MORGAN PARK — Organizers of the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade hope to build momentum toward the annual march down Western Avenue with a movie night.
The South Side Irish Parade Film Fest will act as a precursor to the parade and will be headlined by the Academy Award-nominated film "Brooklyn." The festival begins at 6 p.m. March 5 at the Beverly Arts Center.
"Brooklyn" is about an Irish immigrant and is set in 1950s. Saoirse Ronan is nominated for Best Actress for her portrait of Eilis. The film is also nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The festival will begin with a reception featuring traditional Irish music in the arts center's foyer at 2407 W. 111th St. in Morgan Park. A cash bar will be available throughout the event.
Two short films from Ireland will kick off the festival. The first is an animated comedy about an man forced to move back in with his parents. The second is a musical film that focuses on the Easter Rising of 1916 — a rebellion against the British government that ended with more than 2,000 deaths.
After the films, moviegoers are invited to stick around for an acoustic guitar performance as well as discussion with fellow attendees, said Tim McSweeney, a West Beverly resident and organizer of the film fest.
"I really think we are going to sell out the house," he said.
McSweeney said a similar event was held in the years before the South Side Irish Parade was canceled after the 2009 celebration. Following a two-year hiatus, the parade returned, only without the accompanying film festival.
Organizers of the parade teamed with the arts center to revive the event, said McSweeney, adding that the movie night fits well with the family focus of the revived parade.
"The film fest is kind of a kick off to the South Side Parade season," he said.
The South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade will march down Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th streets beginning at noon March 13.
Tickets to the film festival cost $16 and go on sale next week. For more information, call the arts center at 773-445-3838.
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