Festival backed by Chaplins opens in Kerry


FILM DIRECTOR Jack Garfein is one of the key guests at the second Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival, which opened in Waterville, Co Kerry, last night.

The seaside town, which was a landing site for 19th-century transatlantic cables, still retains the aura of the 1930s. It became a holiday village for the Chaplin family for decades and those links are retained.

The festival, which is seeking to encourage young film-makers as well as celebrating the genius of Chaplin, is endorsed by the Chaplin family.

Garfein, who is staying at the Cill Rialaig artists’ village, was inspired by Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and went on to become a director in Hollywood, working with Marilyn Monroe and James Dean and other legends of the screen.

Two weeks ago Garfein was awarded the Masque D’Or award for “the best drama teacher in France”.

He is giving an acting masterclass in Waterville tomorrow from 2-5pm.

Garfein is also expected to open the first tribute museum to Chaplin in Ireland today at 1pm.

The museum, located at the old Bayview Hotel (est 1889), will boast a unique collection of original Chaplin movie posters lent by Australia-based Paddy MacDonald along with a series of portraits of contemporary and cheeky Chaplins by photographer Barry McCall.

The packed weekend will see circuses at Fossett’s Big Top along with costume balls, tea dances, croquet on the lawn and dozens of film screenings.

The festival was opened officially by Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan at the Charlie Chaplin statue in Waterville last night.

Mr Deenihan paid tribute to the Chaplin family’s support of the festival, and selected screenings of Buster Keaton classics (today and tomorrow) as well as last night’s screening of Irish Destiny, a 1926 silent movie recently restored by the Irish Film Institute, with a live score played by Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, as his personal highlights.

The full programme is at chaplinfilmfestival.com.