Return of Rome's Irish film festival

6-9 Dec. The sixth edition of the annual IrishFilmFesta takes place at Rome's Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese.

Showcasing features films, documentaries and short films, the programme includes acting masterclasses, conferences and public interviews with this year's special guests, Irish actors Stuart Graham and Fionnula Flanagan. Among the other Irish actors and directors attending are Una Kavanagh, Terry McMahon, Joe Mullins and Laurence McKeown.

The annual festival, which is supported by the Irish embassy to Italy, screens cutting-edge, contemporary Irish movies which are regularly toasted on the international circuit but tend to remain largely unknown to Italian audiences. There are ten short films in competition and there will be three screenings without subtitles.

The festival founder and director Susanna Pellis told Wanted in Rome: "There are some movies not to be missed, such as Grabbers, which is very entertaining despite playing with a risky stereotype, namely the Irish drunk. I would also suggest Pilgrim Hill, a strong story that requires great emotional participation, by the young director Gerard Barrett, an emerging talent of Irish cinema.

Pellis also highlights Stella Days, starring Martin Sheen and Stephen Rea, as a sure crowd-pleaser, set in 1950s Ireland and directed by Thaddeus O'Sullivan; and the "charming documentary" by Pat Collins Tim Robinson: Connemara, set in the one of the most picturesque regions of the west of Ireland. Likewise she recommends The Shore, the short film about reconciliation in Northern Ireland, which stars Ciarán Hinds and which recently earned Terry George an Oscar. She says that the film contrasts well with Some Mother's Son, the film which made George's name in 1996, and which the IrishFilmFesta screens this year as Irish Classic.

Pellis says: "I would like to invite the public, especially English language speakers, not to miss the acting masterclass held by the director and actor Terry McMahon, and of course to come and meet Fionnula Flanagan - one of the most noted Irish actresses on the world stage and one of the loveliest women in show business - who will give a public interview."

Wanted in Rome will publish the full programme of events online, prior to the launch of the festival on 6 December. In the meantime details can be found on the festival website.  

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