Green screens

Shebeen Flick returns for its seventh edition Mar 15-18 at Moviemento to fly the flag for Irish cinema

Image for Green screens Shebeen Flick returns for its seventh edition to fly the flag for Irish cinema. A highlight of the year for homesick Irish Berliners and hibernophiles alike, Shebeen Flick returns to Moviemento Kino this St. Patrick’s Day weekend to celebrate the best new cinema from the Emerald Isle. This year marks a break with the lads’ club: Festival director Fernanda Parente announced an impressive 234 percent increase in submissions from female filmmakers over 2017’s edition, and has thus, for the first time, achieved a 50-50 gender balance across the festival’s six headlining features. Kicking things off is Aoife McArdle’s impressive debut Kissing Candice, fresh from its recent Berlinale premiere. A moodily shot and visually ambitious coming-of-age story set along Ireland’s north/south border, it’s about a young woman who gets involved with a gang member who may have ties to the disappearance of a young boy. Ann Skelly shines as the seizure-afflicted protagonist aching to escape the humdrum reality of her seaside town, and McArdle’s background as a music video director is evident in arresting dream sequences. Another female-helmed highlight is Laura McCann’s Revolutions, an exuberant documentary about the Irish women’s roller derby scene. Shot over the course of four years, it’s an engaging portrait of fierce rivalry and intense sisterhood, which also explores the lingering consequences of Ireland’s post-2008 economic downturn. Our favourite non-fiction film in the line-up, however, is Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane’s School Life. The phrase “Irish boarding-school documentary” may instill a little apprehension, but this is far from the gruelling litany of questionable child-rearing techniques you might expect. Instead it’s the heartwarming tale of an unconventional, progressive primary school, centred around a flat-out adorable married couple, John and Amanda Leydon, who’ve been teaching there for 40 years. If you’re hankering for a genre fix, Lorcan Finnegan’s Without Name is a slow-burning slice of trippy folk horror, in which an adulterous middle-aged surveyor (Alan McKenna) discovers a bizarre handwritten manuscript deep in the woods. This year’s programme also includes a couple of intriguingly novel additions. Audience members can literally immerse themselves in Irish folklore in Song of the Sea VR, an interactive virtual reality experience based on Tomm Moore’s Oscar-nominated hand-drawn animation. And The Mustering of the Harrier is a quirky fantasy tale augmented by live performance and (mandatory) audience participation. Shebeen Flick Irish Film Festival March 15-18 Moviemento, Kreuzberg