Limerick’s Richard Harris Film Festival places a spotlight on Irish talent

The 11th edition of the Richard Harris International Film Festival took place over the weekend, featuring an exciting display of premieres and screenings.

From Wednesday, October 25, to Monday, October 30, the Richard Harris International Film Festival took place. This yearly event provides a unique platform for actors, directors, and filmmakers to share their achievements.

The Richard Harris Film festival was founded in 2013 by Rob Gill, Zeb and Sylvia Moore, along with original creative director Eleanor McSherry. Thanks to these three founders, the board and the Harris family, it has grown to be a five-day festival which showcases an array of talented film makers, actors, writers and many more. 

This showcase of premieres is a celebration of Ireland’s growing influence in the film industry. It stands as a tribute to Richard Harris’s unique talent, taking place in the very city he was born and raised in. 

Image of Richard Harris in Limerick City

According to the Richard Harris Film Festival website: “the festival is a showcase for young filmmakers, feature filmmakers from the Irish Diaspora, theatrical performers, poets, singers and writers.”

Before the festival kicked off, the Gala Red Carpet Awards show took place in Thomond Park with the afterparty taking place in Limerick’s 101 cocktail bar and restaurant.

The films were screened at both the Omniplex cinema and The Commercial, offering attendees a diverse range of cinematic experiences.

With a range of Irish premieres and exclusive screenings, it’s an opportunity to celebrate homegrown talent and their contributions to the international film scene. 

On the Richard Harris Festival website, it states: “We are currently the only Film Festival in Ireland that specifically encourages Irish Filmmakers abroad to return and showcase their work. We strongly believe that the Irish film-making Diaspora should be encouraged to showcase their work here in Ireland.”

Statue of Richard Harris on Bedford Row in Limerick City.

The film festival was also available online, allowing viewers from all over the world to take part in this special event.

The website emphasised this by saying: “An annual film festival plus year-round screenings promoting Irish filmmakers living abroad is the most apposite way to honour our Diaspora.”

In short, the festival serves as a bridge connecting Irish talent at home and abroad.

Jamie Dornan was one of many winners in the Limerick-based festival

2023 List of Winners:

  • Best Feature Film 2023: The Cost directed by Matthew Holmes
  • Best Director Feature Film and Documentary 2023: David Duchovny
  • Best Actor in a Male Role Feature Film 2023: David Duchovny
  • Best Feature Documentary: The Eastern Front directed by Caolan Robertson
  • Best Actor in a Female Role Feature Film: Brid Ni Neachtean
  • Best International Short: In Too Deep directed by Chris Overton
  • Best Overall Short Film: We Were There directed by Leah O’Toole and Noah Santana
  • Best National Short Film: Calf directed by Jamie O’Rourke
  • Best Midwest Short Film: Snow directed by Daragh O’Flanagan
  • Best Student Short Film: Knick Knack directed by Emer Hussey
  • Best Short Documentary: Canine directed by Paul Webster
  • Best Director Short Film: Leah O’Toole and Noah Santana
  • Best Writing Short Film: Will McConnor for Three Wishes
  • Best Actor in a Female Role Short Film: Isabelle Connolly for Calf
  • Best Actor in a Male Role Short Film: Jason Watkins for One Note Man
  • Best Editing Short Film: Michael David McKernan for Bean Feasa/Wise Woman
  • Best Cinematography Short Film: Colm Whelan for Postpartum
  • Best Animated Short Film: Candlelight directed by Scott Newton
  • Best Music Short Film: Stephen Warbeck for One Man One Note
  • Outstanding Talent Award: Jamie Dornan
  • Judges Special Mention Short Film: Movers & Shapers directed by Ciara Kelleher & Alanna MacNamee
  • Judges Special Mention Feature Film: Advent directed by Richard Waters
  • Special Recognition: Trish Long
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Fiona Shaw
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