From ‘The Other Side of Sleep’ to ‘This must be the place’ – Cannes 2011 is full of Irish film

Here at we love Irish film, but it turns out, so does the jury at Cannes. Rebecca Daly’s The Other Side of Sleep has been chosen for the Director’s Fortnight, so we have decided to have a look at the other Irish films showing at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.

What would any list of Irish film at Cannes be without a mention for This Must Be The Place? The images of Sean Penn have confused and fascinated us all, but what is the film all about? The film tells the story of an aging rock star who decides to find out the man who executed his father. Not the most cheerful of stories, but the good news is that there is already considerable interested buzz around La Croisette for the film which, as well as Sean Penn, stars Frances McDormand, Eve Hewson and Kerry Condon.

We have already mentioned The Other Side of Sleep, which has quickly become the darling of Cannes. Jane Campion – director of The Piano – is among the fans of the film, which focuses on the impact of a killing on a small Irish community. Daly, who grew up in West Sussex, is being praised for her eye for composition and the incredible performance that she coaxed from her leading actress, Antonia Campbell-Hughes. The Other Side of Sleep was developed with The Irish Film Board and is the first film from an Irish woman to appear in the prestigious Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.

Darling of the Sundance Film festival – The Guard – is also among the Irish films being shown at Cannes. The Guard has been praised by critics and is showing at film festivals around the world, including Los Angeles and Tribeca. Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson have been deemed hilarious, and the film is already being described as the next In Bruges.

The Runway tells the story of a small Irish community brought together in their quest to help one man return home. A small boy – Paco – sees a plane crash lamd, and sets about investigating. Sadly for Paco, this is not the spaceship he was hoping for, but a Columbian pilot, who is a long way from home. The Runway is a sweet and touching Irish film, and one that is bound to do well at Cannes.

The moving and adorable Silent Sonata – which we loved when it was called Circus Fantasticus at JDIFF this year – Off the Beaten Track and Children of the Revolution are among the Irish co-productions being screened at Cannes. The Irish Film Board’s partnership with international film boards means that Ireland is not only gaining a wealth of experience and fascinating stories, but the films are reaching wider audiences throughout the world.

This wealth of Irish film being shown on La Croisette this week is not only fantastic publicity for Ireland, but is a great compliment to the Irish film makers working today. We, at, congratulate all the Irish film makers whose work was celebrated at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.

Words – Brogen Hayes