Richard Harris film festival ‘growing bigger and better’

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

A monument to a great man: Rob Gill, chairman of the Richard Harris International Film Festival, guest of honour CJ Stander, Monaleen, and Zeb Moore, festival director, at the launch of the event in Number One Pery Square. Picture: Dave Gaynor
MUNSTER captain CJ Stander and his wife Jean-Marié, style queen Celia Holman Lee and the cream of the film making crop in Limerick all turned out to honour Richard Harris at the launch of an international film festival in his name at Number One Pery Square.

MUNSTER captain CJ Stander and his wife Jean-Marié, style queen Celia Holman Lee and the cream of the film making crop in Limerick all turned out to honour Richard Harris at the launch of an international film festival in his name at Number One Pery Square.

The festival, returning for the third successive year, is, in the words of Richard’s nephew Hayman, who is on the board of directors, “growing bigger and better”.

“It has gone to four days now this year and it is great that Jared (Richard’s son) will be over again this year and supporting it, and the family have committed to it for the next five years so it is fantastic,” he said of the October 22-25 event.

“Jared asked me last year when he was here, because I am living here, just to see if they needed me would I be around and be a Harris presence. He must have enjoyed himself because he is coming back again this year,” laughed Hayman.

A busy line-up of events for the four-day programme has been assembled, which will start with the unveiling of a memorial plaque to Richard Harris at his old stomping ground of Charlie St George’s, where Jared will read some of his father’s unpublished poetry, and end with a screening of top Irish film director Terry McMahon’s Patrick’s Day in 69 O’Connell Street.

In between, there will be feature length and short film screenings and competition, workshops, acting monologues and networking events. Of the seven feature length screenings, four will be Irish premieres, while there will be 30 shorts screening.

Festival chairman Rob Gill noted the addition of new strands to the festival this year, including a monologue and portrait competition, plus music and networking events.

“What is very reassuring for us as festival organisers is the reaction of people when they have been accepted into the festival,” he said.

“A lot of it is to do with the draw the festival has, but it is also out of respect to Richard Harris’ and the legacy for filmmakers, not only Irish but international.”

See the Richard Harris Film Festival website for full details on the programme.