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.