A new feel-good film that celebrates great teaching in Ireland’s last remaining primary boarding school is being screened across Donegal cinemas this week.
In Loco Parentis by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane takes a heart-warming look at the lives of two soon-to-be-retired teachers—and married couple of almost 50 years—whose passion and idiosyncratic teaching styles inspire and challenge the young students in their care at Headfort School in Kells, Co Meath.
Viewers can catch the documentary in Donegal this week at Century Cinemas Letterkenny and Eclipse Cinemas in Lifford/Strabane and Bundoran.
The filmmakers’ previous work includes Fairytale of Kathmandu and The Stranger. They have spent the past four years working on their latest film which draws audiences into the topsy turvy world of Headfort School with its woodland forts, rock music, and Shakespeare. In this magical Hogwart’s like school, happiness is key and children are taught to think for themselves.
At its heart are the passionate and oddball teaching couple, John and Amanda Leyden, who even live on the grounds.
“We wanted our film to capture the unique spirit of Headfort School and particularly these two teachers who put their hearts and souls into what they do.
“We literally went back to school and the biggest lesson we learned is that education can be as much about play and discovery and fun. When a child is happy, all sorts of magic will happen,” explains director, Neasa Ní Chianáin.
Critics at some of the world’s top documentary film festivals including Sundance and IDFA (International Documentary FilmFestival, Amsterdam) have variously described it as ‘engaging’, ‘uplifting’, ‘delightful’, ‘compelling’, ‘magical’ and ‘utterly charming’.
Sundance Film Festival said it was an “antidote to the dark times we live in”.
In Loco Parentis, which had its Irish premiere at the Dublin Film Festival last month, is now showing at Century Cinemas, Letterkenny (4.00pm/6.15pm), Eclipse Cinema, Lifford/Strabane (2pm/6.30pm) and Eclipse Bundoran (2.15pm/ 6.30pm) with screenings once or twice daily throughout the week.
“People of all ages are loving it. It has a real feel good factor. We are over the moon that audiences in Donegal will get a chance to see this life-affirming film,” said Neasa Ní Chianáin.
For more information and screening details see www.inlocoparentis.ie