By Eimear Keenan

Its been a rousing summer of Irish Film this year and Irish Film London have been right in the middle of the action with this year’s big releases and new projects. Check out what we’ve been up to, below.

Irish Film London Summer Soho Social

A collection of filmmakers and enthusiasts from Ireland and elsewhere gathered for our social on June 22 in Soho’s cosy pub The Crown and Two Chairmen. This night set a casual and friendly atmosphere for Irish filmmakers in London to have a hub to enjoy two of our Irish prides, Film and socialising!

Irish film London organise events such as these to encourage collaboration and have helped with networking between Irish filmmakers and friends in the city since the festival began in 2010. We had a mixture of both industry professionals and amateur filmmakers show up to enjoy the craic and make some helpful connections. The gathering gave everyone a chance to update each other on their current projects, aspiring ideas and job availabilities coming up. We look forward to seeing you all again soon and hearing how the films are going.

Handsome Devil + cast Q&A

A mass of Irish talent descended on London in May for our screening of Handsome Devil followed by a Q+A with the stars of the new film. Regent Street Cinema was packed with excitement for the event.

John Butler’s new feature shows rising stars Fionn O’Shea (Roy, Siege at Jadotville) and Nicholas Galitzine (The Beat Beneath My Feet) as their characters' relationship develops from roommates to frenemies. The screening went down a treat with the audience as the film brought tears of laughter but also touches on many issues, from the rugby obsession that exists in private schools, to LGTBQ matters in Ireland. 

Handsome Devil has already created a nostalgic “schoolboy classic” feel for the viewers, from those who have dealt with the difficulty of bullying in school, to those who understand the magic of diversity in friendships. 

The boys eagerly answered the audience’s questions on their experience filming both the humorous and more serious themes of the film, with help from co-star Moe Dunford (Vikings), who is gladly much more understanding and likeable than his character. 

Director John Butler sent us a charming message of support from L.A. where he and Andrew Scott were at the time, promoting the films successful release in the States. 

The film has gone on to receive beaming reviews from critics both in Ireland and the U.K. 

Handsome Devil is now available to rent or buy on NETFLIX.

His & Hers + Director’s Q&A

Also this summer, Irish Film London hosted a community outreach collaboration with Ashford Place, a community centre in the NW London area, which deals with issues around homelessness and poverty. The charity helps and encourages people to get involved in their community and to engage with fellow residents through creative projects. 

We screened Ken Wardrop’s His and Hers with their weekly group, comprised of both Irish and non-Irish people, and brought the director in to the centre to meet them afterwards.

The event aimed to help create a familiar subject of discussion for the Irish members in the area, as the documentary looks at the relationships between Men and Women in the Midlands of Ireland. 

Irish Film London Founder and Director Kelly O’Connor commented on the success of the event;

“'His and Hers' was the perfect way to kick off our collaborations with Ashford Place. Ken's wonderfully warm and thoughtful film has been a talking point with Irish community groups in the UK for a few years now. So, being able to bring Ken himself into their world was a great treat for us all.

He got a bit of a ribbing from some of the more vocal group members about not visiting their hometowns for subjects, which he handled with charm and great wit. We can't wait to work with him on his new film "Making The Grade" next year. And we'll be back at Ashford Place again soon too!”

Cardboard Gangsters + cast Q&A

Picturehouse Central became the home of the “Cardboard Gangsters” for a night when the cast attended our screening of Mark O’Connor’s new film. Due to popular demand, the event was moved into a larger screen at the venue. 

The cast arrived to a host of giddy press photographers, looking like alter egos to their onscreen characters including John Connors (The King of the Travellers), Fionn Walton (What Richard Did), Kierston Wareing (Eastenders, It’s a Free World) and Toni O’Rourke (Noble, What Richard Did). The film revealed a portal into Darndale’s gangland dealings and partying, which went down a scream with audiences, in spite of the more gruesome scenes. 

Followed by a Q&A with the cast and producer Richard Bolger, the film's origins and filming experience were discussed in depth, including the intense period in the lead up to filming, when the cast lived together to build strong relationships, which really shows in their on-screen chemistry. 

You can listen to the Q&A here, with great thanks to Kealan Duignan and The Irish Jam. 

All in all, we’ve had a great summer at Irish Film London, and there’s no rest for the wicked, as the autumn programme is set to kick off on Aug 31st at Picturehouse Central with The Farthest

The above News item was written by our lovely intern Eimear Keenan, a Filmmaking student from Kingston University. If you would like to join our internship programme, or become one of our volunteers, please contact us