June 10th 2021: The Irish Film Institute (IFI) is thrilled to announce the reopening of its cinema doors, presenting an exciting programme of new Irish and international film across its Temple Bar screens and online this summer. The home of film in Ireland, the IFI is proud to reopen with a strong slate of Irish titles to champion the work of our domestic film industry. The captivating reopening programme includes Irish new releases such as Phil Lynott: Songs for While I’m Away, and provides theatrical releases for Irish titles that received limited or online-only releases due to Covid-19, including the Oscar-nominated Wolfwalkers and documentary The 8th. Across international cinema, the best of arthouse independent film is on offer, including opportunities to see award-winning dramas Nomadland and Sound of Metal on the big screen. IFI@Home will continue to be a key part of the IFI’s exhibition programme and will present a diverse – and often exclusive – online nationwide programme, with global Irish cinema offerings on IFI International and archival collections on the IFI Player.
Speaking about the exciting opportunities of exhibiting new and recent Irish and independent film theatrically, IFI Director Ross Keane commented, ‘We are particularly proud to champion the work of Irish filmmakers upon our reopening, with a programme of fantastic new releases alongside an opportunity to see some films that had limited time in cinemas over the past year. As the home of film in Ireland, we feel it is crucially important for the IFI to support the Irish film sector after such a difficult year, and hope that Irish audiences will continue to demonstrate their love for film by flocking back to cinemas to support the industry as a whole.’ Reflecting on the addition of the IFI’s streaming service which launched during Covid-19, Keane added, ‘We are also thrilled that IFI@Home will continue following the reopening of the venue. We have a programme of strong Irish and international content planned over the coming months, including many films and events that will be exclusively on the platform. We’re seeing IFI@Home as an extension of the physical cinema screens we have in Temple Bar, providing us with the opportunity to offer an even larger curated film programme than ever before.’
An exceptional programme of diverse Irish cinema, much produced during these difficult periods of cinema closures, includes Oscar-nominated animation Wolfwalkers, created by Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon and winner of New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Film. The new film by acclaimed Irish documentarian Pat Collins (Song of Granite), Henry Glassie: Field Work, presents a lyrical portrait of the folklorist Henry Glassie, revealing his words, images, sculptures and communities. New documentary The 8th presents the communities at the heart of activism during the 2018 campaign to remove the 8th Amendment, a constitutional ban on abortion. The much-awaited Phil Lynott: Songs for While I’m Away, directed by Emer Reynolds (The Farthest), delves into the life and music of the Thin Lizzy lead singer – his songs, friends and family. The IFI is delighted to offer in cinema screenings of these recent releases, allowing Irish cinemagoers access to otherwise limited-release contributions to our ever-growing national cinema.
Award-winning international films presented in the IFI reopening programme include Chloe Zhao’s pastoral but distinctly socio-political Nomadland, which granted Zhao the title of first woman of colour to win the Best Director Oscar, with another Oscar-winning performance by Frances McDormand. Winner of Academy Award for Best Sound, and for Best Film Editing, Sound of Metal, starring the enthralling Riz Ahmed, follows an unconventional quest for healing as protagonist Ruben loses his hearing. Presented with Open Captions and Audio Description, the film speaks to the IFI’s commitment to accessible programming. Also showing from June 10th is Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow; Reichardt’s return to a neo-western style of filmmaking follows the superbly executed Meek’s Cutoff in 2010. Animals remain at the centre of the story in Viktor Kossakovsky’s Gunda, a reflection of animal life and the role humanity plays in it, produced by Joaquin Phoenix.
More acclaimed drama is presented in The Father, starring Oscar-winning Anthony Hopkins playing a father with advancing dementia, and After Love, starring Joanna Scanlan, winner of the Best Actress Award at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival. Showing from June 18th, The Reason I Jump explores the experiences of non-verbal autistic people across the globe; It Must Be Heaven offers a series of vignettes on Palestinian people searching for a place to call home; and Ben Wheatley’s In The Earth draws on the traditions of the folk horror genre and Covid-related lockdown anxieties. Coming soon, from June 25th, is Supernova, starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth, and from July 2nd, Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round, with the enrapturing Mads Mikkelsen, comes to IFI cinema screens. A preview screening of Another Round will take place on June 20th, followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with the filmmakers and actors.
The IFI’s online video-on-demand platform IFI@Home continues to go from strength to strength, offering exclusive Irish film releases, seasons and events. Recent Irish additions to the platform include the Arts Council Reel Art-funded New York Our Time, plus a Q&A with seminal no-wave director Vivienne Dick, and Skin + Soul, accompanied by a Q&A with director Ciara Nic Chormaic and fashion photographer Perry Ogden. More Irish documentaries available to rent include Gaza, the humanising portrait of individuals and families living on the Gaza strip in 2018, and Groundswell, examining the history of fracking in Ireland, in particular the impact on one North Leitrim town. Recently added to the platform is the striking, feminist 1981 classic Maeve, presented with a conversation between director Pat Murphy and Dónal Foreman; Foreman’s The Image You Missed is also streaming on IFI@Home, and is part of the year-round, global IFI Collection on IFI International, alongside other newly-added Irish titles Silent Grace (2001) and Animal Kingdom (2017).
Exclusive online seasons continue on IFI@Home with Architecture on Film, a selection of Irish and international documentaries on structures and design, now streaming with a full season bundle available. Taking place during this month-long online season is Paddy Cahill Remembered on Thursday, June 17th, an event screening presented in partnership with the Irish Architecture Foundation exhibiting three of the late filmmaker’s recently-completed works, followed by a panel discussion on Cahill’s filmmaking and legacy.
Looking toward a summer of new releases and flagship IFI festivals, the IFI Family Festival returns this August 27th to 29th, and the IFI Documentary Festival returns September 22nd to 26th. Forthcoming new Irish releases include Irish language feature Arracht; Herself starring Clare Dunne; Polish-Irish coproduction I Never Cry; black comedy Redemption of a Rogue; thriller from Christine Molly and Joe Lawlor Rose Plays Julie, and Cathy Brady’s Wildfire. Upcoming international drama includes Italian-French historical romance Martin Eden and acclaimed Bosnian war film Quo Vadis, Aida?.
Coming this June to the IFI Player, the IFI’s online selection of archival moving images, is the Terence McDonald Collection, presenting the Derry filmmaker’s works including City of Londonderry, co-produced by John Hume, and The Man From A.U.N.T. The collection also includes an interview with Peter McDonald, speaking about his father’s technical prowess and his array of filmmaking experience across the North of Ireland, from spiritual films to experimental horror.
From IFI Cinemas to IFI Digital Platforms, this summer is one for the resurgence of Irish cinemagoing, an appreciation of indigenous filmmaking in a growing Irish film industry, and the best of award-winning drama and documentary.
Cinema tickets are on sale now, at www.ifi.ie. IFI Digital Platforms continue streaming online: IFI@Home, IFI International, IFI@Schools, IFI Player.
The IFI acknowledges the support of the Arts Council.
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The IFI is supported by The Arts Council