Two landmark documentaries from national Irish language broadcaster, TG4, have been chosen to headline at the Irish Film Festival in Boston next weekend.
‘Noel Hill – Broken Dream (Aisling Ghéar)’, a searing portrait of one of Ireland’s most renowned traditional musicians as he recovers from a serious assault and ‘In the Shadow of the Glen’, which chronicles the decline of a once vibrant West of Ireland village and raises wider questions about culture and sustainability, will headline at this year’s festival, which runs from the 22 – 25 March.
“It is fantastic that such strong, contemporary Irish films will be screened here in the Boston area as part of the Irish Film Festival,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “These films show the quality of work being done by TG4 and it’s clear they can compete with the best on any international stage. I am very proud that these great stories from Ireland are being brought to the people of Boston and around the world.”
TG4 Director General Alan Esslemont says, “We are delighted that these top quality documentaries have been selected to screen at such a prestigious event. As part of our ‘TG4 Gach Áit’ initiative, it’s vitally important to TG4 to connect with the Irish wherever they are and we hope that these screenings will build on the loyal fan base we already have in the US.
The two documentaries in question where co-funded from the Sound and Vision fund of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. CEO of the BAI, Michael O’Keeffe says, “The BAI is delighted that these two high quality Irish language films will be screened at the Boston Film Festival. While both films tell contemporary Irish stories they also deal with universal themes that have resonance for Irish and international audiences”
The feature length documentary, ‘Noel Hill – Broken Dream (Aisling Ghéar)’, produced by Galway based Magamedia, tells the story of the world renowned concertina player, Noel Hill who decided to move with his young family to the rural idyll of Connemara. But in 2008 he was brutally assaulted in the toilet of a local pub by a builder with whom he had been in legal dispute. The physical damage to his face required 10 hours of corrective surgery while the psychological damage robbed him of his ability to play music and blighted him with ongoing flashbacks and PTSD. Paddy Hayes’ documentary follows Noel as he journeys from his formative musical years in West Clare, to his darkest hours following the assault and then through his recovery.
‘In the Shadow of the Glen – Anseo i Lár an Ghleanna’, directed and produced by Seán Ó Cualáin, tells the plight of his village as he follows a year in the life of the people of Loch Con Aortha, in Connemara, in the West of Ireland. Understanding that the Gaelic civilisation to which they belong has disintegrated, the local community strive to protect and preserve their identity, as they come to the realization that if they themselves cannot save their village, perhaps they can save its heritage.
The Irish Film Festival in Boston has become the largest event of its kind outside Ireland. It provides exhibition, distribution, and educational opportunities for filmmakers; honors their work with awards; and produces original documentaries on contemporary Irish cinema. For more information check out www.irishfilmfestival.com.
‘Noel Hill – Aisling Ghéar’ will also be screened on TG4 on Wednesday 18 April at 9.30pm with a repeat on Sunday 29 April at 10pm.
‘Anseo i Lár an Ghleanna’ is available to watch now on the TG4 Player.