Richard Harris Film Festival
The Richard Harris Film Festival returns to the iconic Irish actor’s home city of Limerick from 27 to 31
October. Fully supported by the estate of Richard Harris, the festival has grown every year since its inception in 2013 and this year – along with screenings of short and feature films – visitors can enjoy acting workshops and some very special performances from Joe Jackson and Jimmy Webb, both of whom knew Harris very well. Producer Richard Bolger’s Cardboard Gangsters will screen at the festival.
This gritty Dublin-based tale of money, power and sex stars Love/Hate’s John Connors, UFC star Cathal Pendred and singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey and is not to be missed. There will also be a reading of a new feature film – The Pirate Queen. Written by Academy Award nominated writer Shane Connaughton, this reading will be narrated by Stephen Rea along with a number of other big
name guest actors. “To me you are the keeper of the flame when it comes to my father’s memory,” said Richard Harris’s son Jared Harris to renowned journalist Joe Jackson, during the 2015 Richard Harris
International Film Festival. This inspired Jackson to write Richard Harris Revisited – A Play in the Making, based on his 2015 PPI award nominated RTE Radio 1 series Richard Harris Revisited: The Joe Jackson Tapes. That series was based on roughly thirty hours of tapes Jackson made with Harris, between the years 1987-2000, partly for an official biography the actor asked him to write, although the book itself was never completed. Richard Harris Revisited – A Play in the Making, comprised mostly of
material that has never been published or broadcast before – “some of it offering startling insights into
Harris,” Jackson promises – gets its premiere as a public reading at this year’s festival.
Jimmy Webb was another great friend of Richard Harris and he will play the Lime Tree Theatre on 29 October as part of the festival. There really is no one quite like Webb, who is said to have given the world the first existential country song, The Highwayman. Webb also wrote MacArthur Park, which was later covered by Harris. Webb has topped the country, disco and pop charts and during the show he will look back on his time navigating fame and fortune in Los Angeles, infused with his unique humour.
No doubt there will be a few stories about the great Richard Harris thrown in too. In partnership with SHIFT72, the festival will this year have a Video on Demand Platform that will complement the existing Festival. This new platform is part of a commitment to support the independent filmmaking community by providing more opportunities for them to elight film loving audiences and build a loyal following beyond the existing Festival window. VOD and streaming services offer independent film-makers – especially self-distributed and pre-distribution films – access to an audience that is otherwise impossible to reach. One of the true greats of Irish acting, it’s great to see Richard Harris being celebrated in his home city at a festival that is going from strength to strength and growing every year, adding exciting innovations. The great man’s legacy is in good hands and anybody with an interest in film or Harris’ extraordinary life and career should take a trip to Limerick this month for the Richard
Harris Film Festival.