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IRISH PREMIERE

The Saviour for Sale

Breaking Out

DIRECTOR: ANITA RIVAROLI / 80 MINS / ITALY / 2020 / DIGITAL /

IFI: Sunday September 26th, 17.40 IFI@Home: Sunday September 26th, 12.00 In 2017, a painting titled Salvator Mundi (The Saviour of the World), attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, was sold at Christie’s for a record 450 million dollars. But is it really the work of da Vinci, or a convincing fake? A modern tale of globalisation, The Saviour for Sale delves into the murkier corners of the art world and explores the influence that one painting can exert on personal and geopolitical interests, weaving links between the auction houses of New York, a revered da Vinci expert, an opportunistic Swiss go-between, a Russian oligarch, the Louvre in Paris, and an Arabian prince. An astonishing look at the hidden trails of money, power, and deception behind a disputed masterpiece. (DOM)

SUBTITLED

DIRECTOR: ANTOINE VITKINE / 95 MINS / FRANCE / 2021 / DIGITAL /

DIRECTOR: MICHAEL MCCORMACK / 84 MINS / IRELAND / 2020 / DIGITAL

We Are The Thousand

IFI: Saturday September 25th, 21.00 IFI@Home: Saturday September 25th, 18.00 In 2016, Fabio, a marine biologist with a passion for rock music, convinced 1,000 musicians from all over Italy to gather in Cesena to play ‘Learn to Fly’, the Foo Fighters hit. His aim was to convince Dave Grohl, the leader of the band, to come and play in his town. A video clip of the performance together with Fabio’s speech was viewed over 50 million times on YouTube; soon afterwards Grohl got the message and decided to make the dream of the thousands come true by bringing Foo Fighters to play in the village of Cesena. We are the Thousand is a joyful film that explores just how far one music lover can pursue a crazy idea. (DOM)

SUBTITLED

DIRECTOR: MARK COUSINS / 160 MINS / UK / 2021 / DIGITAL

WORLD PREMIERE

Tickets ▶ Temple Bar tickets cost €11.50. Free list suspended. ▶ Daily Membership costs €1.50 (which will be added to the individual ticket price).

Writing with Fire

IFI: Sunday September 26th, 13.10 IFI@Home: Sunday September 26th, 12.00 Writing with Fire is set in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, notorious for its levels of corruption, violence against women, and the oppression of minorities. Against this backdrop we are introduced to the work of Khabar Lahariya, India’s only news agency run by Dalit (untouchable) women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and Suneeta, her feisty twenty-year-old protégé, fight to break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes. With exclusive access to the personal and rapidly changing professional worlds of Meera and her journalists, we observe their struggle to become a relevant and truly independent modern newspaper. (DOM)

IFI: Sunday September 26th, 20.00 IFI@Home: Sunday September 26th, 18.00 Fergus O’Farrell was the charismatic voice of Interference, one of the most influential bands on the Irish music scene in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Although diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at a young age, Fergus did not define himself by his condition nor allow it to limit his musical pursuits. The film follows him from his teenage days in Dublin to the Czech Republic, to Radio City Music Hall and home to West Cork where he struggles to record his final album. Michael McCormack’s joyful, funny and deeply affecting portrait made over ten years captures the pain of Fergus’s deterioration and the strength he gained from his wife Li, his family, Glen Hansard and many other friends. (SOF)

The Irish Wedding

DIRECTORS: SUSHMIT GHOSH & RINTU THOMAS / 92 MINS / INDIA

IFI: Sunday September 26th, 15.30 IFI@Home: Sunday September 26th, 12.00 Celebrating the joys of an Irish Wedding in all its pleasant predictability – the requisite chats about the weather, the haggle over the beef or salmon, the losing of the rings, the ditching of the heels, the intergenerational whirl around the dancefloor. Alex Fegan (Older than Ireland, The Irish Pub) captures all that is familiar but also conveys the momentousness of the day from the pre-wedding nerves, to the tenderness of the first kiss, from the affectionate humour of the speeches to the melancholy moments as absent friends are remembered. The Irish Wedding presents a pleasingly diverse community of brides and grooms in this warm-hearted and thoroughly entertaining survey of Irish nuptial activity. (SOF)

2021 / DIGITAL / SUBTITLED

DIRECTOR: ALEX FEGAN / 75 MINS / IRELAND / 2021 / DIGITAL

▶ IFI@Home screenings cost €7.50 each for a three-day rental, with the exception of the closing film Breaking Out, at €9.99. Visit ifihome.ie/page/docfest2021 for more information on the online festival bundle. ▶ Please note that capacity in Temple Bar is strictly limited. Please see our Coivd-19 visitor guidelines at www.ifi.ie/covid19-safety.

▶ Become an IFI Member! Membership is required for all festival films. Day membership of €1.50 will be added to the price of your ticket if you are not a member, so why not become an IFI Member for only €35 (€20 for concessions) per annum! Enjoy fascinating and award-winning cinema all year round for less and a host of other benefits. Sign up at the IFI Box Office or online. ▶ IFI Café Bar Enjoy a delicious meal in the intimate surrounds of our fully licensed IFI Café Bar. Reservations: 01 679 8712. ▶ For more information on our Festival Guests and bonus Q&A materials, visit www.ifi.ie.

Programme Notes by: David O’Mahony (DOM) Sunniva O’Flynn (SOF) Dean Kavanagh (DK)

Booking

www.ifi.ie/docfest www.ifihome.ie/page/docfest2021 IFI Box Office 01 679 3477 6 Eustace Street Temple Bar, Dublin 2

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Cover We Are The Thousand

IFI: Saturday September 25th, 17.40 IFI@Home: Saturday September 25th, 18.00 A decade after The Story of Film: An Odyssey, Mark Cousins returns with an epic and hopeful tale of cinematic innovation from around the globe. Cousins turns his gaze on world cinema from 2010 to 2021, exploring recurring themes and emerging motifs, from the evolution of film language to technology’s role in moviemaking today, to shifting identities in 21st-century world cinema, to what comes next in the age of streaming. From Parasite and Joker to Black Panther and Lover’s Rock, Cousins also seeks out filmmakers and communities under-represented in traditional film histories, emphasising Asian and Middle Eastern works, as well as boundary-pushing documentaries and films that see gender in new ways. (DOM)

CLOSING FILM

Design Verso.ie

The Story of Film: A New Generation

IRISH PREMIERE

20–26 September 2021

www.ifi.ie/docfest www.ifihome.ie


OPENING FILM – IFI TEMPLE BAR ONLY

IRISH PREMIERE

Love Yourself Today

Overdosed

IFI: Monday September 20th, 18.30 Every Christmas in Dublin, the crowds gather for Damo’s Christmas gig at Vicar Street. For many, these shows have become a cathartic ritual, a safe space where emotions can be laid bare. We meet Dempsey and three members of the audience. We hear their stories, unravel their grief and learn how they find comfort in the shared musical experience. With themes of addiction and loss but also hope and positivity, Dempsey’s music often reflects his fans’ pain but ultimately provides peace as they ‘sing all their cares away’. Part documentary, part concert film, Love Yourself Today is a moving celebration of modern spirituality and the power of music to heal. (SOF)

IFI: Wednesday September 22nd, 18.30 IFI@Home: Wednesday September 22nd, 12.00 Overdosed highlights the deadly American opioid crisis as it unfolds in the small town of Petersburg in rural West Virginia, the state hardest hit by this epidemic. Through interviews with former drug dealers, over-prescribing doctors, DEA agents and local community members, the film uncovers a shocking narrative of the pharmaceutical industry’s deliberate plan to target opioid sales to an impoverished, under-served community and the resulting addiction, prison and overdose cycles of its citizens. Irish-born investigative filmmaker Mary Sue Connolly reveals the core humanity of the epidemic’s survivors, one of whom, Bre McUlty who at aged 19 was the town’s leading heroin supplier, is now drug-free, and shares her story in an effort to educate others. (SOF)

DIRECTOR: ROSS KILLEEN / 79 MINS / IRELAND / 2021 / DIGITAL / BLACK AND WHITE

DIRECTOR: MARY SUE CONNOLLY / 75 MINS / USA / 2021 / DIGITAL

IRISH PREMIERE

All Light, Everywhere

IFI: Monday September 20th, 20.30 IFI@Home: Monday September 20th, 18.00 All Light, Everywhere explores the personal and philosophical relationships between cameras and weaponry. Using the rise of police body cameras as a point of departure, director Theo Anthony creates a kaleidoscopic portrait of the shared history of cameras, weapons, policing, and justice. As surveillance technologies become a fixture in everyday life, the film interrogates the complexity of an objective point of view, probing the biases inherent in both human perception and the lens. Moving from the 19th century, when photography was a nascent art, to the headquarters of Axon, who have a near monopoly on police body cameras in the US, Anthony charts the long relationship between photography and violence. (DOM) DIRECTOR: THEO ANTHONY / 105 MINS / USA / 2021 / DIGITAL

Mr Bachmann and His Class

IFI: Tuesday September 21st, 18.30 IFI@Home: Tuesday September 21st, 18.00 Dieter Bachmann, an unflappable and delightfully eccentric 64-year-old teacher, presides over a class of teenage girls and boys in Stadtallendorf, a small town in the Hesse region of Germany. His pupils are from a range of immigrant backgrounds, predominantly Turkish, but also Romanian, Bulgarian, Sardinian, with some still mastering the language of their new home. Herr Bachmann is on the brink of retirement, yet remains eager to inspire his students with a sense of curiosity for art, cultures, and ideas far beyond the curriculum. Emotionally engaged and ever patient, he empowers the children academically while coaxing them to think independently and to ultimately support one another as a community of young equals. (DOM)

IRISH PREMIERE

Captains of Za’atari

IFI: Thursday September 23rd, 18.30 IFI@Home: Thursday September 23rd, 12.00 Two teenage best friends, Mahmoud and Fawzi, living in the Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan have a dream of becoming professional soccer players. Despite the dire circumstances of the camp, they remain hopeful that they will be discovered; practicing every day, they firmly believe that soccer is their ticket to freedom. When scouts arrive to pick players for an international tournament in Doha, they quickly identify Mahmoud as a talent, while Fawzi is forced to remain at the camp due to a technicality. At a time when international sentiment towards refugees is growing less compassionate, Captains of Za’atari tells a uniquely moving, human story of two friends with a dream of escape. (DOM)

DIRECTOR: MARIA SPETH / 217 MINS / GERMANY / 2021 / DIGITAL /

DIRECTOR: ALI EL ARABI / 73 MINS / JORDAN / 2021 / DIGITAL /

SUBTITLED

SUBTITLED

IRISH PREMIERE

President

IRISH PREMIERE

Wojnarowicz: F**K You F*Ggot F**Ker

Pure Grit

DIRECTOR: CAMILLA NIELSSON / 130 MINS

IFI: Friday September 24th, 18.10 IFI@Home: Friday September 24th, 12.00 Wojnarowicz is an incendiary portrait of New York City artist, writer, photographer, and activist David Wojnarowicz. As NYC became the epicentre of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Wojnarowicz weaponised his installations and performance art to wage war against the establishment’s indifference to the plague until his death from it in 1992 at the age of 37. Delving into his prolific body of work – including paintings, journals, and films – director Chris McKim reveals how Wojnarowicz devoted his life to his art and activism. Rediscovered answering machine tape recordings and intimate recollections from Fran Lebowitz, Gracie Mansion and Peter Hujar, among others, offer a vivid impression of this fiercely political, unapologetically queer artist. (DOM)

ZIMBABWE-DENMARK-NORWAY / 2021 / DIGITAL / SUBTITLED

DIRECTOR: CHRIS MCKIM / 108 MINS / USA / 2020 / DIGITAL

DIRECTOR: KIM BARTLEY / 88 MINS / IRELAND / 2021 / DIGITAL

IFI: Wednesday September 22nd, 20.30 IFI@Home: Wednesday September 22nd, 18.00 2018; Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. In the first election since the removal of Robert Mugabe, the new leader of the opposition party, Nelson Chamisa, is challenging the dictator’s corrupt legacy, and his successor, Emmerson ‘the crocodile’ Mnangagwa. The election will be the ultimate test for both sides. How they interpret the principles of democracy, if they can inspire trust among the citizenry, not succumb to violence, and foster faith in institutions, will set the course for the future of the country. Filmed in an observational, verité style, Camilla Nielsson’s riveting President is a reminder that, while the specifics may differ, the fight for democracy is universal. (DOM)

WORLD PREMIERE

Ghost Empire § Belize

IFI: Thursday September 23rd, 20.30 IFI@Home: Thursday September 23rd, 18.00 Part of a trilogy of films exploring the legacy of British colonial rule and the criminalisation of LGBTQ+ people in 34 countries around the world, Irish-based artist-filmmaker Susan Thompson examines the constitutional challenge taken by Belizean activist Caleb Orozco against Section 53, a 19th century British colonial law criminalising acts ‘against the order of nature’. Opposition to the case by evangelical Christian groups has included symbolic hangings of an effigy of LGBTQ+ group UNIBAM. The film is a psychological portrait of Orozco’s resistance and sacrifice and the validation of his efforts at the UK Parliament, and at the UN where he is congratulated by then vice president Joe Biden. (SOF) DIRECTOR: SUSAN THOMPSON / 108 MINS / IRELAND / 2021 / DIGITAL

IFI: Friday September 24th, 20.40 IFI@Home: Friday September 24th, 18.00 Pure Grit is a thrilling tale of extreme bareback horse racing, and an intimate love story chronicling three years in the life of a young Native American woman on the Wind River Reservation in Northern Wyoming. Sharmaine, a former horse racing champion, left the track a year ago when her sister was paralysed in a racing accident. Now she wants to start afresh with her new girlfriend Savannah and they leave the reservation in search of work in Commerce City, Denver. But racing still courses through her veins. Kim Bartley’s observational documentary provides an unflinching picture of life on a reservation and an inspirational portrait of a young woman who holds on to her dream despite a life of gruelling hardship. (SOF) IRISH PREMIERE

Shorts Programme

IFI: Saturday September 25th, 13.00 IFI@Home: Saturday September 25th, 12.00 The IFI Documentary Festival’s short film programme puts a finger on the pulse of contemporary Irish, short-form non-fiction film. This year’s slate, which is presented incinema and on IFI@Home, showcases seven distinct voices embracing expository, observational and poetic modes within, and at times, beyond, traditional documentary cinema. See the full shorts programme at ifi.ie/docfest. (DK) 100 MINS / IRELAND / 2021 / DIGITAL

I Am Not Alone

IFI: Saturday September 25th, 15.30 IFI@Home: Saturday September 25th, 12.00 In 2018, journalist, politician and activist Nikol Pashinyan announced that he was beginning a walk across Armenia to inspire a velvet revolution and topple the corrupt regime that enjoys absolute power in the post-Soviet nation. With total access to all the key players, Garin Hovannisian’s gripping documentary follows Pashinyan’s efforts to prevent the election of the country’s president, Serzh Sargsyan, as the new prime minister, a move that would make Sargsyan a de facto dictator. Within a few weeks, the country erupts in a spectacular revolution, as millions take to the streets to stage some of the most creative, powerful, and surprising acts of civil disobedience in modern history. (DOM) DIRECTOR: GARIN HOVANNISIAN / 90 MINS / ARMENIA-USA / 2019 DIGITAL / SUBTITLED

Profile for Irish Film Institute

IFI Documentary Festival 2021  

IFI Documentary Festival 2021  

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