Ottawa Irish Film Festival Still Going Strong

Photographed: Michael Inside movie poster

You have to love March. The weather is slowly but surely getting better, you have St. Patrick’s Day, you have got the Shamrock Shake at McDonalds and staying with the Irish theme, how about the Ottawa Irish Film Festival? Before we close the books on Q1 one of my favourite film festivals makes its annual appearance at Arts Court Theatre. In addition to this being a celebration of Irish culture, it is also a great opportunity to view some fantastic films. I have attended for the last several years and I am always impressed at the caliber of cinema this festival shows.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Patrick Murray who has been involved with the festival since its inception.

Ottawa Life Magazine: What is your role in the festival and how did you get involved?

Patrick Murray: I am the Executive Director and founder of the festival. Over six years ago I was interested in starting a film festival and I saw an Irish film festival as a viable niche. Besides an inherent interest from my own ancestral connection Ottawa has a large Irish community as a base and they haven't disappointed in their support of the festival.

What makes this festival successful?

The festival succeeds thanks to the talents and hard work of our founding members and organizing committee along with the generous support of our sponsors, the Irish community and cinema lovers outside the community. It is important to the long term success and growth of the festival that we appeal to patrons outside of the Irish community.

What are some of the standout films this year?

The standout films this year is a tough question to answer but I highly recommend Black 47 for opening night which was an Irish box office champ as well as The Hole In The Ground and Lost And Found which have visiting Directors/actors in Ottawa to present their films and participate in post screening talk backs.

Tell us about the panel?

The panel features Irish Director of horror film Lee Cronin, which we're screening Sat night at 8PM and Ottawa Film Commissionaire Bruce Harvey. They'll be discussing the process of getting a feature made from funding to building a creative team around you and specifically how to make a horror film.

You always have great films. How do you select them?

We source our films with the help of the Irish Film Institute as well as watching what's playing the major festivals for Irish film; the Galway Film Fleadh, Toronto International Film Festival and Sundance. We try to put together a diverse lineup including a children's film to appeal to a broad audience while also trying to bring to Ottawa the best most recent films out of Ireland.

The 2019 Program Ottawa Irish Film Festival Program is as follows:

Friday March 29

 7pm – Black ‘47

Saturday March 30

11:30 am – Live Panel with Lee Cronin and Ottawa Film Commission Bruce Harvey

2:00pm – Captain Morten and The Spider Queen

5:00pm – Michael Inside

8:00pm – The Hole in the Ground

Sunday March 31

2:30pm – The Dig

5pm – Lost and Found (Director and Lead Actor Liam O Mochain in attendance)

I assure you if you make it out you will not be disappointed. I hope to see you there!