The IFI has announced its Programme for 2015. Festivals will, once again, play a central role in the IFI’s exhibition plans. This year the IFI French Film Festival (November 18th-29th) will present some of the finest new French features alongside programmes of classic titles and films from emerging directors, with special guests and masterclasses to be announced later in the year; the IFI Family Festival (July 16th-19th) will present four days of films and workshops for younger audiences this summer; while IFI Horrorthon (October 22nd-26th) will see the annual gore-fest back on screens for five days over the Hallowe’en Bank Holiday Weekend, also with special guests yet to be announced. There’s also a new name on the festival calendar – IFI Documentary Festival (September 23rd-27th) is replacing IFI Stranger Than Fiction and will present the best documentaries from Ireland and around the world over an extended five-day period. There will also be an industry component to the Festival giving new and established documentary filmmakers the opportunity to discuss their work with international filmmakers and sales agents.
The IFI’s exhibition strategy sees a number of ongoing strands presenting different types of work, in different ways, each month. Three terrific new strands start over the next two months: going back to film school with The Bigger Picture, striking a chord with Rock ‘n’ Roll Cinema, and creating an indulgent afternoon of classic double bills and brunch with The Hangover Lounge.
Ross Keane, Director of the IFI said [quote]We are delighted to present an exciting slate of events coming up at the IFI this year, comprising of many old favourites alongside some fantastic new programming initiatives and strands. The IFI’s exhibition plans continue to illustrate the full breadth of its wide and varied programme, presenting a broad range of films and events in Dublin, nationwide and internationally. While our unveiled Programme 2015 plans highlight some hotly anticipated events, there are still plenty of other changes and surprises that have yet to be revealed.[/quote]
The Bigger Picture presents a revered film from world cinema history once a month with an introduction from a filmmaker, film critic or academic who will aim to justify its importance in the canon and tease out its resonance for modern audiences. A collaborative initiative between IFI Programming and IFI Education, the strand should see some lively debate about what deserves its place and whether the notion of a canon is helpful or harmful for film appreciation. This new strand will give audiences the opportunity to see many classics on the big screen for the first time, and allow people to develop their film knowledge (and education) at the IFI – the home of film in Ireland. The Bigger Picture will commence in April with Stalker introduced by The Irish Times’ Film Critic Donald Clarke and other upcoming titles include Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, introduced by leading Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Cinema follows on from the response in 2014 to films like Northern Soul, Breadcrumb Trail and Bjork: Biophilia Live. With films about Miles Davis, Brian Wilson, Kurt Cobain, NWA, Devo, MIA, Washington’s hardcore punk movement and Scotland’s independent music scene all imminent, it’s clear that filmmakers continue to be seduced by stories about musicians. Rock ‘n’ Roll Cinema will see the IFI’s commitment to music film expand, hosting frequent events with musicians, speakers and guest DJs. Confirmed events include a screening of new Joe Strummer documentary I Need a Dodge in April and a screening of John Grierson’s seminal 1929 documentary Drifters with live musical accompaniment from Sunderland outfit Field Music on May 10th.
The Hangover Lounge is an open invitation to spend an indulgent Sunday afternoon at the IFI getting a tasty brunch (and perhaps even a Bloody Mary) from the IFI Café Bar whilst enjoying a pairing of two abiding Hollywood classics, career highlights of actors or filmmakers, cult favourites, or great films of world cinema. The strand will begin in April with a Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall double bill of To Have and Have Not (1944) and Casablanca (1942). Construct your own cure from the following great value options:
Hair of the Dog: Brunch + Double Bill – €21
Pick-me-up: Brunch + single film – €16
Just the tonic: Double Bill – €13
Quick refresher: Single Film (normal IFI prices)
*Terms, conditions and supplements apply
The IFI Café Bar will continue to serve up Feast Your Eyes events by pairing specially created menus to complement a film screening for just €20, bringing foodie regulars right up to date as the Feast Your Eyes screening will now be a newly released film from the IFI programme. On 11th March at 18.30, food lovers can enjoy a special Iranian-influenced menu to accompany a screening of hilarious New York identity comedy Appropriate Behaviour.
Many audiences’ favourite IFI strands will also continue. Wild Strawberries, the bi-monthly film club for the over 55’s presents a programme of recent features and classics at 11am with upcoming titles including Belle on 25th and 27th March and This is Where I Leave You on 24th and 29th April. In May, there will be a range of events presented by Wild Strawberries in collaboration with Bealtaine on the theme: ‘looking at ourselves and our country from the inside and outside’. The IFI French Film Club continues its partnership with the Alliance Française, presenting a new French title at a discounted price to IFI and Alliance Française members, while IFI Family continues to present quality work for young audiences each month with upcoming titles including The Race for St. Patrick’s Day in March and new Anime, Giovanni’s Island, in April.
Providing opportunities for critical engagement and discussion remains at the heart of the IFI’s exhibition strategy, and a new strand, IFI Talks, will help you to navigate your way through the ongoing programme. The strand is comprised of events with special guests, extended Q&As and panel discussions. The Afternoon Talks, which cover a diverse range of Irish and international film and media topics, taking an area of interest from each month’s programme for discussion in an extended presentation or lecture, will carry on under this strand. The free monthly club for enthusiasts, The Critical Take, which brings audiences together with an expert panel to discuss three films that have been screened over the past month in the IFI programme, will also continue in an informal new setting in the IFI Tiernan MacBride Library.
The IFI will continue to present cinematic greats as part of its core programme through a selection of reissues and restorations under the IFI Classics strand. Over the coming months, IFI audiences will get the opportunity to revisit (or see for the first time) films including Far From the Madding Crowd (from March 13th), Blade Runner: The Final Cut (from April 3rd), Cry of the City (from April 13th) and The Long Good Friday. A new strand throughout the core programme will be IFI Docs, presenting some of the best, new, Irish and international documentaries, alongside an occasional programme of classics. IFI Docs in March include Ciarín Scott’s inspirational and startling documentary Christina Noble: In a House that Ceased to Be, from 13th March.
A focus on (and celebration of) Irish film returns in 2015 with the third annual IFI Spotlight on April 25th which invites commissioners, creators and consumers of Irish film and television to critically review output of the last 12 months and to consider the state of Irish moving image today. Dr. Roddy Flynn (DCU) will deliver a rigorous analysis of production statistics and watch out for an announcement of which leading cultural commentator will be delivering this year’s Soapbox address.
IFI National is working with Yeats 2015 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats with a series of short and feature-length live action and animation, fiction and non-fiction films inspired by his writing. The programme will include archival and new work, and will be unveiled in Sligo in early June and will come to Dublin on Yeats Day (June 13th at the IFI) before reaching other national and international venues.
Marking the selection of the Barrytown Trilogy as the One City, One Book choice for 2015, Roddy Doyle and trilogy producer Lynda Myles will take part in a conversation moderated by Doireann Ní Bhríain at the IFI on April 21st.
The successful IFI Local Films for Local People project will continue to roll out around the country with programmes of films drawn from the IFI Irish Film Archive returning to the localities in which they were made. Highlights already confirmed include Joe Comerford’s Down the Corner (1978) + Ballyfermot Shorts at Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre in May; The Promise of Barty O’Brien (1951) and other films from Laois at Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise in August; Whaling Afloat and Ashore (1908) + a Mayo Miscellany at the Westport Arts Festival/Ballina Arts Centre in September; and The New Matchmakers (1969) at Pavilion Theatre, Lisdoonvarna in October.
It’s Irish Year of Design in 2015 and the IFI will curate a series of programmes focussing on aspects of Irish design history such as fashion, sculpture, glassmaking, weaving and architecture. IFI National will present the programme across Ireland and it will also reach even further afield through IFI International.
Sound of Silents on April 10th and 11th is an exciting collaboration between IFI and Bottlenote for the inaugural MusicTown festival. The project features a series of improvised scores by six leading musicians working between the fields of traditional, improvised and electronic music to accompany a programme of silent films made in Dublin between 1897 and the 1970s.
Summer 2015 will see the repatriation from Harvard Film Archive in Boston of Robert Flaherty’s recently rediscovered short postscript to Man of Aran. Oidhche Sheanchais (1935), presents a night of storytelling with the islander cast of the feature film. It is the first sound film made in the Irish language and, indeed, Flaherty’s first synchronised sound production. This significant discovery will be presented on the Aran Islands and then immediately afterwards at the IFI with an accompanying symposium.
From the Vaults will continue to explore the wealth of Irish cinema history with monthly screenings of Irish-themed features from Irish and foreign directors. Confirmed for 2015 are: the once-banned Paddy (1970), recently acquired Irish-American silent comedy Irene (1922) and the charming Jimmy O’Dea caper Blarney (1939). Ireland on Sunday will carry on presenting its consistently vibrant strand of Irish new work accompanied by post-screening Q&As – first up Brian Reddin’s It Came from Connemara!!, an affectionate record of Roger Corman’s busy studio in Connemara in the 1990s (March 15th at 13.00).
Another ongoing strand, Archive at Lunchtime, will keep offering the best value screenings in the city with FREE showings of short gems from the IFI Irish Film Archive thrice weekly. Programmes already lined up for spring 2015 include Irish language shorts celebrating Seachtain na Gaeilge, a programme reliving teenage kicks, a series of ‘40s and ‘50s fiction shorts and a programme remembering ballroom days. In a new presentation format, Irish Shorts will now be presented as a series of dedicated shorts programmes focussing on new releases with a complementary backdrop of older titles.
IFI International, supported by Culture Ireland, will continue its tour of Irish experimental film, screening in late February at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. March is the busiest time for IFI International with over 20 events in 16 countries celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Highlights include annual Irish film festivals in Moscow, Belgrade, Rome, Berlin and Boston, with new festivals taking place in Sydney, Ottawa, an extensive Irish film season at the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico, and a film season at the Danish Film Institute.
Plans are also afoot for the European Film Festival in Quebec and Irish short film programmes at the Cellu L’Art International Short Film Festival in Jena, Germany in April. IFI International will support Irish film at a host of European Film Festivals throughout the globe including Czech Republic, Singapore and China in May. Autumn will bring the annual US Irish film festivals in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and New Orleans and the Irish Film Festival, London in November. IFI Interrnational continues its year-round relationship with the New York Irish Arts Centre, Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, Ciné Gael Montreal and Solus Nua in Washington.
IFI Education’s Back to Basics Evening Course in March, featuring a range of speakers (including Jim Sheridan), has already sold out, the first in a brilliant line-up of 2015 special events. The IFI Education Schools Programme features exciting collaborations with the National Gallery, the Science Gallery and the Galway UNESCO City of Film 2015.