Opening & Closing Gala Films

Some Mother's Son

Opening Night

Producers: Jim Sheridan, Arthur Lappin, Edward Burke
Associate Producer: Helen Mirrn
Cinematographer: Geoffrey Simpson
Editor: Craig McKay
Screenwriters: Terry George, Jim Sheridan
Music: Bill Whelan
Cast: Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flannagan, Aiden Gillen, David O'Hara,
John Lynch, Tom Hollander, Tim Woodward, Caran Hinds, Geraldine O'Rawe

Directed by Terry George

In his emotionally wrenching directorial debut (which he co-wrote with Jim Sheridan), Terry George tells a story based on the events surrounding Bobby Sands, who starved himself to death in 1981 while leading a hunger strike against the British system's treatment of imprisoned Irish Republicans.

The story is told through the eyes of two mothers whose sons are imprisoned with Sands. Helen Mirren plays Kathleen Quigley, a schoolteacher and pacifist , who is stunned when her son, Gerard, is arrested for an attack on British soldiers. Once in jail, Gerard refuses to be treated as a terrorist, insisting with his Republican comrades that he is a prisoner of war. Slowly, a tenuous friendship develops between Kathleen and Annie Higgins (Fionnula Flannagan), the mother of another Republican prisoner, Frank, and a staunch supporter of the Republican cause. One day, Bobby Sands announces a hunger strike, and soon Gerard and Frank have joined the protest. Kathleen and Annie must now make the agonizing decision to either support their sons' political beliefs and possibly watch them die, or to save them at the cost of their sons' convictions.

Some Mother's Son is a deeply moving portrayal of the personal dilemmas faced within the universal tragedy of war.

1996, 35mm, Color 108 minutes

Unhook the Stars

Closing Night Gala

United States

Executive Producer: Bernard Bouix
Producer: Renee Cleitman
Cinematographer: Phendon Papamichael
Editor: Petra Von Oelffen
Screenwriters: Nick Cassavetes, Helen Caldwell
Music: Steven Hufsteter
Cast:Gena Rowlands, Marisa Tomei, Gerard Depardieu, Jake Lloyd,
Moira Kelly, David Thornton, David Sherrill

Directed by Nick Cassavetes

In his feature debut, Nick Cassavetes, son of the late John Cassavates, directs two Academy Award winning actresses in an unsentimental, beautifully observed film full of charming surprises. Marisa Tomei gives a perfectly toned performance as Monican, a scattered young mother, while Cassavates' own mother, the inimitable Gena Rowlands, gives a career-crowning performance as Mildred, a middle-aged woman who must finally determine the course of her own life.

Widowed Mildred still lives in the old family house. Her son is married and making a life for himself, and her grown, rebellious daughter still lives with her. Going quietly about her business, Mildred observes her neighbors' constant bickering.

One day, Mildred is approached by Monica, one half of the volatile couple next door, who has been abandoned by her husband after a huge fight. Monica works nights and turns to Mildred for help in looking after her young son, J.J. Since her daughter has just moved out, Mildred is glad to help.

Shy J. J. blossoms under Mildred's attention, and Mildred feels useful once again. When Monica's contrite husband returns, suddenly Mildred is no longer necessary. For the first time, Mildred has no one, depending on her, and she must decide just what it is that she really wants.