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12th Annual British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg

by Sarah Clinger
City Savvy Luxembourg is proud to be a media partner once again for the 12th annual British and Irish Film Festival in Luxembourg hosted by G-Media and the Irish Club of Luxembourg. This year’s festival runs from September 16 to September 25 and is a one of a kind, 10 day event which offers 21 feature-length films ranging from a wide variety of genres including: multiple documentaries, multiple dramas, one animation, one horror, and one thriller. This year the festival will also host a short film showcase, films have been provided by the IFI and Women in Film and Television Ireland (WFTI). These short films will be available online thanks to the Irish Film Institute. 

The Festival will take place across two venues. The first is the Ciné Utopia located in Limpertsberg, and the second venue is the Cinémathèque in Luxembourg City. The second venue located in Luxembourg City will open on September 16 with the film “Herself”, an Irish drama set during the housing crisis. On September 25 The same venue will conclude with the drama “The Current War”, a EN-US co-production set in the world of innovation and electricity. “Ooops 2 – The Adventure Continues” a Luxembourg co-production will have its first screening here in English. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions around the world and in the film industry, “A Bend in The River” an Irish drama, will have its first worldwide screening here in Luxembourg. 

On account of COVID-19, festival organizer Geoff Thompson explains the challenges of hosting a film festival under the cloud of the pandemic. He explains how very few films have been produced due to the lack of funding, support, and the inability to control public health. In order to reach a larger audience, 9 of the featured films will be screened online as well as in-cinema, 5 will be only offered online. COVID-19 restrictions will include required CovidChecks at both venues and social distancing measures will be enforced by leaving open seats between reservations. On a positive note, masks will not be required when sitting in the theatre in order to give audience members the opportunity to experience and appreciate each film.

In-cinema audiences will have the opportunity to meet actors, producers, and directors at post-screening Q&A sessions. Due to the lack of funding, these Q&A sessions will be done remotely with the special guests beamed into the screening rooms. For individuals interested in the online screenings, Q&As have been recorded and are available as additional content. This year the awards will feature both an Audience Award as well as an Audience Prize. Two individuals will win a Magnum of Crémant from Bernard-Massard and a hamper donated by Home from Home. The Critics’ Award will be given by members of the Association Luxembourgeoise de la Presse Cinématographique (ALPC).

Tickets cost €9 per person per film, this includes both in-cinema and online screenings. In-cinema tickets can be purchased through Luxembourg-Ticket.lu and online tickets can be purchased with the IFI festival streaming platform. Popular ticket options include; the Season Special Ticket which can be purchased for €35, a ticket for all online screenings can be purchased for €50, and ticket bundles also exist and are available for purchase (2 movies for €15 or 3 movies for €20). Tickets can be purchased at the venue before the film depending on seat availability. For more information in-cinema screenings, pricing, and ticket purchase, please visit www.bifilmseason.lu. For more information about online screenings, please visit www.ifiinternational.ie/page/biffl

The festival would not be possible without the Welsh film development agency named Ffilm Cymru, and the support from the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Galway Film Festival, Irish Film Institute, Culture Ireland, Luxembourg Film Fund, and Embassy of Ireland. Ffilm Cymru has provided contracts for four new Welsh films which will be screened this year. Many of the films that will be screened had their premieres at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Galway Film Festival. The Embassy of Ireland located in Luxembourg has provided a gracious financial contribution to the festival through its Emigrant support program.

COVID-19 has also hit many companies and sponsors hard, this year the festival would like to give a big thank you to its sponsors who continue to give when times are difficult. They would like to especially thank Silver Sponsor Enovos, Bronze Sponsors Banque Havilland, BGL BNP Paribas, Kerry Luxembourg and Waystone, as well as various partners including DHL, Bernard Massard, Home from Home, the New Delhi restaurant, and the Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. A big thank you to the media partners who help keep the event running including: AraCityRadio, Chronicle.lu, Delano and City Savvy Luxembourg. 

ONLINE PROGRAMME 

·       Online Only:

  • Aine Tyrrell – Irish Troubadour (IE, AUS, 68 mins) by Enda Murray
  •  Lost Lives (NI, IE, EN, 89 mins) by Dermot Lavery, Michael Hewitt
  • The Queen v Patrick O’Donnell (IE, 89 mins) by Tomás Seoighe – in English & Irish with EN subtitles
  •  To the Moon (IE, 80 mins) by Tadhg O’Sullivan
  • Untold Secrets (IE, 84 mins) by Teresa Lavina
  • Also: Brief Encounters: IFI & WFTI Short Film Showcase (IE, 97 mins)

·       Also In-Cinema:

  • Here Before
  • Songs for While I’m Away
  • Men Who Sing – in English & Welsh with EN subtitles
  • Mountrath Unlocked

IN-CINEMA PROGRAMME

·       Thu 16 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 19:00: Herself (IE, EN, 97 mins) by Phyllida Lloyd

·       Fri 17 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 19:00: Dream Horse (WA, 113 mins) by Euros Lyn

·       Fri 17 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 21:30: The Nest (EN, CA, 107 mins) by Sean Durkin

·       Sat 18 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 16:30: I Never Cry (Jak najdalej stad) (IE, PO, 98 mins)

       by Piotr Domalewski – in English & Polish with EN sub-titles

·       Sat 18 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 19:00: Ammonite (EN, US, AUS, 120 mins) by Francis Lee

·       Sat 18 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 21:30: Saint Maud (WA, EN, 84 mins) by Rose Glass

·       Sun 19 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 14:00: Ooops 2 – The Adventure Continues (LU, IE, BE, DE, 85 mins) by Toby Genkel, Sean McCormack

·       Sun 19 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 19:30: My Salinger Year (IE, CA, 101 mins) by Philippe Falardeau

·       Mon 20 Sep @ Cinémathèque @ 19:00: Songs for While I’m Away (IE, 112 mins) by Emer Reynolds

·       Tue 21 Sep @ Cinémathèque @ 19:00: Six Minutes to Midnight (EN, WA, 99 mins) by Andy Goddard

·       Wed 22 Sep @ Cinémathèque @ 19:00: Men Who Sing (WA, 76 mins) by Dylan Williams in Welsh & English with EN sub-titles & Mountrath Unlocked (IE, 53 mins) by Maurice O’Carroll

·       Thurs 23 Sep @ Cinémathèque @ 19:00: Kat and the Band (EN, 92 mins) by E.E. Hegarty

·       Fri 24 Sep @ Cinémathèque @ 19:00: Here Before (NI, 83 mins) by Stacey Gregg

·       Sat 25 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 16:30: A Bend in the River (IE, 85 mins) by Colin Broderick

·       Sat 25 Sep @ Ciné Utopia @ 19:00: Awards & The Current War (EN, US, 107 mins) by Alfonso Gomez-

Rejon

SPECIAL GUESTS

·       Aine Tyrrell – Irish Troubadour: Aine Tyrrell; Enda Murray (Director) CONFIRMED

·       Dream Horse: Toni Collette (Actor)

·       Herself: Clare Dunne (actor); Phyllida Lloyd (Director; who also directed Mamma Mia! 

       and The Iron Lady) CONFIRMED

·       I Never Cry: Piotr Domalewski (Director) CONFIRMED

·       Kat and the Band: Ella Hunt (Actor)

·       Men Who Sing: Dylan Williams (Director) CONFIRMED

·       Mountrath Unlocked: Maurice O’Carroll (Director) CONFIRMED

·       Songs For While I’m Away: Emer Reynolds (Director; who also directed The Farthest @   

       BIFFL 2017)

·       The Queen v Patrick O’Donnell: Tomás Seoighe (Writer, Director) CONFIRMED

·       Untold Secrets: Teresa Lavina (Director) CONFIRMED

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