By Cole Cronk | Special to the NB Indy
Ireland has been a part of the Newport Beach Film Festival for a long time. This year, there are two collections of shorts from Irish filmmakers called “Irish Strong” and “Irish Love, Loss, and Lore.” Both have a wide range of stories spanning different time periods and genres.
“Bainne” (Milk) from the Irish Strong collection is a period piece set during the Great Famine, based on a short story by Lafcadio Hearn. The film stars Will Poulter (“Maze Runner,” “We’re The Millers,” “Midsommar”) as a young man who spends his days milking starving cows.
It’s a dark piece for an equally dark part of Irish history, as it focuses on the choices that survivors of the Great Famine had to make and the consequences they face with choosing who deserves to eat and live, or starve and die. There is some great cinematography with a fisheye lens and wide shots that make you feel the emptiness of this time in history.
“The Bridge,” also from the Irish Strong Collection, is a heartwarming story about family and loss. A successful architect must return home after the death of his parents and figure out how to care for his handicapped brother. Faced with a tough decision of sticking around for his brother or returning to his pregnant wife, the man reflects on his relationship with his brother and what he should do next.
The Irish Strong Collection is part of the 2020 Newport Beach Film Festival, which has gone virtual this year and runs through October 11. For information on viewing this collection of shorts and other films in the festival, visit www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com.