Arracht ([ˈaɾˠəxt̪ˠ], "Monster") is a 2019 Irish period drama film directed and written by Tomás Ó Súilleabháin set during the Great Famine of Ireland.[1] It was selected as the Irish entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.[2]

Directed byTomás Ó Súilleabháin
Produced byCúán Mac Conghail
Screenplay byTom Sullivan
Music byKíla
CinematographyKate McCullough
Edited byMary Crumlish
Macalla Teoranta
Distributed byBreak Out Pictures
Release date
Running time
86 minutes
CountryRepublic of Ireland


On the wild shores of Connemara in 1845, Colmán Sharkey, a fisherman, farmer and father watches as the Great Famine descends on his community. One fateful night he confronts his landlord about raising the cost of rent for his tenants as potato blight causes crop to fail. The events of that night end in violence forces to go on the run for a crime he didn't commit against the backdrop of starvation of the people in his community. As the years pass in solitude, Colmán loses hope in living anymore but events turn as he returns to the mainland and encounters a young girl, Kitty and a life-saving friendship develops.



Location filming took place in Lettermullan, County Galway. Produced by Dublin based television and film production company Macalla Teoranta, Arracht was financially backed by Screen Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and TG4.[3] Executive Producers Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnell of Fantastic Films.


Arracht received its world premiere at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia on 29 November 2019.[4]

The Irish premiere was at the Dublin International Film Festival on 28 February 2020.[5] The film was supposed to receive its general release on 3 April 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of all cinemas.[6][7] Arracht had its UK premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival on 8 March 2020, and won the Audience Award.[8] Arracht screened at the online editions of the 66th Taormina Film Festival in Italy,[9] and the 32nd Galway Film Fleadh on Sunday, 12 July.[10] It finally received a general release on 6 November 2020.[11]

Critical responseEdit

Screen Daily said that "although Arracht could be improved by some shifts in emphasis to give the latter half of the plot more clarity and emphasis, [Ó Súilleabháin] still pulls off an authentic drama/thriller, with a powerful impact."[12]

The Irish Times wrote that it was "unmissable" and "beautifully crafted."[13] Little White Lies included Arracht in their list, "10 highlights from the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2019" [14] at no. 2, and wrote "this well acted and beautifully scored film is born of the land itself," calling the film "an austere and implacable drama about finding hope when all else is lost". called Arracht "an enigmatic mood piece" with a "brilliant cast" and a "haunting intensity of its remote countryside setting in the coastal region of Connemara".[15] Film Ireland called it a "fiercely impressive feature debut" from director Tom Sullivan, one that has a "real feeling of authenticity". [16] gave the film a 4.0 score out of 5, describing a "phenomenal cast... with stellar performances from the lead duo [Ó Héalaí and Ní Chuinn]".[17] Into Films declared Arracht "a searingly austere film which deserves the widest possible audience" after its UK Premiere at Glasgow Film Festival.[18]


Year Award Category Recipients Outcome
2020 Dublin International Film Festival Best Irish Film Arracht Won
Aer Lingus Discovery Award Dónall Ó Héalaí Won
Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award Arracht Won
American Golden Picture International Film Festival[19] Best Feature Film Arracht Won
Best Director Tom Sullivan Won
Best Cinematographer Kate McCullough Won
Best Child Actress Saise Ní Chuinn Won
Best Lead Actor Dónall Ó Héalaí Honorable Mention
Irish Film & Television Academy Awards (IFTA)[20] Best Film 2020 Arracht Nominated
Best Director - Film Tom Sullivan Nominated
Best Script - Film Tom Sullivan Nominated
Actor in a Leading Role - Film Dónall Ó Héalaí Nominated
Actor in a Supporting Role - Film Dara Devaney Nominated
Best Cinematography Kate McCullough Nominated
Best Costume Design Clodagh Deegan Nominated
Best Original Music Kíla Won
Best Production Design Padraig O'Neill Nominated
Best Sound Peter Blayney, Alan Scully, Brendan Rehill Won
Best Makeup & Hair Niamh O'Loan, Niamh Glynn Nominated
Kimolos International Film Festival Golden Tree Award (Best Film) Arracht Won
British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg Critics Choice Award Arracht Won
Gradaim Cumarsáide @ Oireachtas na Gaeilge Scannán na Bliana Arracht Won

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Review of Irish Film @ DIFF 2020: Arracht". 2 March 2020.
  2. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (24 November 2020). "Ireland Picks 'Arracht' for Oscars' International Feature Film Race". Variety. Retrieved 24 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Murphy, Niall (9 March 2020). "Irish drama Arracht wins awards in Dublin and Glasgow". Scannain.
  4. ^ "Arracht - filmmaker Tom Sullivan on his famine thriller". 17 February 2020 – via Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Murphy, Niall (27 January 2020). "Watch the new trailer for Tom Sullivan's famine drama Arracht". Scannain.
  6. ^ "Arracht". Cine4.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Rosser2020-03-09T09:09:00+00:00, Michael. "'Arracht' wins Glasgow audience award; festival draws record admissions". Screen. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  9. ^ "ARRACHT (2019) - Taormina Film Fest". (in Italian). Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  10. ^ Galway Film Fleadh | Arracht, retrieved 27 July 2020
  11. ^ Molumby, Deirdre. "Here's the new release date for every movie delayed in 2020".
  12. ^ Halligan, Fionnuala; Critic2019-11-19T05:30:00+00:00, Chief Film. "'Arracht': Tallinn Review". Screen.
  13. ^ Brady, Tara. "Dublin International Film Festival: A guide to the best movies". The Irish Times.
  14. ^ "10 highlights from the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2019". Little White Lies. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Arracht | Monster (2019) Tallinn Black Nights 2019". Filmuforia. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Review of Irish Film @ DIFF 2020: Arracht". Film Ireland Magazine. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  17. ^ Graham (12 February 2020). "#Review: Arracht". Scannain. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Into Films Review: Arracht – UK Premiere, GFT, Glasgow – into creative". Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Arracht wins at American Golden Picture International Film Festival | The Irish Film & Television Network". Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  20. ^ Duffy, Rónán. "Here is the full list of nominees for this year's (virtual) IFTAs". Retrieved 27 July 2020.

External linksEdit