CraicFest 23 has 3 programs of shorts

A still from “Ciúnas” (“Silence”) which will be presented in the live action shorts program in this week’s CraicFest 23. There will also be the animated shorts from Ireland program and the Kids Fleadh.

By Peter McDermott

“Times are changing. I worry for the future, for the children’s future, for everyone’s future.”

So says John Connors near the beginning of the meditative “Eden,” a live-action short that was filmed in Morocco and the Republic of Ireland, and will be screened in the all-virtual CraicFest 23, which kicks off tomorrow evening.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

“We’re losing our sense of community, of compassion, our connection to each other and our sense of gratitude,” says Connors, who is leading the way in this year’s fest with the documentary “Endless Sunshine on a Cloudless Day” (Thursday) and a role alongside John Duddy in the feature “A Bend in the River” (Saturday).

He continues, “I fear that the human race is advancing at such a fast pace that we are losing many of the very qualities of what it means to be human.”

Keep an eye out, too, for “Ciúnas” (“Silence”), a heartfelt story from Tristan Heanue that touches on raw emotions. It’s set in a remote part of Ireland, with Ally Ni Chiarain and Gary Lydon as a middle-aged couple coping with a family crisis and Hazel Doupe as their daughter.

On Sunday, beginning at 12 noon, there’s the best of recent Irish animated shorts. But before that, Kids Fleadh kicks off on this Saturday morning beginning at 11:30. It includes a mix of family-friendly animated and live action films, with a couple of favorites in there like Peter McDonald’s “Pentecost,” which is set in 1977. During a recent Mass, Damian clumsily knocked Fr. O’Toole off the altar, which led to a three-month ban from football. Now the altar boy has a chance of a reprieve with the next Mass, a particularly important one, and with it the chance to see his team Liverpool in their first European Cup Final.

Festival passes, which offer “23 films for 23 bucks,” are available online at