Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December at the IFI

Welcome to the IFI’s December programme and some great films to see us through to the end of the year. 

The much anticipated Argentinian film, Las Acacias, opens on December 9th. First time director Pablo Giorgelli’s film received a rapturous reception at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, winning the prestigious Camera d’Or, and has gone on to win over festival audiences and critics around the world, gathering momentum as one of the must see films of 2011. You will regret it if you miss it. 

Las Acacias

One of the surprising stories in film this year has been a turn to 3D by some of the great auteurs: Wenders, Herzog and now Scorsese, who has adapted the bestselling children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret into his first 3D film, Hugo. The film has been puzzling film critics for while but the reports back from those that have seen it is that it is, as Scott Foundas writes in his programme notes, a ‘Scorsese Triumph’, and a master class in how to use 3D to the best effect. 


Above all, Hugo is a eulogy to the importance of making sure our film heritage isn’t lost. Scorsese is a passionate advocate of film preservation, and has said “Film is history; with every foot of film that is lost we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us and to ourselves”. This is something that we believe absolutely to be true and the IFI continues to do everything in its power to ensure that Ireland’s film heritage is preserved for the future and, crucially, that is accessible for people to see. 

The collection that we hold in the IFI Irish Film Archive now numbers 27,000 cans of film and over 10,000 broadcast tapes, but what these numbers really add up to is Ireland’s cultural, political and social stories. Film is a great communicator and can bring these stories to life in a unique way. However, film is also fragile and has to be kept in climate-controlled vaults in order to prevent deterioration, which it is why it is essential that Ireland has a film archive that can properly preserve this precarious history.

IFI Irish Film Archive

We are the national film archive but we are at a critical time in our development: our archive building in Temple Bar has reached capacity and we cannot accept any more material, meaning that precious collections are in danger of being lost. We urgently need to build our Preservation Centre at the National University of Maynooth, on their campus, and we just have to raise our shortfall of €300,000 to ensure that our films have a safe, secure, long-term home and that the Archive can continue to ensure that.

GAA Football Gold DVD

Please help us do this in whatever way you can; donations of any size make a very real difference. Don’t forget that proceeds from our new GAA Football Gold and other great Archive products in the IFI Film Shop go directly to the Preservation Fund, so do your Christmas shopping there and support film at the same time! Thank you very much for your support. Visit for more details or to make a donation.

With all good wishes from everyone at the IFI for a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year, and we look forward to seeing you in 2012. 

Sarah Glennie

See Saoirse Ronan in the IFI Irish film Archive Preservation Fund video and visit 

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