Upcoming Folk and Contemporary Music Films

The late Dennis Cahill

Upcoming Folk and Contemporary Music Films

Films featuring Tommie Potts, Dennis Cahill, Ye Vagabonds, Liam Weldon, the Limerick DIY music scene, David Smith and Fiona Kelleher will be screened across February, March and April.

There are a number of music films being screened across Ireland over the next number of months. See below for a round-up of upcoming showings.

Tommie Potts: The Fireman Fiddler of The Coombe at DIFF
Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) is taking place from 23 February to 4 March and includes Tommie Potts: The Fireman Fiddler of The Coombe – a film about the visionary Dublin fiddle player by director Macdara Yeates. The work is a character study on the life and work of Potts (1912–1988) that blends archival footage, previously unreleased recordings of the musician, and performances from fiddlers Aoife Ní Bhriain and Liam O’Connor. The film also looks at Potts’ personal life and his many years as a Dublin fireman, including his involvement in the 1936 Pearse Street fire. 

The film will be screened online as part of the festival from 23 to 25 February. Visit https://bit.ly/3jWoE7Q.

Dennis Cahill – Litir ó Do Chara on TG4
Dennis Cahill – Litir ó Do Chara is a new TG4 and Aniar TV documentary by director and fiddle player Dónal O’Connor about the guitarist Dennis Cahill who died last summer. The film tells the story of the Chicago musician, documenting his work with Martin Hayes and the group The Gloaming. Featured in the tribute are Hayes, Iarla Ó Lionáird, guitarists Steve Cooney, Seamie O’Dowd and John Doyle, Chicago fiddle player Liz Carroll, Seán Óg Graham of the group Beoga, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Cormac Begley, singer Niamh Parsons and guitarist Graham Dunne.

Dennis Cahill – Litir ó Do Chara was screened as part of TradFest Temple Bar at the Irish Film Institute last month and will air on TG4 on Sunday 5 March at 9:30pm. 

Ye Vagabonds’ Nine Waves
Folk duo Ye Vagabonds have produced a new film, Nine Waves, as a visual accompaniment to their album of the same name, released last May on River Lea records. The work, made in collaboration with production company Tiny Ark, is intended to be a visual postcard of the sound world that the album inhabits, primarily based within a derelict building in Dublin and on location on the island of Arranmore, Co. Donegal.

Nine Waves features regular collaborators Alain McFadden, Cormac Begley and Ryan Hargadon, as well as Kate Ellis and Caimin Gilmore of Crash Ensemble, dancers Stephanie Dufresne and Cristian Emmanuel Dirocie, and Arranmore bar owner Jerry Early. 

The film premieres at the Light House Cinema on 21 March. The band will also perform at Vicar Street on 31 March and 1 April. Visit https://bit.ly/3ImvtJf.

Dark Horse on the Wind at Glór
Dark Horse on the Wind, Myles O’Reilly’s 2022 film about the traditional ballad singer Liam Weldon from Dublin, will be screened at Glór in Ennis on 12 April.

The film features recently discovered archive footage, stories from family, friends and admirers, and  performances from Damien Dempsey, Radie Peat and Lisa O’Neill.

Visit https://bit.ly/40WsXAs.

David Smith film screenings at The Dock
On 25 February, The Dock in Carrick-on-Shannon will present a screening in recognition of visual artist David Smith’s residency at the arts centre of three specially commissioned films made over the past three years. The screening includes Abhartach, a story from Irish mythology with music by Siobhán Cleary and featuring Úna Monaghan; Nemeton (Sacred Space), which explores internal or mental spaces through the lens of mythology featuring 80s music videos and Irish mythology; and Eó Mughna’s Lament, a film that fuses photography and music by Smith and is inspired by cinema, painting, soundtracks and mythology. The film seeks to evoke a mysterious spirit within the complex qualities of the modern, rural Irish landscape.

The screenings will be followed by an artist talk with curator Sarah Searson. Visit https://bit.ly/3XCTpfz.

Do Chuala Ceol (I Heard Music) 
Included in the programme for this year’s Finding a Voice festival is the 2020 film Do Chuala Ceol (I Heard Music) – a collaborative work by singer and composer Fiona Kelleher, musician Caoimhín Vallely and filmmaker Dónal Ó Céilleachair. The film focuses on an Irish suantraí song cycle based on the poetry of Seamus Ó Céilleachair and Seán Ó Riordán.

Do Chuala Ceol (Heard Music) will be shown in IMC Clonmel on 12 March. Visit https://bit.ly/3Z9Jsrx

Out of Place nationwide tour
Finally, currently screening across the country as part of a nationwide tour is Out of Place, a new film from the Féile Na Gréine Limerick festival team and director Graham Patterson. The work is an insight into the role music plays in building community and looks at the current DIY music scene in Limerick and its musicians. Featuring performances from Denise Chaila, God Knows, Hey Rusty, His Father’s Voice, MuRli, and Post Punk Podge & the Technohippies, Out of Place captures a wide range of musical activity in Limerick. 

Out of Place will be screened this month in Dublin (16th), Dundalk (17th), Belfast (18th) and Sligo (25th). Visit https://linktr.ee/feilenagreine.

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Published on 14 February 2023

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