THIS year World Homeless Day falls on October 10th, which is also World Mental Health Day, and since these issues are often interlinked, First Fortnight was interested to see that Ireland’s first film festival dealing with themes of homelessness, the Opening Doors Film Festival, is running in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield from Monday, October 8th-Wednesday, October 10th.
The festival aims to engage audiences on the issue of homelessness and stir important conversations on its effects on society, with all proceeds from sales donated to the Peter McVerry Trust. The Trust will also be running a schools’ engagement and education programme and a series of screenings for families impacted by homelessness who are currently receiving support from the charity.
The public programme kicks off on Monday at 7pm with A View From The Basement, an RTE documentary on Fr Peter McVerry. The screening will be preceded by a short story of a person housed by the Peter McVerry Trust. Tickets are available here.
On Tuesday is US director Sean Baker’s acclaimed The Florida Project. A deeply moving look at childhood, it follows a mischievous six-year-old living in poverty in a motel with her mother and stars Willem Dafoe. Both life-affirming and at times heartbreaking, it starts at 6.30pm. Tickets are available here.
Roddy Doyle-penned Rosie will screen on Wednesday at 6.30pm. Starring Sarah Greene, it tells the story of a family who became homeless after their landlord sells their rented home. The film will be followed by panel discussion moderated by Miriam O’Callaghan, with panellists Fr Peter McVerry, Roddy Doyle and producer Paddy Breathnach. Tickets are available here.
For more information on Opening Doors Film Festival and to donate to the Peter McVerry Trust, see here.