(So good, we named it twice!)

 In Loco Parentis has been renamed School Life for the purposes of ongoing international promotion.

The new name, which is expected to make the film more accessible to international audiences, has been spearheaded by Magnolia Pictures, which acquired the world-wide rights to the film at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The baptism will take place at the hugely influential Hotdocs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary film festival next month, where School Life will enjoy its Canadian premiere.

The name may be changing but the heart-warming story and the magic woven by this unique film wherever it travels, will remain the same! 


Every so often a film comes along that manages to be inspiring, heartwarming and funny in equal measure.

In Loco Parentis (School Life)  is such a film, prompting The Sundance Film Festival to proclaim that the world needed a life affirming film like it.

Going on nationwide release this weekend, In Loco Parentis (School Life) has just been nominated for a best Feature Documentary Award by the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA).

This perfect family friendly film observes a year in the lives of two inspirational teachers at Ireland’s only primary-age boarding school.  Headfort School in Kells, Co Meath is a magical place where tradition and modernity are embraced in Hogwarts-like surroundings.  In this topsy-turvy world of rock music, Shakespeare and woodland forts, teaching couple, John and Amanda Leyden have been shaping thousands of minds with their unorthodox teaching styles for almost half a century.

Critics have variously described it as ‘engaging’, ‘uplifting’, ‘delightful’, ‘compelling’, ‘magical’ and ‘utterly charming’.

Irish audiences are being equally charmed.

“Wow! In Loco Parentis is totally wonderful, charming, nostalgic and unique,” tweeted one happy cinema-goer who saw it in Dublin this week.

“It’s a beautiful story & at its heart are teachers every child deserves,” tweeted an audience member in Limerick.

“What a triumph! We three loved it, lots of giggles & sighs of empathy. The essence of the school shone through,” said a mum who saw it in Cork with her husband and teenage daughter.

The nationwide rollout of In Loco Parentis doc starts today, Friday at Omniplex Cinemas in Rathmines, Dundalk, Cork & Limerick; in Eye Cinema Galway,; at Century Letterkenny; Eclipse Cinemas Bundoran; Eclipse Cinemas LiffordStrabane; and Solstice Arts Centre, Navan next weekend where it is back due to popular demand.


In Loco Parentis (School Life) will open today, Friday at Dublin’s Irish Film Institute.
Neasa Ní Chianáin’s film takes a heart-warming look at the lives of two soon-to-be-retired teachers—and married couple of almost 50 years—whose passion and idiosyncratic teaching styles inspire and challenge the young students in their care.
Audiences are drawn into the topsy-turvy world of Latin and rock music, Shakespeare and forts in the magical Hogwart’s like 18th century Headfort School in Kells, Co Meath.
The film will run twice daily from today (3-10 March) at the IFI with
filmmakers, Neasa Ní Chianain and David Rane attending a special screening at 4pm on Saturday afternoon for audience Q&A.
Following next week’s special event screenings in Omniplex Cinemas in Rathmines (6 March), Dundalk (7 March) Cork (8 March) and Limerick (9 March), In Loco Parentis will be rolled out in each of these four cinemas from 10 March.
It will also go on general release to Eye Cinema, Galway, and Century Cinemas, Letterkenny from Friday 10 March.
“We are over the moon that audiences in Dublin and around the country will get a chance to see this life affirming film,” said Neasa Ní Chianáin.
Critics at some of the world’s top documentary film festivals including IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam) and Sundance have variously described it as ‘engaging’, ‘uplifting’, ‘delightful’, ‘compelling’, ‘magical’ and ‘utterly charming’.
In Loco Parentis was funded by The Irish Film Board, the BAI, RTÉ, Section 481Tax Incentives, RTVE (Spain), Culture Ireland and supported by the Arts office of Meath County Council.
In Loco Parentis had its Irish debut at the Audi International Dublin Film Festival last week.
Check the Screenings Tab for times and venues.