Kiwis and Irish will come together in November for the inaugural NZ Irish Fest to celebrate everything Irish. NZ Irish Fest happens from the 15th – 18th November, is a massive four-day celebration with over sixty events, in Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch. Three celebrated songwriters will travel from Ireland to play shows alongside Irish comedians, local musicians, performers and is accompanied by an Irish film festival – Irish Film Fest NZ!
The international acts headlining this year’s festival are the iconic Damien Dempsey (pictured) from Dublin, award winning songwriter Mick Flannery from Cork, songstress Lisa O’Neill from County Cavan and comedians Alan McElroy (Dublin) and Darren Jardine (Belfast).
Irish Film Fest NZ presents the best of Irish Cinema and will screen 6 features and a shorts program. The film festival has been curated by Bryan Glick, who has worked for Sundance and AFI Film Festivals. Glick is expecting a massive response to the NZ premiere of gala title “Black 47”. The action packed revenge western set during the potato famine has grossed over $2,000,000 NZD at the Irish box office and stars Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, and Barry Keoghan.
Other titles, to name a few, include SXSW breakout “Making the Grade” (with director Ken Wardrop in attendance for Q&As after select screenings) which looks at piano teachers and their students from year zero-eight as they prepare for their exams. Each lesson gives the audience a joyous peak into the lives of everyday Irish citizens.
Those everyday citizens and Irish film and music talent (Hozier, Jim Sheridan, Glen Hansard) took matters into their own hands to try and end homelessness in Dublin. “Shelter Me: Apollo House” tells the stranger than fiction story of how an abandoned building became a makeshift shelter and an inspirational event for millions. Central subject “Damien Dempsey” is one of the headline performers at this year’s NZ Irish Fest.
The Films will screen across 8 venues in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Tauranga. The Full line up can be viewed at nzirishfest.co.nz
With over 600, 000 Kiwis claiming Irish heritage, it’s set to be a celebration unlike anything we have seen before.