Friday, May 6, 2011

Film Focus Youth Discussion Event

A couple of weeks ago here at IFI, 14 young keen film enthusiasts came together to participate in a discussion entitled, ‘What does film mean to you’?

Participants were recruited through our monthly IFI Teen Film Club, which is aimed at teenagers, aged 15-18, from all over Dublin. The Film Club aims to provide participants with greater access to alternative films and world cinema through various screenings and discussion groups.

The basis of this discussion grew from our current Film Focus research project, which is now in its second year. Film Focus is a project initiated by the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in conjunction with the Irish Film Board (IFB) to develop a national strategy for film and moving image education in Ireland.

One of the main aims of this research is to provide a range of opportunities for young people to access cultural cinema and aspects of film education. It is therefore essential that young people are involved in our research and given a platform to speak openly and share their thoughts about film and film education.

The Culture Box kindly provided the space for the discussion and its location within Temple Bar was ideal for those attending the selected film club screening, Submarine, later on that day.

The event was facilitated by Alan King (NAYD) and participants ranged from our regular club attendees to first timers. Various activities were used as a stimulus for discussion and participants openly contributed their thoughts and opinions throughout the session. Examples of films that we currently have on our schools programme, Billy Elliot, Inception and Persepolis, were screened and used as a tool to encourage further discussion around media literacy and their place in education. Provocative statements, such as, ‘Watching a film on a topic is as useful as reading a book’ and ‘Film is a very relevant art form for young people’ were strongly debated amongst the participants and as the session came to an end we found it difficult to tear them away from their ‘platform’!

Interestingly, all of the group participants stressed the importance of the social aspect and educational value of watching films. "…it helps people learn and it brings people together...","... it’s a way to escape from reality, a social event, a way to express who you are...". It was at this point that the conversation came to an end and participants left for the IFI to join other teen film club members who were making their way into cinema 1 to watch Submarine.

‘What does film mean to you’? is a complex question for anyone to answer. The participants approached it with great enthusiasm and worked together to deliver their opinions, which are invaluable to our research.

Dee Quinlan
IFI Education Officer

For more information about the IFI Teen Film Club please contact Dee by phone on (01) 679 5744 or email.
For more information about Film Focus please contact Alicia McGivern by phone on (01) 6755744 or email.


  1. The Dingle International Film Festival which is the boutique festival which is open to everyone will be setting up in town te from 15th-18th March. Based for the most part around the Phoenix Cinema one of the few remaining independent film theatres in the country it is dynamic as ever in this its seventh year.

    So who's coming? A vast array of professionals from every sector of the industry will be at the festival this year. The CEO's of the five top animation companies in Ireland will be meeting in Dingle. The first time that this has ever happened. Then there's  Mark McLoughlin, Director of 'Blood Rising' who is based in the town and Artist Brian Maguirewith the opening film. McLoughlin has tracked the painter as he created the portraits of two of the young woman murdered by the ruling drug cartel in Juarez, Mexico. Kerry-based artist Artist Pauline Bewick will be at the premiere of Maurice Galway's film exposition of her work 'Yellow Man, Grey Man',ollowing which she will be interviewed by Senator David Norris.
    Music documentaries have always been a strong point of this festival. Accordingly
    Dick Carruthers distinguished director of rock music documentaries who has worked with Snow Patrol, Kaiser Chiefs, MCFly, The Who, Rolling Stones and Van Morrison amongst many others will screen and discuss his film of Led Zeppelin's 2007 concert  'Celebration Day with Michael  Ryan producer of 'The English Patient'. And  Kerry-based artist Artist Pauline Bewick will be at the premiere of Maurice Galway's film exposition of her work 'Yellow Man, Grey Man',ollowing which she will be interviewed by Senator David Norris.

    A number of workshops and talks will cater for film practitioners.  One of the most entertaining is likely to be 'Sitcom in the Parlour'. Tea, scones and conversation about writing sitcoms in the sitting-room of the rather fine Emlagh House led by two of America's most experienced writers in the genre. Daphne Pollen writer/producer has worked with Candice Bergman on ' Murphy Brown', Denis O' Leary on 'The Job' and John Cleese on 'My Adventures in Television'.  Mark Flanagan writer/executive produce winner has to date won two Emmy’s and a Writers Guild Award. Executive Producer on  Madigan Men  starring Gabriel Byrne he has written and produced Tracey Ullman’s programmes for Fox TV and HBO.

    There are a plethora of feature films with a theme of books presented as movies. A case in point is  'Beyond The Hills' winner of best Screenplay and Best Actress at The Cannes Film Festival 2012. Derived from the writing  of author Tatiana Niculescu Bran this Russian production is about a tug-of-love between a young woman and God for the heart of her best friend.
    Add in around forty Irish and international shorts, screenings on the Soho House, Bafta and Sundance short film winners, a Dingle Day including a filmic tribute to the late Paid O'Sé and you've go a festival to savour.
    Admission prices are kept low and there are innovative bundle tickets. For € 35 you get all of the rock music films and talks including the Beatles 'Magical Mystery Tour'. Ditto the Literature ticket priced at €25 and there is a Dingle Day ticket. Maurice Galway added,
    “ There are ample opportunities to socialize with industry professionals. It is a festival for everyone and especially for those looking to get in to the industry.”


  2. Animation Dingle Pitches In To International Film Fest!

    The Dingle International Film Festival, the innovative boutique festival which is open to everyone has taken the lead again. In a joint initiative with Irish animation company 'Jam Media' and 'MEDIA Desk, Ireland', it is set to host 'Animation Dingle' a one-day gathering of industry professionals. The symposium will take place in the town's St. James Church on Saturday 16th March, the second day of the four day festival. For the first time ever the senior figures running the top five companies in the sector will gather to celebrate their craft and discuss issues of mutual interest.
    There is undoubtedly has been much to celebrate in recent years for Irish cartoon creators. Brown Bag films which will be represented at the Dingle event has earned Oscar nominations for Give Up Yer Auld Sins (2002), Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty (2010) and Bafta and Emmy nominations for their hugely popular TV series, The Octonauts (2011). JAM Media, led by CEO Kerryman John Rice, itself won a BAFTA award last year for its animation/live action programme 'Roy'. In addition it scooped up the Producer of the Year award at the Cartoon Forum's event in Toulouse, France.
    This key event will discuss and debate issues relevant to the practitioners in the sector. However interested viewers and cartoon enthusiasts are welcome to attend. There are in fact two childrens' animation showcases being screened displaying work suitable for pre-primary and post-primary children. In addition the winner of the best short animation award at Sundance Film Festival will be on show along with Cromane native Foladh Cronin O'Reilly's Oscar nominated short animation 'Head Over Heels'.
    The Dingle International Film Festival has a reputation for attracting industry names who come to the event year after year. Members of Gregory Peck's family, who have cousins in the town have been frequent visitors as has celebrated documentary film-maker Sé Merry Doyle. This recorder of cultural life in Ireland and beyond has a particular task to perform at Animation Dingle. The 'Jimmy Murakami Award' for achievement in the practice of animation is to be presented for the first time. Fittingly it will be given by to past Oscar nominee and director and animator of Raymond Biggs's novels 'The Snowman' and 'When the Wind Blows', Jimmy Murakami. The Dublin-based Japanese-American has had an illustrious career and in Doyle agreeing to hand over the award a certain symmetry is accomplished. For it was his company Loopline Films which captured Jimmy's experiences and the residual anger resulting from his and his family's internment in an American prison camp during the second world war and produced it in the documentary film, 'No Alien'.
    What promises to be a seminal event in the history of the animation industry in Ireland will end with a visual treat. In 1967 the American Film Institute was founded by the Endowment for the Arts and Humanities. Gregory Peck a grandson of Dingle was one of the initial trustees. The first film the AFI funded in 1968 was 'The Good Friends' a ten-minute animation. Fittingly this piece will close out Animation Dingle 2013.