Friday, September 14, 2012

IFI20: You can never leave...

I began my 13 year stint in the IFI as Education Officer, delivering school screenings, evening courses as well as presenting monthly screening First Cut and the older people's film club, Wild Strawberries.  From then, I started working with programmer extraordinaire Peter Walsh on festivals and special programmes, many of which still exist today including CineFrance (now the French Film Festival), Stranger than Fiction Documentary Festival, as well as celebrations of Beckett on Film, Andy Warhol Season and Agnes Varda Season and of course the annual Open Day.

Thaddeus O Sullivan, Grainne Humpreys and Stephen Rea

Alongside thousands of Dubliners, I have seen so many classic films including Franju's Eyes Without A Face, Bergman's final Saraband, Haneke's Caché, the great 2001: A Space Odyssey glorious on 70mm and John Lasseter introducing Toy Story.  Not to mention all the people I've met through the years - I've babysat Jane Birkin's bag whilst she talked Je T'aime Moi Non Plus and Gainsbourg,  gone shoe shopping with Anna Karina, had tea with Maureen O'Hara, sushi with Angela Lansbury, and way too much wine with the late Jack Cardiff - I introduced my parents to Jeanne Moreau or was it the other way round?

So many fascinating conversations - Harold Pinter on his favourite actors, Anthony Minghella on his favourite actresses, Steve James on stories worth telling and the many, many Irish filmmakers whose work we showcased. I've moved on from the IFI but I still cherish the impromptu conversations and post-screening reactions of IFI filmgoers, led for so many years by the great John Devitt.  It's hard to describe the connection the IFI has with its audience - maybe the Eagles say it best - you can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave..

Gráinne Humphreys
Festival Director at the Dublin International Film Festival

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! Having read that, I think I want to check in.