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Filmmaker Kevin McCann at St. F.X. today and tomorrow

Award-winning Northern Irish filmmaker Kevin McCann is at St. F.X. today and tomorrow for a couple of events open to the general public.
Award-winning Northern Irish filmmaker Kevin McCann is at St. F.X. today and tomorrow for a couple of events open to the general public. - Contributed

Events open to the general public this evening and tomorrow evening

ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

Today (March 11) and tomorrow, the Department of Celtic Studies at St. F.X. will be host to award-winning Northern Irish filmmaker Kevin McCann for two events open to the public, related to his work, including his upcoming film The Rising, about the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, starring Colin Morgan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Coyle, Michael Neeson, David O’Hara, and Fiona Shaw.

He will also discuss the potential consequences of Brexit on lasting peace in Northern Ireland.

The events will be hosted by the Department of Celtic Studies Department, with support from the Jules Léger Fund, the Dean of Arts, and the departments of history, political science and sociology.

On March 11, at 6:30 p.m. in Immaculata 202, McCann will introduce his documentary The Boys of St. Columb’s, a documentary on the influence of education on the peace process, which follows the lives of Nobel laureates Seamus Heaney and John Hume, among others.

The screening is followed by a question-and-answer session and is free to the public.

On March 12 at 7 p.m. in Schwartz 156, McCann will show his short film Volkswagen Joe, a film focusing on the Troubles in Northern Ireland, which has won 10 international awards, including best short drama at the Boston Film Festival, the Rome Irish Film Festival. It won first prize at the Celtic Media Festival.

This event is followed by a presentation by McCann and a wine reception and it is free to the public as well.

Schedule; showing of Volkswagen Joe (29 minutes), 7-7:30 p.m., followed by a discussion with McCann from 7:30-8:30 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception from 8:30-9 p.m.

More about Kevin McCann

McCann is an award-winning filmmaker who was born in Northern Ireland and raised in the Republic of Ireland.

He is a 2010 graduate of the distinguished European EAVE Producer Program and has run the production company Maccana Teoranta since 2005, which has made award-winning drama and documentaries for film, television, and radio.

His work includes the documentary film The Boys of St. Columb’s for BBC and RTE, which followed the lives of several great Irish figures including Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney and John Hume. It documented, for the first time, the influence of education on the peace process in Ireland.

He has worked extensively in radio, and recently wrote and directed a drama series called COMA, which won a 2015 National Radio Award in Ireland and was shortlisted for the European Grand Prix Nova for Radio Drama in Bucharest, Romania.

Amongst his latest work is Volkswagen Joe, which is the first film awarded funding by the EUROPEAN PEACE PROGRAMME.

Based on a play written by his father, it is a half -hour drama set in an Irish border village during the Troubles. It has won 10 international awards including best short drama at the Boston Irish Film Festival, the Rome Irish Film Festival in 2014 and claimed first prize at the prestigious Celtic Media Festival. It was screened on RTE Television in 2016.

McCann filmed his latest short about a prisoner being visited by a bird in the historic H-Block Prison near Belfast. His co-production partners were two multi-award winning companies; ALLFILM from Estonia were Oscar-nominated last year for Tangerines and Yellowmoon based in Belfast, who post-produce the HBO series Game of Thrones.

McCann is writing and producing the first film on the 1916 Easter Rising Rebellion in Ireland. Supported by the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen, The Rising will star Colin Morgan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Coyle, Michael Neeson, David O'Hara and Fiona Shaw.

McCann starred as Musician/Archer in the Red Wedding episode in Game of Thrones (one of his band mates was Will Champion from Coldplay).

About Volkswagen Joe

In 1981, the hunger strike of Bobby Sands divides the Catholics and Protestants in a border village in Northern Ireland. Caught in the middle is Volkswagen Joe, the popular mechanic for the vintage car club.

An unwelcomed stranger visits Joe to force his neutral position to the sticking place. Based on an award-winning play written by Brendan McCann, Volkswagen Joe was TV premiered in 2016 on the Irish national broadcaster RTE.

Produced by McCann, it has won 10 international film festival prizes including Best Short Drama at the prestigious Celtic Media Festival. Starring Stuart Graham (Hunger, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) in the central role, it was the first film funded through the European Peace and Reconciliation Fund.

About The Boys of St. Columb's

The Boys of St. Columb's tells the story of the first generation of children to receive free secondary education as a result of the ground-breaking 1947 Education Act in Northern Ireland. This book shows how the political and historical conditions of Northern Ireland altered as a result of the mass education of its population, culminating in the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s which drew its inspiration from the USA.

The book profiles St. Columb's school in Derry, an excellent example of a school that underwent the shift from the dark post-war years into the more liberal 1960s, as a lens to understand the effect of the 1947 legislation. “Offers a unique look into the history of St. Columb's College ... Firzpatrick presents a compelling look into their world, their memories and history as his eight subjects remember it.” - Irish America Magazine

“The interviews themselves are the heart of the book, and Fitzpatrick does well to transcribe them in such a way that each man speaks to readers in his own voice.” - Irish Literary Supplement

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