(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.

Magnolia Acquires ‘In Loco Parentis (School Life)’

Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to In Loco Parentis (School Life), the documentary that bowed at the Sundance Film Festival last month. Neasa Ní Chianáin directed and David Rane co-directed and produced the pic, which follows a year in the lives of Amanda and John Leyden, an inspirational teaching couple at Headfort, an unconventional (and the only) primary-age boarding school in the village of Kells, Ireland, and the students under their charge. It focuses on their progressive methods of elementary education. Magnolia plans a theatrical release this year.     source: Deadline Holywood


Hot on the heels of a hugely successful North American Premiere at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival,  In Loco Parentis (School Life) will have its Irish Premiere at a special Centrepiece Gala event at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival on Monday February 20th at 8.30pm in the Light House Cinema.

There will be a second screening of this family-friendly film in the same venue on Thursday 23 February at 2pm. Director, Neasa Ní Chianáin will be present at both screenings for audience questions.

The magical In Loco Parentis (School Life) follows a year in the life of two inspirational teachers in  the Hogwart’s-like Headfort School, in Kells, Co Meath, Ireland’s only boarding school for primary school aged children. Here, for almost half a century, Amanda and John Leyden’s irresistible humour, unique style and passion for teaching, has been shaping the lives of countless children.

Over three years in the making, this observational film has been enjoying rave reviews and unprecedented success for an Irish Feature Length Documentary.

Critics have variously described the film as an ‘antidote to the dark times we live in’; a  film with ‘tons of charm’; ‘a delightful crowd pleaser’; and  ‘a warm work of cinema vérité.’

It became the first Irish feature film to be selected for competition at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) last November and is the first Irish doc to be selected for competition at both  Sundance and IDFA.

You won’t want to miss this special heart-warming experience. Tickets are selling out fast for the two screenings at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival so booking is strongly advised via the link below:

ILP is going to Sundance

A DOCUMENTARY Film about a dedicated teaching couple whose entire career has been spent in Ireland’s only boarding school for primary school-aged children, will have its North American Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next week.
In Loco Parentis is one of two Irish documentaries-along with It’s Not Yet Dark- that will compete in the World Cinema Documentary Competition in the festival in Utah, founded by actor and director, Robert Redford.
Set in the magical and unconventional Headfort School in Kells, this observational film by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane of Soilsiú Films, is  being hailed by Sundance as “an antidote to the dark times we live in”.
It focuses on veteran and eccentric teachers John and Amanda Leyden, whose kindness and inventiveness, has a lasting impact on the children in their care. Even after over 40 years they remain as passionate and driven as ever about what they do.
“We both went to boarding schools and had very different experiences so we were keen to know what a 21st century boarding school looked like and to document the experience for children boarding today,” explained Ní Chianáin.
“We are thrilled to be taking it to Sundance, which is probably the most important film festival in the world for independent movies.
“This film is the culmination of four years of hard work and we look forward now to it being seen by as wide an audience as possible.” she added.
The film will will have its Irish premiere at the Dublin International Film Festival (ADIFF) next month and later in the Spring it will have a short theatrical release in selected cinemas around the country.
Last November, In Loco Parentis became the first Irish film to be selected for the feature length completion at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) where it was hugely well received by audiences.
Ní Chianáin’s earlier film, Fairytale of Kathmandu, was the first Irish film to be in the mid-length competition at the same festival in 2007.
The filmmakers will travel to Park City, Utah next week for the festival which runs from 19-29 January.
In Loco Parentis was funded by The Irish Film Board, the BAI, RTÉ, Sec 481 Tax Incentives, RTVE (Spain), Culture Ireland and supported by the Arts office of Meath County Council.


In Loco Parentis (School Life) has received support at home and internationally on its three-year journey to the big screen.
Filmed entirely within the grounds of Headfort School in County Meath, the project is jointly funded by the Irish Film Board, RTÉ, BAI, Sec 481 tax incentives, Grismedio and Corporacíon Radiotelevisión Española.
Thanks is also due to the #MeathArtsOffice and #CultureIreland for their support for In Loco Parentis (School Life) which will have its World Premiere at #idfa , Amsterdam this coming Saturday 19 November.

Irish Boarding School Documentary to Receive Major International Premiere at IDFA 2016

Two IFB-funded films, In Loco Parentis (School Life) and Forever Pure will be screened at the world’s leading International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), running from November 16 – 27. Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane’s In Loco Parentis (School Life) will run from November 19 – 27 and will become the first Irish film selected to compete in the coveted IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary, where a five-member jury will decide on a winner. Maya Zinshtein’s Forever Pure will receive its IDFA screening from November 17 – 26.

Read the rest at the Irish Film Board website.