New year and a new season for Athlone Film Club

It may still be winter but spring is in the air in the Midlands, as Athlone Film Club launches their spring season on Tuesday January 12 with the award winning Australian Film, Black Balloon, a tender and witty portrayal of a family coping with autism.

Directed by newcomer Elissa Down, this brilliantly, beautifully balanced comedy-drama will make you laugh as much as it makes you cry, sometimes in the same scene!

The film was released in Australian cinemas March 6, 2008, and went on to charm audiences around the world with its international premier at the Berlin International Film Festival where it received a Crystal Bear as the best feature-length film.

It tells the story of Thomas (Rhys Wakefield ) and his family, who move to a new home where he has to start at a new school and all he wants is to fit in. When his pregnant mother (Toni Collete ) has to take it easy, he is put in charge of his autistic older brother Charlie (Luke Ford ). Thomas with the help of his new girlfriend Jackie (Gemma Ward ) faces his biggest challenge yet. Charlie’s unusual antics take Thomas on an emotional journey that cause his pent-up frustrations about his brother to pour out.

Black Balloon is a story about fitting in, discovering love, and accepting your family.

A tender and witty portrayal of a family coping with autism, the film’s vision is neither a grim wallow nor falsely cheerful. It's compassionate but unblinking, and in the end we can't help but admire the genuine strength of how its characters accept their special challenge.

Black Balloon is just one of an array of films that will enthrall and thrill you in the Film Club’s spring season which runs until April 26.

The Film Club has an exciting line up of films encompassing all genres from Sweden, France, Spain, and Korea, to name a few. Not forgetting our own Irish jewels, on March 16 there will be a screening of George Morrison’s Mise Eire, one of the most defining and indeed beautiful Irish movies ever made

Membership for the Film Club is exceptional value at €65 for a couple, €45 for single membership, while OAP and student membership is €30.

Joining is easy, just come along to any of the films and sign up on the night. Alternatively you can come along to any individual film as a temporray member for only €7. Membership forms and details of all our films are available on the club’s website or email [email protected].

Films are screened every second Tuesday in the Dean Crowe Theatre starting on January 12 at 8pm. There is a complimentary wine reception in the theatre bar preceeding each film at 7.30pm.

So come along January 12 for the unforgettable opening film, Black Balloon on the big screen in the Dean Crowe Theatre.


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