Don’t miss the 24th annual festival of the best independent films created by Irish filmmakers celebrating diversity and creativity through short, documentary and feature films. View the festival trailer 🎥.
March 2–5, 2023
March 6–12, 2023
The Chicago Irish Film Festival proudly presents our Opening Night feature “The Sparrow”. Michael Kinirons debut feature film as writer and director explores the struggle of a young boy whose mother has died creating an unhappy and dysfunctional home life. Constantly in trouble at home and with the local garda, 15-year-old Kevin’s world is turned upside down when he inadvertently causes his brother’s death. Feeling he has nowhere to turn Kevin does something seemingly unforgivable; he keeps it a secret. As time goes on Kevin watches in horror as the consequences of his lie unfolds before his eyes and events spiral out of control.
Opening night gala and screening is followed by a Q & A with Michael Kinirons & Alicia Ní Ghráinne
Starring Leticia Wright (Black Panther), as Aisha, a young Nigerian woman seeking asylum in Ireland. Alone and unwilling to sacrifice her dignity to satisfy the demands of the authorities, she finds an ally in Conor (Josh O’Connor, The Crown).
This is the story of an extraordinary Irish woman and artistic trailblazer who continues to inspire modern designers worldwide. Followed by a Q&A and Reception with Clodagh, Oda O’Carroll & Adrian McCarthy.
Andrew Legge’s debut film is a fantastic blend of documentary, faux found footage and science fiction with a romance thrown in for good measure. Starring Emma Appleton and Stefanie Martini as the creative inventors of LOLA.
Richard Harris, one of the most remarkable and controversial Irish actors of stage and screen. This is no ordinary biography, however, as Harris takes center stage through previously unheard tapes as well as through unseen family footage and interviews with those who knew him best including Vanessa Redgrave and Jim Sheridan.
Finnish director Klaus Härö makes his English language debut with this Ireland set drama starring James Cosmo, Bríd Brennan and Catherine Walker. My Sailor, My Love is a story of a retired sea captain with little interest in his home or his daughter until the arrival of his housekeeper who changes the way he sees life and love.
How To Tell A Secret explores the act of disclosure and the stigma that drives people to withhold a HIV status in Ireland today. Based on a theatre show, the stories in this film move between bodies of young men, migrant women, drag artists and activists. Followed by Q & A with director Shaun Dunne
In-Person and Virtual Screenings
This group of documentaries shines the light on immigrants and poets, those who left and those that returned and those whose hearts will forever be part of the Emerald Isle.
These engrossing documentaries tell stories of enterprising people who are undaunted by the task at hand accomplishing what many people only dream of.
This group of shorts will have you holding your breath, laughing out loud, scratching your head and being thankful for the ones you love and love you.
These deeply emotional and beautifully made shorts bring us stories of people trying to move forward when the world seems to throw out one obstacle after another.
This group of shorts for young people highlight just how hard it is to fit in sometimes, whether you’re the new kid on the block or new to the country. Ages 11–14.
This group of thought-provoking films from some of Ireland’s award-winning directors reveal themes of joy, regret, loss and new beginnings.
These shorts are filled with fascinating conversations and monologues. Some are humorous, some desperate and some timeless, but all memorable.
This special program was created by the folks at Dublin Animation Film Festival for our favorite 3-6 year olds!
Will Cactus make a friend?
Will Hugo like school?
Can Granny make a Zoom Call?
Lots of questions and lots of fun answers in this entertaining selection of animated shorts from Ireland.
We were never supposed to know her name. Mary Harris Jones was a poor Irish immigrant from Co. Cork, who survived famine and war, fire and plague. Unable to save her husband or their four small children, she dedicated her life to saving working families everywhere.
This film tells the story of five women — Nora and Sheila Wallace and Mary, Annie and Muriel MacSwiney — who played a vital role in the formation of the Irish state. This documentary provides an account of the lives of these five women and in particular the part they played in the Irish Revolution.
Set against the backdrop of the Viking expansion era in the late 9th century, an Irish Monk living on a remote island rock must confront grief and contend with despair as his hope falls into decay. It becomes a question of his own morality, as he endures a life of complete solitude, being torn between defeat and finding a path for resolve after the death of his fellow monks.
This riveting and up-close documentary sheds new light on America’s darkest day with a linear snapshot of never-before-seen footage and unprecedented insight into how the 9/11 attacks, in the moments after it occurred, broadsided everyday New Yorkers. The film captures the surprise and raw emotion of New Yorkers just beyond the veil of 9/11’s dust.
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