Rounding off a busy year of screenings commemorating the events of 1916, IFI International presented a series of events exploring Anglo-Irish cultural exchange in a range of venues throughout the UK in November. The programmes included contemporary and retrospective screenings of feature, documentary and short films, ciné-concerts and seminars.
The highlight of the month’s activity was ‘Ireland and Britain, 1916-2016: A Centenary of Cinematic Conversation’, a programme co-hosted by IFI and Irish Film Festival London that ran from November 3rd to 26th at London’s Ritzy Picturehouse, at the Barbican, and at Birkbeck University.
On November 24th, at the Barbican, we presented the 1916 Centenary Ciné-Concert, a programme of short silent films tracing the history of Anglo-Irish relations during the revolutionary period and beyond, with live musical accompaniment by harpist Cormac de Barra, and Kila’s Colm Ó Snodaigh and Rossa Ó Snodaigh.
Six films screened at the Ritzy Picturehouse in Brixton. The strand opened with one of the most significant films of the Irish silent film canon, Denis Johnston’s Guests of the Nation (1935), which is based on a Frank O’Connor short story set during the Anglo-Irish war. This film, preserved and restored by the IFI Irish Film Archive was presented with live musical accompaniment by Josh Johnston, renowned pianist, composer, and grandson of the film’s director.
Also showing in the season was the whimsical Ealing comedy Let’s Be Famous (1939); Daughter of Darkness (1948) which featured Siobhán McKenna in her first starring role on screen; She Didn’t Say No (1958), a controversial film about illegitimacy and scandal in a small Irish village; and I Was Happy Here (1965), a film written by Edna O’Brien, which examines an Irish immigrant’s (Sara Miles) failing marriage to an English doctor.
On November 26th, at Birkbeck University Cinema, a day of screenings and discussion included films by directors Pat Murphy, Vivienne Dick, and Polly Devlin, with directors in attendance.
Hot on the heels of ‘Ireland and Britain, 1916-2016’, the contemporary strand of the Irish Film Festival London kicked off on November 23rd and ran through to November 27th. It took place in five cinemas across the capital including the Tricycle Cinema and the Regent Street Cinema, and opened with a screening of Darren Thornton’s runaway hit A Date for Mad Mary.
Further north, in Manchester, IFI International hosted a ciné-concert on November 22nd in the HOME Arts Centre. Football As Never Before is a hypnotic portrait of Manchester United legend George Best, for which director Hellmuth Costard trained eight 16mm cameras on the revered footballer over the complete course of a match against Coventry City. A predecessor of Douglas Gordon and Philippe’s Parreno’s acclaimed 2006 documentary Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, Football As Never Before was made at the height of Best’s fame and tabloid notoriety. The film was accompanied live by an improvisational score performed by 3epkano founder, Matthew Nolan, alongside David Stalling, Seán Mac Erlaine, Bryan O’Connell, and Mary Barnecutt.
Also in Manchester, the Irish Mancunian Film and Culture Association screened a double bill of Bobby Sands: 66 Days and Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey on the 6th November.
Further afield was the annual Irish Film Days Festival in Bucharest (27th- 28th October) with Sing Street, You’re Ugly Too, and new Irish shorts Love is a Stingand the Academy Award-winning Stutterer. In Ukraine, Viva screened at the Molodist International Film Festival (22nd – 30th October). We were proud to work with the Irish Festival n Atlanta (4th – 6th November) presenting an IFI-curated programme of Irish shorts including two Academy Award-nominated films – Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell’s Give Up Yer Aul Sins and Louis Marcus’ Páistí Ag Obair. The European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies’ (EFACIS) Irish Itinerary landed at the Apollo Cinema in Debrecen, Hungary, where it screened Good Vibrations and Bobby Sands: 66 Days (15th and 22nd November).
IFI International returned to the Galway Film Fleadh (Friday July 8th, Morris Suite, Radisson BLU Hotel, 12.00p.m. – 1.30p.m.) to discuss programming of Irish film through international channels and to create a space where international programmers can meet. The session, which included presentations from the Irish Film Institute, film programmers and Culture Ireland identified resources available to international exhibitors of Irish film, discussed common goals and challenges for programmers, and invited contributions from attendees.
IFI International is the Irish film programming service for international exhibitors, facilitated by the Irish Film Institute, with support from Culture Ireland. We bring over 100 films to 100 events in 40 countries annually to audiences of over 35,000 people. Drawing on the collections of the IFI Irish Film Archive and liaising with Irish film directors, producers and distributors, IFI International provides access for cultural exhibitors to new and classic Irish cinema.
To book a place, please contact Soracha Pelan Ó Treasaigh, IFI International Co-Ordinator. firstname.lastname@example.org
In April, We began working with new partners in Hong Kong to present contemporary Irish cinema to new audiences at the Film Ireland festival which featured Viva, Sing Street, Song of the Seaand Calvary. The following month, the Ottawa, Sydney and Rome annual Irish Film Festivals presented new Irish cinema and 1916 centenary screenings including Irish Film Board shorts After ’16, 1916:The Irish Rebellion and the IFI curated 1916 Newsreel Ciné-concert. The programme featuring Irish, British, German, American and Australian newsreels screened in several locations in Canada.
A highlight of the month was the presentation of the IFI International 1916 Centenary Programme at the Cinematheque in Vancouver, Canada. This programme, curated by the IFI and featuring the 1916 Newsreel Ciné-concert, Mise Éire, Ryan’s Daughter, Young Cassidy, The Plough and the Stars and The Wind that Shakes the Barley, reveals how the events of 1916-1923 have captured the imagination of Irish and foreign filmmakers from 1916 to the present day.
March was packed with IFI International supported events including annual Irish film festivals in Belgrade, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Moscow, Sarajevo and Washington. Room opened the Moscow Irish Film Week (16th – 27th March) and guests at the festival included Tim Palmer (producer, Patrick’s Day), Frank Berry (director, I Used to Live Here), and Mark Noonan (director, You’re Ugly Too). Shebeen Flick Berlin (17th – 20th March), celebrated its third year running and featured Bargaintown, recently restored and screened at the IFI, with guest director David Jazay, a 25th anniversary screening of The Commitments and new features including Glassland, I Used to Live Here and Lost in the Living.
Other events in March include Mise Éire at Easter Rising: Irish Artists Now, Whitechapel Gallery London (19th March), The Aisling Society of Sydney’s screening of Irish Destiny (28thMarch) and Kings in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (18th March), organised by the Embassy of Ireland, Vietnam and Cambodia. Actor Pat Shortt was the guest of honour at the Boston Irish Film Festival (10th – 13th March), and Irish Film London were busy with a preview of Sing Street and a shorts programme at the Mayor of London’s St. Patrick’s Festival (13th March).
Check our calendar regularly for updates on IFI International screenings of Irish film around the globe!
IFI International is the IFI’s Irish Film Programming service for international exhibitors, and is supported by Culture Ireland. For more information, please contact
Soracha Pelan O Treasaigh at email@example.com or call +353 1 679 5744.
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For IFI International news from 2014, please click here.
The IFI is supported by The Arts Council