Barbara Scharres, program director of The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and Irish American News columnist and radio personality Mike Houlihan announced today their plan to present the first annual “Irish American Movie Hooley” at the Siskel Film Center from September 25-27, 2015.
The “Hooley” will present a program of premieres of Irish-American films that include either an Irish-American theme or feature a script, director, or star with Irish or Irish-American roots. Houlihan said, “We’re hoping to discover the next John Ford, Preston Sturges, or James Cagney, who epitomized the romantic Irish-American sense of identity, with a search for contemporary keepers of the flame of Irish-American pride, bravado, and legendary storytelling.”
A call for submissions went out in March for independent feature films that fit the criteria outlined further on the Hibernian Transmedia website, Houlihan is chairman of Hibernian Transmedia NFP, a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit producing organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Irish and Irish-American culture.
For more than 40 years, the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has presented world-class independent, international, and classic cinema. Renamed in honor of the late film critic in 2000, the Gene Siskel Film Center presents approximately 1,500 screenings and 100 guest artist appearances each year to over 65,000 film enthusiasts at its unique, sophisticated, modern facilities, which have been operating since June 2001 at 164 N. State Street in Chicago.
“We at the Gene Siskel Film Center are excited to initiate this new community partnership with Hibernian Transmedia in order to create a showcase for Irish American films and directors. Discovering and promoting emerging talent is an important function of our cultural mission.” said Siskel Program Director Barbara Scharres.
Filmmakers across the country are encouraged to submit their films to the “Hooley” which will screen the top three for their premieres in September. “We welcome filmmaker submissions of Irish American narrative or documentary feature premieres.” For more info: http://hiberniantransmedia.org/movie-hooley/