October 7th 2021: The Irish Film Institute (IFI) today launches its comprehensive 2021/2022 Schools Programme with highlights for the school year including Transition Year title Alice Junior, new Irish films Wildfire and I Never Cry, and a number of curriculum-linked films, some previously unreleased secured uniquely for IFI@Schools.

The Irish Film Institute’s (IFI) 2021/2022 Schools Programme is its most exciting and diverse to date, with in-cinema offerings, touring venues, and online additions to IFI@Schools, the IFI’s online streaming library for schools. Now in its second year, this platform contains a range of titles curated in Primary and Post-Primary sections and this year includes a special collection of stimulating films targeting the ‘in between’ age of 12 – 14. Online offerings allow for schools across the country to access Irish and international films directly in their classrooms, and the hybrid programme offers flexibility, ensuring access to great films for educational use. This year’s programme showcases film as an invaluable resource, from modern foreign languages, science, technology, engineering and maths titles, to prescribed texts for the English curriculum, as well as numerous titles to promote film studies and media literacy.

In-cinema offerings, bringing the excitement of cinema and its learning opportunities back to the IFI, include poetic MFL (French) title Gagarine, plus films for Transition Year students: Brazilian coming-of-age drama Alice Junior, Oscar-winning drama starring Riz Ahmed Sound of Metal, and dark Irish film The Winter Lake. The as Gaeilge version of stunning award-winning Irish animation Wolfwalkers will also screen at the IFI.

Films screening both at the IFI and online on IFI@Schools include a variety of Modern Foreign Language titles: time-bending fantasy Cleo and summer adventure Night Forest (Nachtwald) in German; Spanish film The Wolves (Los Lobos); and TY/ Senior Cycle French film Small Country: An African Childhood (Petit Pays), set during the Hutu-Tutsi conflict in Rwanda. A further selection of MFL titles are available online, where German title A Voluntary Year, inspiring Junior Cycle Spanish film One for All (Uno Para Todos), and senior French titles Man Up!, Fahim and Fanny’s Journey remain available.

Transition Year hybrid offerings include Dear Future Children, the German-British-Austrian documentary about three youth activists, and Sweat, an intimate glance into the life of a fictional Polish fitness influencer. Irish films suitable for TY students and showing in hybrid theatrical and online offerings include Irish-Polish co-production I Never Cry, in which teenager Ola journeys from Poland to Ireland to arrange a burial her her migrant father, and Cathy Brady’s feature debut Wildfire, set in a Northern Irish border town. The powerful Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, suitable for Senior Cycle Art, follows the early years of the iconic Neo-Expressionist artist, screening in-cinema and on IFI@Schools.

Exclusively screening online on IFI@Schools, an entirely unique platform in Ireland, are TY films including music/ SPHE title Polystyrene: I Am A Cliché  which follows punk icon Poly Styrene’s life and career, and music documentary Sisters with Transistors, on the ground-breaking women pioneers of early electronic music. Also screening on www.ifischools.ie are TY titles on youth activism, including the documentary on Greta Thunberg I Am Greta, and the new short doc I Still Breathe, a film made following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Recent drama The Hate U Give sees the protagonist Starr Carter face struggles in her life after she witnesses her best friend being shot by armed police.

Coming-of-age films available via the online platform include British drama about a young gymnast, Perfect 10; the stunning black and white film about 15-year-old Billie and 11-year-old Nico in Massachusetts, Sweet Thing, and the 2018 drama set in a conversion therapy centre starring Chloë Grace Moretz, The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Magical realism family drama set in a junkyard in Curaçao, Buladó, also screens online as part of the Primary Pass.

Irish films on IFI@Schools as part of this year’s programme include TY titles observing international events A Girl From Mogadishu, a drama depicting activism against FGM in Somalia, and Gaza, the documentary looking at the lives of people in Palestine. Michael Inside looks at the life of 18-year-old Michael who gets caught holding drugs, and The Racer dramatises a cyclist at the 1998 Tour de France. Junior Cycle English prescribed titles screening include His & Hers, Ken Wardrop’s documentary, and Sing Street, John Carney’s uplifting musical drama, while 2018 film Rosie follows a Dublin family and their quest to find a home. Irish films suitable for Politics and Society classes include moving new documentary The 8th, on the movement to repeal the eighth amendment, and The Pipe, the documentary about the Corrib Natural Gas project in County Mayo. Groundswell also looks at fracking in Ireland, suitable for TY/ Senior Cycle Geography teaching.

In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America offers insight for Senior Cycle History students into the political climate of Northern Ireland, while Condemned to Remember looks outward to historical events in Germany, as Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental speaks about his experiences and journeys across Europe (useful to pair with Junior Cycle History title The Lesson). More online Irish offerings include sci-fi Vivarium (Screen Starts talk with the director Lorcan Finnegan available to watch on the IFI Careers Space) and the documentary on the two-weight world champion boxer Katie Taylor, Katie.

IFI@Schools titles available for Primary students include IFI Education favourite, French animation Minuscule: Mandibles from Far Away, Irish family drama focused on the transformational power of nature and love A Shine of Rainbows, and the Kazakh language documentary The Eagle Huntress. Award-winning Cartoon Saloon titles The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, and The Breadwinner are also on the platform, offering insight into Irish film, animation and character development. The Peanut Butter Falcon features a protagonist with Down Syndrome, and encourages conversation about care and friendship, while The Personal History of David Copperfield and JoJo Rabbit narrate historical tales of hardship and laughter. 

Other titles available exclusively online on IFI@Schools as part of the 2021-22 Schools Programme include the stunning animation useful for Art teaching, Away; climate crisis documentary Losing Alaska; and Spaceship Earth, the film on the 1991 Biosphere 2 experiment. Prescribed English texts include Junior Cycle texts Whale Rider, Wadjda, and Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Senior Cycle texts include the documentary on the Argentine footballer, Diego Maradona

In association with Screen Skills Ireland, a year-long series of Careers events will take place in-cinema and online across 2021 and 2022, partnering with VMDIFF on Careers in Screen Day, and with Fresh Film Festival. For the virtual launch of the programme on Wednesday October 20th at 15.00, 17-year-old Michael Keane, award-winning filmmaker of Covid-Éire, will talk about his tips for getting started in filmmaking. Registration for the launch event is available here.

For more details and to download a full IFI Education 2021/2022 Programme, please visit www.ifi.ie/learn and for online offerings, please visit www.ifischools.ie. For more information and booking, please contact Holly and Amy Louise on 01 679 5744 or email schools@irishfilm.ie. Please note that large schools groups are preferred for ease of organising groups in-cinema.

The IFI acknowledges the support of the Arts Council.

The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland