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RTÉ to showcase top Irish films in Ireland On Screen season
RTÉ Television has partnered with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) on a new initiative to celebrate some of the best new and acclaimed Irish films. Ireland on Screen will see a selection of top Irish films broadcast on RTÉ One Television this August including the network TV premieres of Neil Jordan's fantasy drama Ondine with Colin Farrell, wedding comedy Happy Ever Afters, The Runway, based on the true story of a South American pilot who crash landed in Mallow in 1983 and Academy Award winner The Shore directed by Terry George and starring Ciaran Hinds, along with highly-regarded favourites such as Dancing at Lughnasa, Song for a Raggy Boy and Michael Collins. This collection of films showcases some of Ireland's most talented actors, writers, directors and film makers.
RTÉ's most recent Irish film investments, along with the IFB and BAI, include Run and Jump from Samson Films which was filmed earlier this summer and an adaptation of The Sea from acclaimed Irish writer John Banville which is currently in development.
Dermot Horan, Director of Broadcast & Acquisitions, RTÉ Television, said: "RTÉ has a proud heritage of broadcasting some of the best Irish drama and feature films. We are delighted to be working with the Irish Film Board again on this Ireland on Screen initiative and to also continue our investment in this key Irish industry. We hope this broad selection of exciting and popular Irish films will appeal to a wide range of viewers."
James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, said: "We are delighted to work in partnership with RTÉ on this Ireland on Screen initiative which will bring a range of Irish films to audiences, which they may otherwise not have a chance to see. It's really important to us that Irish films find an audience not only in cinemas but through other media including television. We are especially pleased to see so many IFB funded feature films supporting Irish talent in the line-up including the network television premieres of Ondine directed by Neil Jordan and starring Colin Farrell, Happy Ever Afters with Simon Delaney and Stanley Townsend and Irish director Ian Power's feature directorial debut The Runway."
The Ireland on Screen season begins this Saturday on RTÉ One with the transmission of The Boxer. (see full film broadcast schedule below)
IRELAND ON SCREEN - BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Saturday 18th August at 11.30pm on RTÉ One
Academy Award-winner Daniel Day-Lewis and Academy Award-nominee Emily Watson play star-crossed lovers, caught in the troubles of Northern Ireland. When Daniel Day-Lewis re-opens a boxing ring in an effort to heal his Belfast community, he finds that a legacy of violence is not easily escaped. Brian Cox also stars and Oscar-nominee Jim Sheridan directs.
Happy Ever Afters
Sunday 19th August at 9.30pm on RTÉ One (Network TV Premiere)
Irish romantic-comedy about the short-lived honeymoons of two hapless couples. Sally Hawkins plays Maura, a feisty, financially struggling single mother getting paid to marry Wilson, an immigrant facing deportation. The union is not met with approval by Maura's daughter Molly, nor by two bungling detectives sceptical of the marriage's validity. At the same hotel, Freddie and Sophie, a divorced couple, have also just married - for the second time. One venue for two wedding receptions is a tight fit, and when Maura clashes with Freddie, disaster ensues, ruses come unstuck and inter-marriage romance blossoms.
His & Hers
Tuesday 21st August at 11.25pm on RTÉ One
From kitchens, living rooms, and hallways across the Irish midlands, His & Hers delightfully combines observation and charm to tell a 90-year-old love story through the voices of 70 women. This intimate gender and cultural snapshot explores a woman's relationships with the men in her life-father, boyfriend, husband, son. Following sequentially from little girl to old woman, each character portrait is woven with the others into one perfectly crafted cinematic quilt. His & Hers is an enchanting and affectionate appreciation for woman in all her versatility.
Wednesday 22nd August at 9.35pm on RTÉ One (Network TV Premiere)
The Runway is inspired by the true story of a South American pilot who landed his plane near Mallow in 1983. Against all odds, the people of the town came together to build a runway to get him home and briefly caught the imagination of the nation. It is the story of Paco, a young boy without a father who adopts the pilot and convinces the town to build a runway to get him home.
Thursday 24th August at 10.15pm on RTÉ One (Network TV Premiere)
Academy Award winning The Shore, which filmed entirely in Northern Ireland, is the inspiring story of two boyhood best friends Joe (Ciarán Hinds) and Paddy (Conleth Hill) divided by 25 years of misunderstanding. Their world and their friendship are shattered by the conflict escalating in Northern Ireland. The two boys' lives take very different paths until, 25 years later, Joe returns for the first time to his homeland with his 24-year-old daughter, Patricia (Kerry Condon). In his absence Paddy, his best friend, has married Joe's former fiancée Mary (Maggie Cronin). What happened all those years ago? Can old wounds be healed? The answer is in equal parts hilarious and moving.
Dancing at Lughnasa
Friday 25th August at 10.40pm on RTÉ One
Adopted from the acclaimed play by Brian Friel, Dancing at Lughnasa stars Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Kathy Burke, and Rhys Ifans. A young boy tells the story of growing up in a fatherless home with his unmarried mother and four spinster aunts in 1930s Ireland. Each of the five women, different from the other in temperament and capability, is the emotional support system, although at times reluctantly, for each other, with the eldest assuming the role of a 'somewhat meddling' overseer. But then into this comes an elderly brother, a priest too senile to perform his clerical functions, who has "come home to die" after a lifetime in Africa; as well, there also arrives the boy's father, riding up on a motorcycle, only to announce that he's on his way to Spain to fight against Franco. Nevertheless, life goes on for the five sisters, although undeniably affected by the presence of the two men, they continue to cope as a close-knit unit... until something happens that disrupts the very fabric of that cohesiveness beyond repair.
In The Name of the Father
Saturday 25th August at 10.15pm on RTÉ One
Jim Sheridan's In the Name of the Father is based on the true life story of Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four who were falsely convicted of the IRA's Guildford pub bombing. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Pete Postlethwaite) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Emma Thompson).
Conspiracy Of Silence
Saturday 25th August at 00.40am on RTÉ One
A can of worms is opened within the Irish Catholic Church following two controversial incidents: the suicide of Frank Sweeney, a parish priest, and the expulsion of Daniel McLaughlin, a young trainee priest from a nearby seminary, on the grounds that he was open to the sexual advances of a male colleague. A local journalist, David Foley, is convinced that Sweeney's death and Daniel's expulsion are linked. Desperate to clear his good name and be re-instated, Daniel agrees to talk to Foley. As the story gathers momentum, the Church closes ranks.
Sunday 26th August at 9.30pm on RTÉ One (Network TV Premiere)
IFTA award-winning Ondine is a Irish romantic drama film directed and written by Neil Jordan, starring Colin Farrell, Dervala Kirwan and Alicja Bachleda. Ondine is a tale about hope, love and the value of believing in magic. It tells the story of Syracuse, a local fisherman whose everyday life is transformed by a beautiful and mysterious woman, whom he fishes from the sea and who his young daughter believes is a mermaid. But as in all fairytales, enchantment and darkness go hand in hand.
Monday 27th August at 9.35pm on RTÉ One
Starring Liam Neeson, Julia Roberts, Aidan Quinn, and Alan Rickman, this historical epic directed by Neil Jordan received two Academy Award nominations. Michael Collins, one of Ireland's most controversial patriots and revolutionary heroes, leads his countrymen in their fight for independence. Having come of age in the early 20th century, when a monumental history of oppression and bloodshed had divided Ireland and its people, Collins was arrested during the 1916 Easter Uprising, when Irish revolutionaries surrendered to the overwhelming military power of the British forces after a six-day standoff at Dublin's General Post Office. Upon his release, he took leadership of the Irish independence movement and strove to create a free and peaceful country.
Song For A Raggy Boy
Friday 31st August at 10.35pm on RTÉ One
Against the wishes of the Bishop, Father Damian (Alan Devlin), the principal of St. Jude's Reformatory School appoints William Franklin (Aidan Quinn) the only lay teacher among a staff of Catholic Brothers. Franklin's teaching methods are diametrically opposed to those of the Brothers, who resort to verbal and physical abuse. As Franklin tries to build a relationship based on trust with the boys, he unlocks their hidden talents, teaching them to appreciate poetry, recruiting Liam Mercier (John Travers), an exceptionally talented boy, to help him take on the challenge. Discovering at St.Jude's the same kind of repression and tyranny he fought against in Spain, Franklin continues to have flashbacks to his days in the Spanish Civil War. When on Christmas Day Brother John gratuitously beats two young brothers who have broken a school rule, Mercier and Franklin curtail the violence but not for long. Brother John's determination to find out why Franklin has decided to teach at St. Jude's results in more brutality, with unimaginable consequences.