IFI National continues its 2015 Local Films for Local People Project visiting Portlaoise, Lisdoonvarna, Galway, Mayo, Ballyfermot and Cork, with a programme of films – from matchmaking to mining – drawn from the IFI Irish Film Archive.

[quote title=”Sunniva O’ Flynn – IFI, Head of Irish Film Programming”]The response to our opening volley of Local Films for Local People presentations last year was wholly positive. This year we look forward to reconnecting new audiences in new county venues with programmes of unseen or long-forgotten films made in their locality and warmly welcome the audiences’ informed feedback.[/quote]

Kicking off on Wednesday August 26th in Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, A Look at Laois includes amateur and professional films from as early as 1933, covering a vast range of subjects from GAA, mining, forestry and farming. A highlight of the programme is a specially restored, rarely-seen featurette The Promise of Barty O’Brien (1951), about a young man who dreams of becoming an engineer at the Portarlington Power Station.

Heading west to Lisdoonvarna on September 11th, Matchmaking Memories in the Pavilion Theatre, is a lively programme of films reflecting the significant role played by matchmakers in rural Ireland including: The New Matchmakers (1969), which explores the role of churchmen in arranging marriages; and It’s Now Or Never  (1996) a witty and intimate portrait of rural isolation directed by renowned Danish filmmaker Jon Bang Carlsen, depicting a Co Clare farmer who employs the services of a matchmaker to find a wife – ideally  “…a handy-sized woman, round the 10 stone mark, reasonable in looks; nice personality”.

More Glimpses of Galway will screen at Galway Film Society and NUIG, as part of Culture Night at the Huston School of Film NUIG on September 18th, presenting a programme of both sound and silent films – accompanied by Galway fiddler Saileog Ni Cheannabháin – made in and around Galway between the 1940s and the 1960s.  Moving to Mayo for the opening and closing nights of the Westport Arts Festival, on September 30th and October 4th, IFI National will present a CinéConcert gala presentation of silent films – including pilgrimages to Croagh Patrick and Knock in the 1920s and 1930s – which will be accompanied by a specially commissioned soundscape (funded through the the Arts Council of Ireland’s Deis scheme), performed live by local musicians. Staying in Mayo in Ballina on October 1st, A Mayo Miscellany, will feature silent films from the remarkable Jackie Clarke Collection which documents a range of political  and everyday activity in Ballina in the 1950s; and sound films including celebrities at Croagh Patrick, and the Fleadh Ceoil in Swinford.

Ballyfermot on Film, a collaboration with Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre in November 22nd presents a powerful programme of films made in and about Ballyfermot between 1978 and 1998, including Joe Comerford’s 1978 fiction film Down the Corner; Roots and Wings (1998), a warmly observed documentary about members of Sarsfield racing pigeon club; and And Now Folks, Fr Cleary (1978), a Radharc documentary  about  former Ballyfermot curate, newspaper columnist and entertainer, Fr Michael Cleary. The tour will conclude at the Cork Film Festival (November 5th – 15th), presenting an exciting new programmes of sound and silent films – with a distinct Cork accent.


A Look at Laois: Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, August 26th, 8pm.
Matchmaking Memories: Pavilion Theatre, Lisdoonvarna, September 11th, 8pm.
More Glimpses of Galway: Huston School of Film, NUIG, September 18th, 7.30pm.
A Mayo Miscellany, Ballina Arts Centre, October 1st, 8pm.
Westport CinéConcert: Town Hall Theatre Westport, 30th + October 4th (opening event & closing events) 8pm
Ballyfermot on Film, Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre, November 22nd, 7.30 pm
Cork Film Festival November 6th – 15th (Event date tbc)

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