Invasion of Iraq: A scene from ‘No End In Sight’.

Invasion of Iraq: A scene from ‘No End In Sight’.

An eclectic and thought-provoking programme has been assembled for the second annual Waterford Film Festival, which runs from today (Wednesday) until Sunday.

A total of 15 feature films and documentaries and over 50 international, national and local short films will be screened over the five days and nights in venues around the city, including The Tower Hotel, Greyfriars Art Gallery and Masons Night Club.

Academy Award-nominated Feature Documentary ‘No End in Sight’, directed by Charles Ferguson, will have its Irish premiere at the Festival. The film is the first of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq’s descent into guerrilla warfare, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy.

Opening the festival is ‘8.5 Hours’, a controversial contemporary drama about one extraordinary Monday in the lives of four characters who work in a small software company in Dublin.

A complex portrayal of ordinary people in turmoil, their stories are linked together between the office hours of 9 to 5.30. The debut feature from Dublin filmmaker Brian Lally, it also aims to chronicle the final moments of the Celtic Tiger years – a time of great achievement for many but for others one of disappointment and lost opportunities.

Featuring a large cast of both established and emerging actors, ‘8.5 hours’ contains startling performances by veteran actors such as Geraldine Plunkett and four unforgettable portrayals from the leads: Jonathan Byrne, Victor Burke, Art Kearns and Lynette Callaghan.

Irish films making their debut include Gabriel Murray’s feature documentary ‘The Lost World of the Crystal Skull’, detailing the story of the real Indiana Jones who went in search of Atlantis in 1924 and found the famous crystal cranium that explores Mayan cosmology and the 2012 prophecies.

Also showing is Jessie Kirby’s feature fiction ‘The Hidden’ about the mysterious and troublesome Thompson family.

Among the international films set for their Irish premier in Waterford this week are the award-winning British movie ‘Outlanders’, directed by Dominic Lees, which looks at the underworld of London’s new East European migrants; and the chilling Japanese horror ‘Twilight Phantom’ by Kenro Tsushima and Tsukana Ariyoshi.

There are seven shorts programmes which will showcase a mix of documentary, animation and fiction mini-films – all competing for several awards.

During the festival, filmmakers, writers, director and actors from many different backgrounds and cultures will present their work to audiences comprising their peers as well students and film buffs.

See for programme. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance of each venue. Groups can book through Stephen Byrne. Contact 086-6504967, or email: