Female pioneers of Irish Film will be celebrated at Galway UNESCO City of Film’s 100 Years of Cinema this Saturday the 16th April at an Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway. Ireland’s most influential women in film who passionately fought for political and social change in Ireland, including the socialist and republican activist Bernadette McAliskey and director and producer Hilary Dully will be celebrated at this empowering event.

Leading film-maker and Galway Film Fleadh co-founder Lelia Doolan will host the all-day film screening alongside MNÁ 2016, which will celebrate the female heroines and innovators of Irish Cinema. A panel discussion will be chaired by a number of Ireland’s most influential females in film including Hilary Dully, Anne Crilly, Margo Harkin, Pat Murphy and Bernadette McAliskey, the socialist and republican activist. Bernadette Devlin as she was known then, was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s in Northern Ireland, and was the youngest woman ever in the British House of Commons on her election in 1969.

Tickets for the inspiring all-day film event can be purchased at just €5.50 per film or €15 for a full day ticket.

100 Years of Cinema is a special commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising Centenary which includes a programme of seminal Irish Cinema and landmark television events from over the past 100 years. The year -long programme is hosted as 9 one-day events of film, exhibition and debate which engage the public in a discussion on the development of Ireland’s national identity and Irish Cinema since 1916. The inspiring ‘Women and Film’ seminar will celebrate women who have pioneered and fought for change, bringing their inspirational and empowering perspectives and experiences to light in a series of open and interactive discussions.

The all-day film screenings on Saturday, April 16th will commence at 12 noon with the controversial documentary 50,000 Secret Journeys, which will be introduced by the film’s Co-Producer and Director, Hilary Dully. Commissioned by RTÉ in 1994, the documentary features three Irish women speaking openly and on camera about their personal experience of abortion for the first time on Irish television. The day before the documentary was due to be transmitted in 1994, RTÉ management, decided against its broadcast, deeming that the film “lacked balance” and they worried that the women “didn’t express significant remorse”. The documentary was finally aired on the 27th October 1994 but was shown during a late-night current affairs segment which featured a film about unmarried mothers.

At 2.30pm, the 1944 classic black and white ghost story, The Uninvited, a 1944 film based on the bestselling novel by  Dorothy Mac Ardle, Irish historian, playwright, novelist and human rights activist who was one of the leading figures in the War of Independence. At 4.30pm, Mother Ireland (1999) , a documentary directed by Anne Crilly and produced by Margo Harkin will explore the development and use of images and music which personify Ireland as a woman in Irish culture and nationalism. The film highlights how these cultural and stereotypical images of Ireland as a woman influence the idealised model of woman demanded by Irish society. It uses historical film, photographs, political drawings, cartoons and music to explore the largely unrecorded role of women in Irish history and presents realistic images of Irish women at work today. A panel discussion will follow immediately after with comments and discussion with Anne and Margo alongside Bernadette McAliskey and Pat Murphy.

Pat Murphy’s award-winning film Nora (2000) will conclude the screenings at 8pm. The film explores the life of Galway woman, Nora Barnacle and her relationship with James Joyce, played by Northern Irish actress Susan Lynch and leading Hollywood Actor Ewan McGregor as Joyce. The film depicts their passionate relationship and the significant influence of Nora on Joyce and his writing and earned the director the prestigious United International Pictures Director’s Award along with 5 IFTA’s including the award for Best Feature Film.

Tickets for the screenings can be purchased at a cost of €5.50 per film or €15.00 for the full day from An Taibhdhearc on 091-562024. You can also book online at http://antaibhdhearc.com/imeachtai/

For full details of upcoming 100 Years of Cinema events please visit www.galwayfilmcentre.ie

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