Friday, March 11, 2011

IFI National at Killruddery Film Festival this weekend (March 10-13)

The Killruddery Film Festival opens today at Killruddery House in Co. Wicklow. This is a unique event that looks at lost and forgotten cinema and is one of the most imaginatively programmed film festivals in Ireland. We’ve been collaborating with them over the last number of years bringing an Irish dimension with films selected from the IFI Irish Film Archive.

One hundred years ago the New York-based Kalem Film Company dared step outside the fledgling American film business and shoot ‘on location’ overseas. In June 1910 a small crew set sail for Ireland and shooting in and around Killarney, Co Kerry,  created the first fiction films made by a US company outside the Americas and the first fiction films set and shot in the Emerald Isle. They found such a welcome when they arrived - and such enthusiasm for the films they produced among American audiences back home - that they returned to Killarney four times in all between 1910 and 1914. The few films that survive from this period and which are preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive  - rebel dramas, folk romances, and tales of exile and emigration - offer a remarkable insight into cinema practices in the transitional period (1910-1915) and the founding images of Ireland in American cinema from which filmmakers would draw on for decades.

This programme, presented by BIFF Films in association with the Irish Film Institute, includes this new documentary and one of the original films - Come Back to Erin, a film which was until recently believed lost but has now been restored by the Museum of Modern Art, New York with support from the IFI Irish Film Archive.

Killruddery is very much a family event and this year’s programme also includes a series of rarely-seen Irish children’s films from the IFI Irish Film Archive. It’s a nostalgic and amusing trip through Ireland’s past featuring films from the 1940s and 50s and should provoke a lot of memories as well as keeping young film enthusiasts entertained. The programme features a leprechaun, a monkey’s tail, pots of gold, and an adaptation of a Frank O’Connor short story that includes footage of Cork city in 1959.

Opening Event – The O’ Kalems in Ireland 

Lost Children’s films from the Irish Film Archive
Saturday 12th March, 12.30pm, tickets here

Festival Trailer here

For more information visit

Sunniva O'Flynn, IFI Curator

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