IFI Spotlight 2015 will present a day-long space for in-depth critical engagement with current Irish media culture, on April 25th. Open to consumers, filmmakers, critics, and academics alike, IFI Spotlight 2015 will review the Irish film and television output of the last 12 months and assess the health of Irish moving image culture through a series of panels and guest speakers that includes a keynote address from Dr. Roddy Flynn (DCU); panellists including Lenny Abrahamson, Carmel Winters and Tomm Moore; contentious remarks on Irish film; and this year’s soapbox address from Brian Finnegan, author and editor of GCN.

Head of Irish Film Programming at the IFI, Sunniva O’Flynn, said [quote]We believe that an annual process of considered reflection is essential for the development of a healthy Irish film culture, an informed production community and a cine-literate audience. IFI Spotlight complements our year round commitment to screening and engaging with Irish work at the IFI.[/quote]

The day begins with Dr. Roddy Flynn’s (DCU) Keynote Address: 20 Years a Growing that will take a rigorous look at data relating to over 20 years of feature film production in Ireland, identifying long-term trends in content, personnel and funding.

Panel 1: What’s Another Year?: 2014 in Review features a panel of practitioners reflecting on the year’s output in their area of expertise: David Rane, producer and festival director, will consider documentary production and exhibition; Shimmy Marcus, director and founder of Bow Street Academy for Screen Acting will examine acting opportunities and notable performances; Birch Hamilton, Executive Director Screen Directors Guild will review feature dramas; Oscar nominee Tomm Moore will look at animation on big and small screens; and Micheál Ó Meallaigh, Commissioning Director TG4, will talk about television drama.

The Soapbox offers the chance for a cultural commentator to hold forth on Irish cinema without restriction and this year, in the run up to the Marriage Equality referendum, Brian Finnegan, author of The Forced Redundancy Film Club and editor of GCN, will consider representations of LGBT issues as well as other aspects of Irish cinema that he loves and loathes.

Panel 2: “I’m not a fan of Irish movies” will see the panel’s chair, Dr. Debbie Ging (DCU), pick up on the controversy surrounding John Michael McDonagh’s remarks on Irish film that caused a media furore in 2014. Giving their own response to his sentiments about Irish cinema, the panel will include director Lenny Abrahamson, writer/director Carmel Winters and The Sunday Times’ chief arts writer Eithne Shortall.

The day’s proceedings will be moderated by Dr. Margaret Kelleher, Chairperson of the IFI Board of Directors who will close IFI Spotlight with It’s a Wrap, a summary of the day’s discussion and a space for comments from attendees.

Tickets costing €5 for either the morning or afternoon session, or €8 for the full day, are available from the IFI Box Office or online at www.ifi.ie. The IFI Café Bar will offer a Special Lunch Deal  of a Soup & Sandwich for €7.50.

IFI Spotlight 2015: Schedule

MORNING SESSION
Keynote Address: 20 Years a Growing (11.00–11.30)
Panel 1: What’s Another Year? 2014 in Review (11.40–13.15)

AFTERNOON SESSION
Soapbox (14.15–14.45)
Panel 2: “I’m not a fan of Irish movies” (14.50–16.20)
It’s a Wrap (16.30–17.00)

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