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Irish Film Board Movies To Be Screened At IDFA

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Two Irish Film Board (IFB)-funded movies are to be screen at this year's International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

In Loco Parentis by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane will run from November 19 – 27 and is the first Irish film selected to compete in the IDFA Competition for Feature Length Documentary, where a five-member jury will decide on a winner.

Maya Zinshtein's Forever Pure meanwhile, will receive its IDFA screening from November 17 – 26.

In Loco Parentis tells the story of Headfort, the last remaining boarding school for primary age children in Ireland. Directed by Ní Chianáin, with co-direction for David Rane, the documentary brings together two seemingly incongruent worlds as the ultra-modern teaching of Headfort's staff is set against the 18th century backdrop of the school's grand reception rooms, long corridors and secret doors. The idyllic surroundings provide a space where teachers become mentors and surrogate parents as they usher the young pupils through their last days of childhood.

On hearing that the project is to receive its world premiere at IDFA, Ní Chianáin said: "We are over the moon. I've always aspired to have one of my films in the Feature Doc Competition at IDFA, and to be the first ever Irish feature doc in 29 years of IDFA to be in this section is very special. Every competition film screening is sold out and the audiences are fantastically receptive. There is also a huge industry presence and this can lead to excellent broadcast, theatrical and VOD sales. The Feature Competition is also covered extensively by the media."

Maya Zinshtein's Forever Pure, which was co-produced by Alan Maher, looks at the structures of money and power as Zinshtein embeds herself into the 2012 – 2013 season in Jerusalem's Beitar football club. Where the extremely loyal fans are known as La Familia, Beitar is recognised as one of the most controversial teams in Israel; priding itself on never fielding a Muslim player.

The film explores the effects of extremism and racism through its portrayal of the series of events that occurred when Beitar owner Arcadi Gaydamuk brokered a deal that transferred two Muslim players to the team. The two players feel the racist wrath of the fans-turned-opponents as Zinshtein's documentary becomes a cautionary polemic about the harrowing effects of mob behaviour.

Alan Maher says the team behind the documentary is "delighted that Maya Zinshtein's powerful and brilliant film is continuing its international run after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in September to exceptional acclaim."

In Loco Parentis is produced by Soilsíu and financed by the IFB, BAI, RTE, TVE and Creative Europe. Forever Pure is co-produced by Roads Entertainment and financed by the IFB, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Institute, BBC Storyville, Yes Docu and Fritt Ord.

Image: Still from In Loco Parentis.


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