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2 items from 2016

The Young Offenders Crosses €1 Million At Irish Box Office

22 October 2016 4:19 AM, PDT | | See recent TheMovieBit news »

The runaway smash hit Irish comedy The Young Offenders passed the €1million mark at the Irish Box Office on October 20th. To mark the occasion, the filmmakers have released a special celebratory clip: In a year that has been praised for quality Irish film, The Young Offenders has become the fastest Irish film to break the €1million mark at the Irish Box Office this year, and next week it will be the highest grossing Irish-made film of the year at the domestic box office, overtaking Sing Street. It now joins the ranks of other classics such as The Guard, Calvary, and Man About Dog as one of the few Irish comedy films to reach this Irish Box Office milestone. It has also taken more at the Irish Box Office than some of this year’s biggest international comedies such as Absolutely Fabulous and Bad Neighbours 2, as well as the Hollywood blockbusters Independence Day. »

- (Tom White)

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Sundance Gem 'Viva' is Full of Profound Emotion and Offers a New View of Family

5 February 2016 4:00 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

I loved this film, full of deep feeling and offers a new view of 'family'. Paddy Breathnach's "Viva" tells the Havana story of a young teen boy, Jesus, who is trying to find himself, his identity.

His world is that of a gay drag club where the queens dress fantastically to sing on stage the eternally famous songs of passion love and betrayal. Jesus scrapes by on the streets, barely, and sometimes sells his body.

But at the club when he sings there is a special time always and it appears he could have a career there.Suddenly his long gone father returns. A brutal man who deserted Jesus who barely remembers him.

The father is gravely ill, has no money and proceeds to forbid Jesus from performing his stage act. This is truly a family from hell and we wonder how the beautiful sensitive young teen Jesus can ever survive.

A really good film, wonderful acting, great idea.

"Viva" was Ireland's Official Oscar entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category and it made the 9-film shortlist out of 80 submissions for the 88th Academy Awards.

From the Sundance catalog: 

Veteran director Paddy Breathnach's Viva first transported audiences to the vibrant world of Havana's drag scene at the Telluride Film Festival. We are thrilled to welcome Breathnach back to the Sundance Film Festival.

Jesus has spent most of his young adult life styling wigs at a drag club in Havana, longing for a purpose other than the pennies he scrapes together in the shadows of his surroundings. When Jesus is offered the chance to perform amongst the other queens, the cruel winds of fate bring his estranged, abusive father back into his life after 15 years. What unfolds is a bittersweet story of pain, regret, and reconciliation. As the two men’s lives violently collide, they are forced to grapple with their conflicting views.

Laced with the raw passion and drama of drag, director Paddy Breathnach and writer Mark O’Halloran bring Viva to life with exquisite tenderness. Actors Jorge Perugoría and Héctor Medina fill this wrenching love story with a raw humanity that runs beyond the confines of the screen. With a resounding case for compassion, Viva illuminates the oft-devastating path of family, neglect, and resolution.

Paddy Breathnach’s first feature, Ailsa, won Best First/Second Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival. His second feature, I Went Down (1998 Sundance Film Festival), won Best New Director prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival, Best Director award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and Best Film at the Bogota International Film Festival. His comedy, Man About Dog, became one of the most successful independent Irish films. Breathnach directs both documentaries and dramas. »

- Peter Belsito

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