Hollywood happenings for Harris film festival


by Rose Rushe

Left, Jamie Harris, Allegra and Jared Harris and Richard's niece, Ella Photo: Billy Hayes
Left, Jamie Harris, Allegra and Jared Harris and niece, Ella
Photo: Billy Hayes

THE band played on the packed opening night party for the Richard Harris International Film Festival in George Boutique Hotel as Harris Bros, Jared (‘Lincoln’, ‘Mad Men’) and Jamie (‘The Prestige’, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’) held court.

Richard’s sons are active supporters of the festival that platforms new work by Irish film makers and promotes industry by the diaspora. They were present for the premier of Limerick producer Keith Bogue’s well received film, ‘All Washed Away’. It features Jon Kenny in title role, a host of local actors and crew, and sound mix by Tom Newman, producer of the seminal ‘Tubular Bells’.

Committed to covering every aspect of the Harris programme (October 24-26),they also presented ‘Transformers’ actor Jack Reynor with the first ever Richard Harris Award for Break-Through Artist, who attended with Limerick fiancée, model Madeline Mulqueen. Next week, the Harrises meet with festival director Zeb Moore and movie makers in Los Angeles to expand on strategy for 2015’s event on a transatlantic scale.

The three days (October 24-26) of networking and film competition coincided with the 12-year anniversary of the death of the late Oscar nominated Harris Snr.

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“It is a wonderful honour to be here in Limerick for this, I feel massively honoured for my Dad,” Jamie Harris said in heartfelt tones Limerick Post. “I feel that he would have loved it. I think it is wonderful that his name is kept alive like this”, appreciating the platform for emerging film makers and actors.

“The Irish film industry world has changed and it’s very hard to get film made unless they are big budget movies, often very facile without much depth”.

While Jamie is busy actor (‘Kingdom’, ‘Agents of the Shield’ in the pipes), older brother Jared is known for award winning work on many projects. Musing on what lies ahead for this emerging international fulcrum created by Zeb Moore, Eleanor McSherry and Rob Gill, Jared underpinned its strengths:

“It’s unique in that this is the only film festival in the world to be based around and actor,” he observed. “The longevity of the Richard Harris International Film Fest [2014 was the second], it needs to rely on his personality and interests and the source of all things that originated in Limerick that influenced Dad.

“We are now able to look back on his time here, a time when Limerick was very Catholic, religious, restrictive,” stated the Emmy and Screen Actors Guild winner. “At the same time [Richard] was having this incredible experience of sport through rugby although that was short term.

“He discovered his love of theatre here while he spend two years in recovery”.

On Saturday 25, 10 new short films were screened in competition for selection to screen in California’s prestigious Newport Beach Festival in a unique tie-in that attracted submissions from all over.