December sees the release of some of the big prize winners from the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals – Of Gods and Men, On Tour and Somewhere – and the much-anticipated Catfish, a ‘reality thriller’ exposing the darker side of social networking.
In a year that has seen the IFI showing more Irish film than ever before, it is appropriate that we end 2010 with the release of The Pipe, which comes to the IFI in December on the back of critically-acclaimed screenings at Galway, Toronto and London. This compelling and thoughtful film documents the impact of the controversial Corrib Gas Project on the local Rossport community, and the issue itself will no doubt invoke impassioned responses from both sides of the debate. We are delighted that we will be joined by the filmmakers and members of the Rossport Community for a special Gala Screening on December 2nd. Also scheduled is a separate panel discussion on December 4th which will debate the Corrib Gas Project, chaired by Irish Times journalist Lorna Siggins, and will involve contributions from both sides of the issue. One of the themes that The Pipe raises is the role that filmmaking plays in political campaigns and the film’s producer Rachel Lysaght will take part in a discussion on December 11th about the complex relationship between art and politics.
Amongst all this controversy (not to mention the Budget!) we haven’t forgotten it is Christmas and there are plenty of great films for family outings over the season, from a Christmas-themed Archive at Lunchtime programme showing every day during Christmas week to The Red Shoes and It’s a Wonderful Life. We have two special IFI Family events on December 29th and 30th to help keep our younger audiences occupied in the post-Christmas lull: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The March of the Penguins (the latter is followed by two special animation workshops).
As we come to the end of what has been a bumpy year for Ireland, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for making 2010 a great year for the IFI. We started on a real high with the Open Day in February to launch the refurbished building and new Cinema 3, and continued with a packed programme of great cinema, new and old, including Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, and seasons on Woody Allen, Kenneth Anger, Audiard, Ozu, Hitchcock and new African cinema. Both our audiences and membership have grown significantly during the year, and your loyalty and shared passion for all that cinema has to offer ensures that we continue to be one of Ireland’s busiest and most relevant cultural organisations.
So on behalf of everyone at the IFI: thank you. We look forward to bringing you an exciting programme in 2011 and we wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.