Monday, March 09, 2015

In Celebration Of Irish-American Movies

Ireland is full of film-makers so an American of Irish descent can't get noticed there. It's a frustrating fact for Mike Houlihan, who makes great movies but can't seem to crack the shamrock ceiling.

The Chicago-based director received great reviews for a documentary he created, but what's rave in Chicago didn't translate to admission into an Irish film festival. So he did what any other American would do. He's doing the film festival thing himself.

Mr. Houlihan has launched a film festival for the Irish-Americans who share his frustration at not being shut out of a festival that would fit their genre perfectly. These are the small independent film makers who have something worth seeing, but find it difficult to get noticed because they are small and independent. A film festival that showcases their works is the best way to reach the public, and Mr. Houlihan is doing what he can to provide the venue.

The "Movie Hooley" is scheduled to run in late September at the Gene Siskel Film Center. He's looking for films with an Irish-American touch, whether that come from a director or actors or even the style of story-telling. And Mr. Houlihan is looking for submissions.

The basic premise of the festival is to showcase three films with some Irish element. It could be written by an Irish-American, produced by a descendant of the diaspora, or starring some budding actors with Hibernian roots. Your film might be something that draws on Irish story-telling traditions, or it might be an Irish-American story (like LACE CURTAIN IRISH. Just a suggestion).

All you need are a couple of DVD copies of your film and the courage to give it a try.

Who knows? Maybe the luck of the Irish will be with you and your little labor of love could be showing on the big screen in Chicago's Loop this September. Isn't it time that someone besides your immediate family and friends had a look at it?

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