Winners Fiona Mulhern and Rita Courlander who won Luxair flight vouchers; Credit: Ali Sahib

On Wednesday 13 March 2024, the British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg held a special screening at Ciné Utopia in Luxembourg-Limpertsberg to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inaugural direct Luxair flight from Luxembourg to Dublin which took place on 30 March 2014.

The Irish-Luxembourgish co-production The Runway was screened. Released in 2010, it is a heart-warming tale inspired by the true story of a South American pilot who landed his plane near Mallow, Co Cork, in 1983. Against all odds, the people of the town came together to try to get him home and briefly caught the imagination of the nation. The storyline follows Paco, a young fatherless boy who befriends the pilot Ernesto and convinces the town to fix his plane. They overcome a language barrier and technical issues, but then face the challenge of building a runway to get the pilot home.

Post-screening, Festival Director Geoff Thompson led a Q&A with Bernard Michaux, producer of the film that cost €4 million to make. 

Firstly, he explained that since the film was not a recent production, they were able to obtain a copy of it from the national digital archives at the National Audiovisual Centre (CNA) in Dudelange.

Asked what a producer does, Bernard Michaux explained that it is "a bit of everything" but if can depend on whether one's company is leading a co-production or is a junior partner. In the latter's case it normally includes attracting the finance and more. It is basically the position of Project Manager. Bernard Michaux has been Producer, Co-producer or Associate Producer on around 40 films, and moved from his own production company, Lucil Film, to Samsa Film, a number of years ago to become Managing Partner.

He explained that around 30% of the funding for The Runway had come from Luxembourg, with the Film Fund Luxembourg supporting the project. He recalled that while a lot of the filming was done in Ireland, some was done in Luxembourg, including at studios in Contern. The discussion also addressed the Ford Fiesta being seen as both left-hand drive and right-hand drive in different scenes, as well as the bull actually having a trained sheepdog to guide it where the director wanted it to go.

The evening concluded with a draw for Luxair flight vouchers, won by Rita Courlander and Fiona Mulhern. 

The core festival starts on Monday 18 March and runs through to Saturday 23 March. Special guests are attending a number of the screenings, including the opening which will feature the screening of Verdigris.

Full details are available online at