Irish Film in all its guises is a constant feature of the IFI programme – whether as new releases, archival cine-concerts, free lunchtime programmes, regional presentations or featured on the IFI Player. Filmmakers and audiences appreciate the commitment to excellence in presentation and the creation of new contexts in which to consider the full range of Irish work. Spotlight is our annual event where we dedicate a full day to focus on Irish film and television – reviewing the past year and considering current trends in production, distribution and consumption of new work. Our point of departure is a belief that an annual process of considered reflection and review is essential for the development of a healthy Irish media culture, an informed production community and a cine-literate audience body.
This year the day will again be populated by experts working in film and TV production, distribution and exhibition. Chaired by Professor Margaret Kelleher, Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at UCD and Chair of IFI, the day opens with a rigorous academic review of film and TV output in 2016, a year characterised by centenary retrospection and reflection on national identity; followed by a catch-up on IFB and BAI gender equity initiatives introduced in 2015; a panel investigating media piracy; a panel looking behind the scenes of advertising in Ireland and the role of Irish filmmakers within that industry; and a return to ‘In the Pipeline’ which offers audiences a sneak preview of forthcoming Irish titles. Throughout the day there will be plenty of opportunities for audience feedback.
10.30 – Welcome Professor Margaret Kelleher
10.40 – 2016 in Review
Dr Roddy Flynn of DCU and Dr Tony Tracy of NUIG will review the film and television output of 2016 considering the impact of 1916 Centenary programming on TV, feature and short film production, discussing fresh new work in film and TV drama, and noting the continuing rise in popularity of Irish theatrical documentaries.
11.45 – Panel: Copyright Infringement, Intellectual Piracy, and the Film and TV industry.
This panel, presented in association with the Irish Industry Trust for IP Awareness, will consider the increasing threat of piracy to the film and home entertainment industry in Ireland. It will outline the work of the Trust in educating consumers on legitimate sources of content and promoting the value of copyright and creativity. The session will be facilitated by the Trust’s Communications Director, Alison Crinion, who will be joined by Liz Bales, CEO Industry Trust for IP Awareness and British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE); David Burke, General Manager of Universal Pictures Ireland; Karen O’Malley, Head of Home Entertainment at Element Pictures; Garry Walsh Writer and Producer at SnackBox Films.
12.45 – Lunch
14.00 – A Catch-Up on Gender Equity
Annie Doona (returning Chair of Irish Film Board / Bord Scannán na hÉireann) will provide an update on the response to measures introduced by the IFB/BSÉ to achieve gender equity in particular funding areas within an agreed timeframe. Stephanie Comey will update on BAI activity in identifying gendered anomalies in funding provision, while Sunniva O’Flynn of IFI will report on representation of women directors across IFI programme. Session will be moderated by Rachel Lysaght of Women in Film and Television, Ireland.
14.40 – Ad Break
Kasandra O’Connell, Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive, will introduce a selection of vintage Irish ads from collections restored by IFI Irish Film Archive in a major project supported by the BAI.
14.50 – Panel: Ad Libs
This panel will go behind the scenes of the advertising world to consider the many ways in which the advertising industry contributes significantly to the culture and economy of film, TV and animation in Ireland. The panel will celebrate the talent of Irish ad-makers; explore the influence of advertising on Irish filmmaking aesthetics, budgets, pitching and economy of storytelling; and will look at women in advertising – their roles and their representation. Facilitator Tania Banotti of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland will be joined by: first AD/director Liz Gill; producer Andrew Freedman (Antidote / Venom); executive producer, Max Brady (Pull the Trigger); animation director, Gavin Kelly (Piranha Bar); and copywriter/director Conor Ferguson.
15.40 – In the Pipeline
Generating a great deal of interest when it was introduced last year, this strand invites filmmakers to discuss forthcoming features. Cartoon Saloon (Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) will whet our appetites for their new feature- length animation The Breadwinner about a young girl in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Pat Collins will give us a foretaste of his new feature drama Song of Granite, a biopic of sean-nós singer Joe Heaney.
16.20 – Wrap-Up
Round up of the day facilitated by Professor Margaret Kelleher.