In Loco Parentis | Centrepiece Gala

Directed by Neasa Ní Chianáin, David Rane
  • Ireland-Spain
  • 100 mins
  • 2016
  • English
This observational documentary follows a year in the lives of two inspirational teachers in the only primary-age boarding school in Ireland. Headfort, a school not unlike Hogwarts with its 18th century buildings, secret doors and magical woodlands has been home to John and Amanda Leyden for 46 years and a backdrop to their extraordinary careers.

For John, rock music is just another subject alongside Maths, Scripture and Latin, taught in a collaborative and often hilarious fashion. Tucked away in a cellar, John nurtures a special kind of youth revolution that teaches responsibility and independence in equal measure. For Amanda, the key to connecting with children is the book and she uses all means to snare the young minds. Her lair, a charming relic from the 1800s with curved doors and old bookshelves, is packed to the rafters with thousands of titles from every genre and for every taste. The children sit transfixed as she takes them on magical journeys with fantastical characters from tales of all kinds.

For nearly half a century John and Amanda have shaped thousands of minds but now the unthinkable looms: what would retirement mean, they muse. Headfort School, spanning the ancient and the ultra modern has been their life and passion and so they've challenged the march of time by absorbing the endless supply of young ideas from their wards - who will keep them young if they leave?

School Bookings
The screening of In Loco Parentis on Thursday 23 February is available for school bookings, which you can find our handy guide to here. If you have any questions or wish to make a school booking, call us on 01 687 7974 or email Sorcha, our Schools Liaison Officer.

If Hogwarts was an Irish Boarding School, this would be it. Magical teachers in a “Muggle” world.

Sarah Ahern, Fantastic Flix Programmer

Filmmaker in Attendance

Both screenings will follow by a Q+A with Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane.