MAD Men star Jared Harris has hailed a film festival held in honour of his father in the city as “important for Limerick”.
The actor, who flew specially to attend the Richard Harris Film Festival at the weekend fresh from filming with Sean Penn in South Africa, said his father would “secretly have loved” the event.
“He had a wicked sense of humour, I think secretly he would be very happy and proud about it, but he would probably pass it off and be embarrassed - don’t make a fuss, but I think he would love it” said Jared, speaking to the Limerick Leader at 69 O’Connell Street at the gala opening of the three day event.
“And it is important as well, it is important for Limerick in the sense that there is an obvious connection that you can make there, and it is an opportunity to advance film makers from this part of the country and the culture of the city,” he added.
The Harris family have established a connection with the festival - held for the second time this year - that guarantees their involvement in it into the future.
Jared, star of movies such as Sherlock Holmes, Pompeii and Lincoln, said he was “very happy” to be associated with the festival, which celebrates the Irish film making Diaspora abroad as its theme.
“Yes, we have a sort of commitment for a couple of years and they will see where they are after that,” he said.
“That was one of things that we talked about a lot, that was one of the ideas of bringing in the Diaspora, since he was someone who left and there were a lot of very good Irish film makers who ply their trade abroad and it would be good to get them back. It is in its infancy, but I am excited about it, it is growing each year.”
Jared and wife Allegra, plus brother Jamie and Richard’s grand daughter Ella and a whole host of extended family members attended a screening of The Field in 69 O’Connell Street to open the festival on Friday. Transformers star Jack Reynor was also in attendance and received an award.
Noel Pearson, producer of The Field, said Harris was “a one off and that is all you can say about him - they don’t make them like him any more”.
Screenings continued over the weekend, while a short film competition was also held, with a link to the Newport Beach film festival.