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Cine Gael Takes its cues from the Emerald Isle

Cine Gael, Montreal’s Irish film fest and the biggest in the world outside Ireland itself, kicks off its 18th edition Feb. 12.

Opening night features His & Hers, a 90-year-old love story, through the collective voice of 70 women.

Closing night, April 22, highlights The Trotsky, the N.D.G.-set film by Jacob Tierney, who will be in attendance. His producer (and father), Kevin Tierney, is also expected.

George Bernard Shaw once quipped: “A world bereft of both its Irish and its Jews would soon become a tame dull place indeed.”

Apropos, Cine Gael has included the short film Shalom Ireland on its program for February 26. It opens with the son of Robert Briscoe setting the scene. His father, the former Jewish mayor of Dublin, was the only man to have been guest of honour in both New York’s St. Patrick’s Day and Purim parades.

The Boys of St. Columb’s, a co-production with Concordia’s Irish Studies program, shows how the introduction of free secondary education for northern Irish in 1947 led to the development of important cultural figures, including Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane and John Hume. Admission to this special screening on February 24 is free.

The Cine Gael festival is unique in having its presentations spread out over three months instead of squeezed into a 10-day package.

Showings are at Concordia’s Cinéma de Sève, 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

While non-members can attend individual evenings for $7, $10 or $20, depending on the evening, the best deal is to join for the year for $60, which includes all seven screenings as well as special receptions and events throughout the year.

For complete festival programming, please visit

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