L.A. Irish Film Fest sets premieres

Event dedicated to late THR editor Steve Brennan

"Cherrybomb," "Peacefire," "Identities," "Gabriel Byrne: Stories from Home" and "The Secret of Kells" will receive U.S. premieres at the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 23-27 at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

"We are proud to be bringing five U.S. premieres to festival audiences," festival director Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman said. "The strong lineup for the 2009 Los Angeles Irish Film Festival continues to demonstrate that the new wave of filmmaking in Ireland is maturing, and we are pleased to be able to provide a forum for its storytelling tradition."

Conor McPherson's supernatural drama "The Eclipse," starring Ciaran Hinds and Aidan Quinn, will kick off the fest.

The festival will close with a tribute to Irish playwright Hugh Leonard, who died in Dublin in February, with a screening of "DA," the classic film based on his Tony-award winning, semi-autobiographical stage play. The film stars Martin Sheen and Barnard Hughes.

Other films to screen include Lisa Barros D'Sa's thriller "Cherrybomb," starring Rupert Grint, Kimberley Nixon and Robert Sheehan; Macdara Vallely's "Peacefire," based on his one-man play; "Gabriel Byrne: Stories from Home," a documentary by Pat Collins about actor Gabriel Byrne; Vittoria Colonna Di Stigliano's "Identities," about Ireland's transgender community, and the animated film, "The Secret of Kells," directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey.

The fest, which will be dedicated to Steve Brennan, the late international editor of The Hollywood Reporter, is co-presented by the American Cinematheque and ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America). The Irish Film Board (Bord Scannan na hEireann), Ireland's national film agency, is a partner of LAIFF. IFTA, the Irish Film & Television Academy, will co-present the closing night event.