant dreamer longing for personal freedom.

On Sunday, October 5 at 4pm, the festival will host a panel discussion entitled "Shooting the Green:  Funding and shooting in the Republic of Ireland". The panel will focus on how to tap into Ireland’s rich tax incentives for co- production with the participation of Jonathan Loughran, VP, Irish Film Commission US, moderated by veteran international film and television financing attorney Bill Grantham of Greenberg Traurig, introduced by educator and producer, Gabrielle Kelly. 

The festival will also premiere "Dick Dickman P.I." directed by Barry O’Neill, featuring the cream of Irish comedy.

The Clarity Theater is located at 100 N. Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills. Free parking at the theater is available through the entrance on Crescent Drive (one block north of Wilshire).  

Tickets for the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival go on sale August 25th, 2008.

For more details about the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival please visit www.lairishfilm.com

or email lairishfilm@gmail.com

Kosher Guiness beer.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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