In Ireland and the United Kingdom, an Irish-language movie has broken box office records and established itself as a benchmark for a language that is rarely shown on the big screen.
Since its premiere in mid-May, The Quiet Girl has stunned the industry by tripling the previous record for an Irish language picture and generating more than £518,000 last week.
The film’s popularity is all the more astonishing given that it is a coming-of-age story directed by a first-time director and stars no well-known actors.
Breakout Pictures’ co-founder, Robert McCann Finn said, “It has surpassed all projections.”
The film follows a 10-year-old girl who is sent to live with foster parents on a farm in County Waterford for a summer in the early 1980s.
It is directed by Colm Bairéad and based on Foster, by Claire Keegan. It has won numerous honors and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from reviewers.
“It’s appealing across generations. Young people and people in their later years who haven’t been to the cinema in years – this has brought them back,” said Bairéad.
Since its debut in mid-May, An Cailin Ciuin, as it is known in Irish, has been screened in roughly 70 theatres on the island of Ireland and about 30 in the United Kingdom since its debut.
Désirée Finnegan, Screen Ireland’s chief executive, said: “It really feels like a new horizon for Irish-language cinema and a beautiful expression of our national culture on screen.”
A Quiet Girl will be transitioned to a streaming platform in the future, and distributors plan to promote it for Baftas and Oscars.
The film’s producer, Cleona N Chrualaoi, commented, “We’re still in the middle of the whirlwind. Other Irish language films in development and production will be available to audiences soon.”
“I think the wave will continue”, she added.