This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Humanities Institute to co-sponsor Irish film festival

Published: June 7, 2007

Reporter Editor

Cinegael Buffalo 2007, a festival presenting award-winning, independent Irish films, will take place June 13-15 in the North Park Theatre and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.


It is being presented by riverrun inc. and is co-sponsored by the UB Humanities Institute, Kennedy, Stoeckl and Martin P.C., and William C. Moran & Associates.

The series will open on Wednesday with the Western New York premier of "Once" (2006), winner of the 2007 Sundance World Cinema Audience Award. The screening will take place at the North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave., Buffalo. A performance of contemporary Irish music by John and Mary and Friends will precede the screening at 7 p.m.

Admission is $8, with part of the proceeds benefiting the Buffalo Public Schools music programs and the Grosvenor Music Program of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.

Directed by John Carney, "Once" is a musical romance set on the streets of Dublin. The film stars Glen Hansard—a member of the Irish band The Frames who starred in the Alan Parker film "The Commitments"—in the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story.

The festival will move to Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, on June 14 with screenings, beginning at 7 p.m., of "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" (2006), directed by Ken Loach, and "Blot Out the Sun" (2005), directed by Harrell Fletcher.

Laurence Shine, professor of English at Buffalo State College, will offer comments after the films. Shine, narrator and co-writer of the film "Following James Joyce: Dublin to Buffalo," is co-founder and host of Bloomsday Buffalo and founder of the Ulysses Reading Circle.

Admission is $8 for the general public and $6 for Hallwalls members.

"The Wind That Shakes the Barley won the Best Picture Award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, as well as the 2007 European Film Award. It is the story of the Irish guerrilla armies that fought against the British "Black and Tan" squads trying to block Ireland's bid for independence in 1920. Despite apparent victory against the British, civil war erupts and Irish families who fought together against the British find themselves pitted against each other.

The screening of "Blot Out the Sun" marks a return engagement at Hallwalls. The film was one of several short films in the "Dissecting Portland [Oregon]" program that was shown on St. Patrick's Day. A gas station/garage in Portland serves as the setting for this conceptual re-working of James Joyce's "Ulysses."

The festival will conclude at 7 p.m. June 15 with another showing of "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," followed by a screening of "Following James Joyce...Dublin to Buffalo" (2004), directed by Patrick Martin and Stacey Herbert. Patrick McDevitt, UB associate professor of history, will offer comments after the screenings.

Admission is $8 for general admission and $6 for Hallwalls members.

"Following James Joyce...Dublin to Buffalo" was shot on location in Buffalo and in cities that were home to Joyce: Dublin, Paris, Trieste and Pola (Croatia). It features the internationally recognized James Joyce Collection of the UB Libraries and Special Collections, as well as an interview with President John B. Simpson and UB Council member Victor Rice.

Film director Patrick Martin, a senior partner in the law firm of Kennedy, Stoeckl and Martin P.C., also serves as director of riverrun inc. Stacey Herbert, former program director for Dublin's Samuel Beckett Centenary Festival, received a doctorate in comparative literature from UB.