“Instinctively the viewer shivers as Colman confronts his fate – rarely has a film felt this chilled to the bone.” – Screen Daily
“This well acted and beautifully scored film is born of the land itself; an austere and implacable drama about finding hope when all else is lost.” – LittleWhiteLies
“This is an enigmatic mood piece that recreates this unsettling period of Irish history, helped along by a brilliant cast and the haunting intensity of its remote countryside setting in the coastal region of Connemara.” – filmuforia.co.uk
“Tom Sullivan’s unmissable Arracht is a beautifully crafted murder ballad set against the Great Famine, featuring terrific turns from Dónall Ó Héalaí and newcomer Saise Ní Chuinn” – The Irish Times
Ireland 1845. As the famine tightens its grip, a fisherman is hunted for crimes he did not commit. Unable to protect his family from death he is subsumed by darkness until a helpless little girl saves him from despair.
Arracht is a feature film by Tom Sullivan, supported by TG4, the Irish Film Board (IFB), and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) through the Cine4 scheme. Produced by Cúán Mac Conghail for Macalla.
Arracht was due to be released in Irish cinemas on April 3rd, but has been delayed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Arracht had its world premiere at the 23rd PÖFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, in Estonia, on the 29th November 2019. More info.
Arracht had its sold-out Irish premiere at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival on February 28th. Lead actor Dónall Ó Héalaí was awarded the Aer Lingus Discovery Award for his role as Colmán Sharkey. The film also screened at selected cinemas nationwide as part of the VMDIFF tour – more information here.
On March 2nd 2020, Arracht had its UK premiere at Glasgow Film Festival, at the Glasgow Film Theatre, and won the Audience Award, as voted by 2020 festival goers. Arracht will have its US Premiere at the virtual Nashville Film Festival, where it will be available to screen for residents of the US from October 1st – 7th.
Starring Dónall Ó Héalaí, Michael McElhatton, Siobhán O’Kelly and introducing a stunning debut from 11 year old Saise Ní Chuinn, Arracht is a haunting tale of overcoming grief and the fight for survival. Set in Ireland, 1845, the film centers on fisherman Colmán Sharkey, who takes in a a stranger, Patsy, a former soldier, who arrives just ahead of the blight – a crop disease that caused the Great Plague, killing and displacing millions of Irish people. Arracht was filmed entirely on the remote west coast of ireland in Connemara.
Other cast members include Dara Devaney, Peter Coonan, Seán T. Ó Meallaigh and Michelle Beamish. Original music score written and performed by Kíla. Production design by Padráig Ó Neill. Edited by Mary Crumlish, with post-production services from Outer Limits. Costume design by Clodagh Deegan, makeup by Niamh O’Loan.
SCREENINGS & FESTIVAL INFO
|2019||Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival||World Premiere||29 November|
|2020||Dublin International Film Festival||Irish Premiere||28 February|
|Glasgow Film Festival||UK Premiere||2 March|
|Moscow Irish Film Festival||Russian Premiere||14 March|
|Stockfish Film Festival||Icelandic Premiere||18 March|
|American Golden Picture International Film Festival||N/A||April 2020 Edition|
|Galway Film Fleadh||N/A||12 July|
|Taormina Film Festival||Italian Premiere||12 July|
|Kimolos International Film Festival||Greek Premiere||5 September|
|British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg||Luxembourg Premiere||23 September|
|Festival Eurocine Colombia||Colombian Premiere||1 October|
|Nashville Film Festival||U.S. Premiere||1 October|
Arracht is nominated for 11 Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTA) this year: Best Film 2020, Best Director – Film (Tom Sullivan), Best Script – Film (Tom Sullivan), Actor in a Leading Role – Film (Dónall Ó Héalaí), Actor in a Supporting Role – Film (Dara Devaney), Best Cinematography (Kate McCullough), Best Costume Design (Clodagh Deegan), Best Original Music (Kíla), Best Production Design (Pádraig O’Neill), Best Sound (Peter Blayney, Alan Scully & Brendan Rehill) and Best Makeup & Hair (Niamh O’Loan & Niamh Glynn).
|2020||Dublin International Film Festival||Best Film||Arracht|
|Aer Lingus Discovery Award||Dónall Ó Héalaí|
|Glasgow Film Festival||Audience Award||Arracht|
|American Golden Picture International Film Festival||Best Feature Film||Arracht|
|Best Director||Tom Sullivan|
|Best Cinematographer||Kate McCullough|
|Best Child Actress||Saise Ní Chuinn|
|Best Lead Actor (Honorable Mention)||Dónall Ó Héalaí|
|Kimolos International Film Festival||Golden Tree Award (Best Film)||Arracht|
|British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg||Critics Choice Award||Arracht|
“A searingly austere film which deserves the widest possible audience… it is impossible not to be emotionally invested in the people portrayed.”
“Tom Sullivan’s fiercely impressive feature debut is a character-driven thriller that explores grief and despair during one of Ireland’s most infamous hardships.”
“[With] stellar performances from the lead duo, a first time director that shows promise and a moment in history that made Ireland what it is today… you have a recipe for a memorable night at the cinema.”
“It’s a delight to see an Irish-language film attempt to blend the country’s tragic history with more modern elements of genre conventions.”
Eye For Film
“This is chiefly a character study of one man’s humanity in the face of grief but it echoes the wider trauma of a nation that was decimated by hunger.”
“This is a nebulous and enigmatic mood piece that recreates this unsettling period of Irish history, helped along by a brilliant cast and the haunting intensity of its remote countryside setting in the coastal region of Connemara.”
Little White Lies
“This well acted and beautifully scored film is born of the land itself; an austere and implacable drama about finding hope when all else is lost.”