23 June 2018 The Irish Film & Television Network
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‘The Farthest’ & ‘School Life’ selected for AFI Docs 2017
2017-05-17 : Katie McNeice
The prestigious documentary film festival runs in Washington from June 14th-18th, with 103 films set to screen from 28 countries, one of them being the blossoming documentary-making island of Ireland.

The festival opens with ‘Icarus’ (Bryan Fogel) follows an a amateur American cyclist as he begins by experimenting with performance-enhancing drugs and winds up entangled in the highest levels of the Russian government.

The closing title, meanwhile, is another US documentary, ‘Year of the Scab’ (John Dorsey) which looks at the 1987 union strike which gave replacement football players a chance to take to the field.

The Farthest
This feature directorial debut comes from renowned editor Emer Reynolds, and recently earned her the 2017 Director’s Finders Series award from the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland. It also recently screened at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

It is a Crossing The Line film presented by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in association with The Irish Film Board, ZDF/ARTE and the BBC. It is also funded by RTÉ.

‘The Farthest’ celebrates the NASA voyager mission, with nuclear-powered Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 having travelled over 22M miles combined since leaving earth forty years ago. Over twenty of the original scientists alongside those currently working on the mission, with engineers and other team members are participating in the project.

John Murray, Producer, Crossing The Line Films:
“Voyager was a game-changer. A group of enterprising scientists and engineers sent these two tiny probes on a mission of discovery, but they couldn’t have imagined how successful the mission would be. Voyager laid the groundwork for so much of what we know about the outer planets and their many, incredibly varied moons, and both spacecraft are now breaking new ground with the information they’re sending back about the edges of our solar system and the nature of interstellar space.”

School Life
Formerly known as ‘In Loco Parentis’, this documentary title has travelled far and wide on the festival circuit in the past twelve months, with IDFA 2016, Sundance 2017 and ADIFF 2017 to name a few.

Directors Neasa ní Chianáin and David Rane explored the lives of the children and teachers of Headfort School, Co. Meath, the last remaining boarding school for primary children in Ireland. It focuses on two of the longest serving staff members, John and Amanda Leyden, who met as young teachers at the school in the 1970’s and live together on the school grounds.

Neasa Ní Chianáin:
“I was so impressed by the Leyden’s absolute dedication and vocation for teaching. To them, all these children were their children and continued to be their children long after they left. While we were filming, a steady stream of past pupils, some of them now middle aged adults, would show up to visit them.”

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