Free film-themed dance classes and a short course in film adaptations are just part of the new creative offerings, available online from Irish Film London (IFL).

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, IFL has been hosting an online platform, Irish Film From Home, showcasing some of the best Irish films from this year and gems from the recent past along with a host of other curated content.

IFL runs the annual Irish Film Festival London (IFFL), the largest international festival of Irish film. It aims to return with the 10th IFFL later this year but in the meantime, IFL is serving up cinematic treats online for Irish film fans in the UK, and around the world.

A six-week course on the great Irish films made from short stories begins Tuesday 9 June.

Filming the Irish Short Story invites you to join a weekly two-hour evening class online to discuss the relationship between film and the short story form, examining classic films like John Huston’s The Dead, from the James Joyce short story, and the much-loved Ballroom of Romance, adapted from William Trevor’s short story.

The class is being run by Professor Lance Pettitt, IFL Chair and one of the UK and Ireland’s leading authorities on Irish film.

Irish writers have always had a particular talent for the short story and there is something about the short story form that makes it a rich source material for producing great films. We hope this will be an interesting and inspiring course for anyone who loves writing and loves cinema.

Lance Pettitt, IFL Chair

Shimmy and shake, sweat and squat away the isolation blues

Every Wednesday night throughout June IFL teams up with Irish actress and dance instructor Niamh Branigan of NB Dance Fitness for a film-themed online dance class. It combines famous dance scenes from films, with a distinctively Irish twist and helps you to shimmy, shake, squat and sweat the isolation blues away. It is free to join. Just email nbdancefitness@gmail.com to register, and then get your dancing shoes on. 

IFL is also working to help the community deal with isolation and the various COVID-19 related challenges which are affecting people’s mental health.

It is providing Irish film DVDs for inclusion in food package deliveries being run by UK based Irish organisations, like the Camden Irish Centre and the Southwark Irish Pensioners Project, helping connect with those without access to the internet.

IFL is also coordinating online joint Irish film parties, through Netflix Party, where you are welcomed to come together to watch films as an online community, and chat about the script, acting, cinematography, sound and direction.

David Freyne, Writer/Director – Dating Amber

Exclusive interviews are also being created by IFL, to coincide with big Irish online releases. The interviews so far have included Lenny Abrahamson, director of Normal People, and writer and director David Freyne, of Amazon Prime’s most recent feature film release, Dating Amber.

And, of course, IFL continues to play host, on Irish Film From Home, to a rolling selection of wonderful Irish films and other online resources, from drama to comedies; animation to documentaries.

Festival Director, Kelly O’Connor, appealed to contributing directors, patrons and other supporters and has curated a range of wonderful Irish shorts that can be screened absolutely free to anyone who can get online via their phone, laptop or tablet.

We have been looking at ways that we can stay connected with our audiences and help people find joy and solace in these difficult and isolating times. Our selection of Irish films can provide a portal into another time and place, make people feel closer to family and home, and provide hope for the future beyond the current crisis.

So please join us and be stimulated, inspired and engaged, and keep your mind and body active while celebrating and enjoying Irish filmmaking.

Kelly O’Connor, Festival Director – Irish Film London

To access Irish Film From Home, simply visit the login page, and activate a password https://www.irishfilmfestivallondon.com/irishfilmfromhome

Irish Film From Home is supported by The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Tourism Ireland and UK Recruiting.

More about Filming the Irish Short Story: six-week course

Key stories and films will include, amongst others, Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ as filmed by John Huston (1987), Edna O’Brien’s ‘Girl by the Seaside’ – as the film, I was Happy Here (1966); Elizabeth Bowen’s ‘The Demon Lover’ (with a 1986 TV screenplay by Derek Mahon); Pat O’Connor’s much-loved The Ballroom of Romance (1982) based on William Trevor’s story; Frank O’Connor’s ‘Guests of the Nation’ as realized by Denis Johnston in an amateur film that he directed in 1935; and finally, Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s short film The Woman Who Married Clark Gable (1986) starring Brenda Fricker and Bob Hoskins based on the Sean O’Faolain story.

Lance Pettitt is an Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, He is a university and extra-mural teacher with over 25 years’ experience of lecturing and tutoring on Irish film, television and cultural history. He holds a British Academy research grant (2020/21) at Birkbeck, working on the TV plays of Eugene McCabe.  www.lancepettitt.com

Check the website for full details on how to register: https://www.irishfilmfestivallondon.com/course-filming-irish-short-story

Would you like to support the next generation of Irish filmmakers and actors?

Why not partner with IFL for their December 2020 Festival and beyond. Get in touch with the team to find out more about the available corporate partnership packages, or Festival Champions scheme. Or, you can simply make a donation to help to develop the Festival in its birthday year. 

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