Thursday, August 30, 2012

September at the IFI

Celebrating 20 years at our premises on Eustace Street in Temple Bar, join us for a host of special events, screenings, previews, tours (many of them free!) and the IFI Open Weekend in September. 

September 1992 marks an important date in the IFI’s history. It was the month and year that the IFI (or IFC as it was then known) opened the doors of its newly acquired home after a major conversion of the old Quaker Meeting House (which dated back to the mid-19th century) on Eustace Street, Temple Bar. It was the beginning of the latest chapter in the organisation’s history and has since been the home of one of Dublin’s most visited and accessible cultural institutions.

In the last two decades the IFI has seen over 3.1 million cinema attendances across 63,000 screenings of over 5,900 different films. The IFI Café Bar has been kept busy serving over 1.78 million cups of tea and coffee to audiences that include over 8,000 members. The new landmark building also provided a home for the IFI Irish Film Archive which is now preserving 611 different collections with over 26,000 cans of films, the oldest of which – a Lumière brothers film of Dublin and Belfast – dates back to 1897.

IFI20 Afternoon Talks

The IFI’s home in Temple Bar is all about the people who come here to engage with our extensive programme, so when we started to plan our anniversary celebrations, we quickly decided that we wanted the focus to be on our audience. We want to celebrate the experiences that our audiences have had here over the last 20 years by reliving some of the big moments whilst also looking to the future.

So what have we got lined up? A key moment in the month will be our Open Weekend on September 15th and 16th when we’ll throw open our doors for two days of free screenings and events for old and new audiences. The schedule over the two days will reflect the breadth of our on-going programme and should remind one and all what the IFI has come to represent.

20/20 Landmark Films: Pan's Labirynth

For those who have strong memories of films that they’ll always associate with the IFI, we’re also presenting 20/20: Landmark Films at the IFI. Instead of picking the big box office hits or a film from every year, we wanted to select 20 films that have been a part of our story. Amongst others we’ll be showing Natural Born Killers which caused huge controversy at the time of its proposed screening at the IFI. As the only cinema in Ireland with the capability to show films on 70mm, we’ll be re-screening Hitchcock’s Vertigo (which recently topped Sight & Sound’s critics’ poll to find the greatest film of all time). Later in the year we’ll be starting a full retrospective of all of Hitchcock’s 52 films so this should whet your appetite for more.

What Richard Did

You can read more about all of the celebratory events online but, to name a few, we’ll have a 1992 Day on September 1st to kick-start the activities, a series of blogs throughout the month written by guest contributors, the launch of a major research project on film education entitled Film Focus, a pub quiz, DJs, a pop-up museum, tours of the IFI Irish Film Archive, Irish shorts from every year of the last 20, afternoon talks, discussions, archive and family screenings, and the unveiling of newly commissioned pieces of artworks. To close the proceedings, on September 30th we’re delighted to screen the European premiere of What Richard Did, the latest film by leading Irish director Lenny Abrahamson.

And let’s not forget that we’ll still manage to run our usual programme of new releases throughout the month.

So get ready to celebrate the IFI’s birthday with us throughout the month of September.

Ross Keane

For more information on our IFI20 celebrations, visit  or follow our updates on Twitter via #IFI20

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