A gathering of friends old and new came together in the beautiful home of our hosts Catherine and DeLane Thyen overlooking Balboa Island in sunny Newport Beach to celebrate the Irish film-making talent over for the Irish Spotlight at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Attendees included Academy Award-nominated director & producer team Juanita Wilson and James Flynn whose film Tomato Red was premiering. Award-winning Irish actresses Seána Kerslake and Charleigh Bailey (stars of A Date For Mad Mary), Golden Globe-nominated composer Brian Byrne who recently won an IFTA for his work on Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture, and actress and presenter Caroline Morahan also joined the celebration.
Long-time supporters of The Ireland Funds in attendance included Anne & Dermot Tuohy, Sean & Jane Brown, Eileen Weatherbee, Manus Friel, Deirdre O’Neill and her husband Dean Machin, Michelle and baby Timothy Loughran, Emilie Guilbaud and Evan Kilbourne, Eamonn & Sylvia Fitzgerald, as well as new friends such as Wylie & Bette Aitken, Gregg Schwenk, and Frank & Arlene Sheehy.
The Ireland Funds’ VP for Development in Los Angeles Jonathan Loughran welcomed everybody to the Thyen’s home and noted the sad recent passing of The Ireland Funds’ co-founder Dan Rooney. Dan Rooney’s grandniece Rooney Mara is the star of Jim Sheridan’s film The Secret Scripture which all guests were invited to watch that night at the film festival. Aidan McNally from Teeling Whiskey hosted private tastings of their many varieties, and guests left at sunset to attend the three Irish film premieres at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
Special thanks to Catherine & DeLane Thyen, Deirdre O’Neill, and Aidan McNally of Teeling Whiskey.