Four IFB Titles Selected for HotDocs International Documentary Festival


Four IFB Titles Selected for HotDocs International Documentary Festival

Posted: 20th March 2018

Congratulations to four IFB documentary titles which have been selected for HotDocs International Documentary Festival. Maurice Sweeney’s I, Dolours, Feargal Ward’s The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, Katrina Costello’s The Silver Branch and Hannah Quinn’s Smithy & Dickie will all screen at the Canadian festival, which runs from 26 April – 6 May.

Receiving its world premiere in the International Spectrum strand of the festival, Maurice Sweeney’s I, Dolours presents one woman’s story of life and death in the IRA. In 2009, Dolours Price, militant IRA activist, hunger striker and vocal opponent of the peace process gave an interview on condition that it not be broadcast in her lifetime. For the first time her shocking story can be told, entirely in her own words. Dolours was a ruthless terrorist but also a charismatic, loving mother, sister, friend. She was passionate, fragile, dogmatic, tortured.  

Apart from the insight into the IRA and the descent into hell of Northern Ireland this film offers a rare glimpse into the pathway to radicalisation of an intelligent young woman — the motivation and excitement leading to violence and ultimately despair.  It is a story which is is more relevant today than ever.  The documentary is produced by Ed Moloney and Nuala Cunningham for New Decade TV.

The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid tells the story of Thomas Reid, a Co. Kildare farmer who, for years, has been locked in a gruelling battle with his neighbour — U.S. microchip manufacturer, Intel who want to expand into Reid’s land. When his farm in Leixlip was the subject of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) by the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Thomas decided to risk everything by challenging the state body in a battle through the courts.

Produced by Luke McManus of FSE Films, the film — which will receive its North American premiere; screening in The Good Fight section of the festival — presents a unique insight into Reid’s struggle to hold onto his lands and home in the face of considerable odds.

Receiving its international premiere in the International Spectrum strand of HotDocs is Katrina Costello’s The Silver Branch. The film is a philosophical vision-poem on the life of a farmer-poet Patrick McCormack, who farms in Ireland’s most ancient and rugged landscape — the Burren, in Western Ireland. A wild place where Mesolithic tombs, famine villages and present day small rocky fields are like jewels telling of our long human story on these hills. Patrick longs to farm in the quite pace his ascendants did. But his life gains a different momentum when he’s called to Battle in the Supreme courts to decide on the fate of this iconic wilderness is an uplifting and emotional celebration of people and place. It captures the delicacy of the natural world; the heart and soul of a Burren farmer-poet, Patrick McCormack and the ancient rural spirit of Ireland which stands behind him.

Produced by Ken O’Sullivan of Sea Fever Productions, The Silver Branch explores the relationship between man and landscape, between tradition and spirit, between body and soul.

Part of the IFB’s Real Shorts short film scheme, Hannah Quinn’s Smithy & Dickie, will receive its international premiere at HotDocs. Produced by Michela Orlandi, Smithy & Dickie is a short documentary treasuring precious memories from love letters and photographs, and their potential obsolescence, now that we're in the digital age.  

To explore the full HotDocs programme, please click here.

The 2018 festival runs from 26 April – 6 May.