The new National Film School Building at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology (IADT) was officially opened on Tuesday, 26th November 2013 by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, at a ceremony attended by leading representatives from Ireland’s film and television industry, higher education, cultural organisations, and government departments, as well as staff and students. Guests included: writer / director, Neil Jordan; Chairman of the Irish Film Board, Bill O’Herlihy and Chief Executive, James Hickey; actor Sinéad Cusack; Edith Sepp, Director of the Estonian Film Institute; Barbara Galavan, Chief Executive of Screen Producers Ireland; Fionnuala Sweeney, Head of Film at the Arts Council; Robin MacPherson, Board Member of Creative Scotland; Mick Hannigan, Director of the IndieCork Film Festival; James Morris, Chairman of Windmill Lane Pictures; Jim Duggan, Managing Director of Screen Scene; film historian, Professor Kevin Rockett of Trinity College Dublin; Dr. Diane Negra, Professor of Film Studies & Screen Culture at UCD; Áine Moriarty, CEO of IFTA; and producers, Redmond Morris, Andrew Lowe, David Collins, Siobhán Bourke, Larry Bass, Michael Algar, Arthur Lappin, and Morgan O’Sullivan, Chair of the Advisory Board of The National Film School.
The €7.5 m government funded, and film industry sponsored, project provides state of the art facilities for education and training in film and television production and features two professional TV / film studios with fully HD equipment, one of which has green-screen capabilities; two radio studios, one of which is for making of radio programmes with full technical and creative teams, while the other is for individual self-operation; along with control rooms, lecture rooms, a broadcast newsroom, offices and ancillary spaces to support television, film and radio production.
Commenting at the official opening ceremony, Dr Annie Doona, President of IADT said, “This facility represents a significant investment for IADT and for Ireland; we at IADT have always believed in the words of Benjamin Franklin — “An investment in knowledge pays the best investment”.
Dr Doona went on to say, “The opening of today’s facility builds on the amazing success the National Film School has enjoyed since film, television and animation were first taught here in 1984. Our graduates using these facilities will have all the skills and tools they need to succeed in a vibrant and growing industry. IADT has produced many graduates who have gone on to develop successful careers in film and television in Ireland and internationally. The opening of today’s facility will enable us to support the development of exciting new technologies and help the industry as a whole to seize the creative opportunities it presents.”
Donald Taylor Black, Head of the Department of Film & Media and Creative Director of The National Film School, said that: “Ten years – to the week – of the establishment of the NFS at IADT, and after almost thirty years of teaching film making here in Dún Laoghaire, staff, students and graduates are absolutely delighted that we’ve moved on to the next level in our development”.
The construction project of the National Film School facility was managed by Collen Construction Ltd, and designed by John Parker of ABK Architects. Other members of the project team included, Homan O’Brien Associates, Punch Consulting Engineers and Healy Kelly Turner Townsend.
A suite of programmes in Film, TV, Radio, Animation and Model Making have been developed and taught at IADT over the past 30 years with our new programme in Design for Stage and Screen, being the latest addition to the portfolio. Just over 500 students study on these programmes at undergraduate and Master’s level in the Institute.
The National Film School’s facilities will also be available for hire by industry, whether broadcasters, independent production companies, training agencies or other commercial organisations, which will enable the Film School to integrate and collaborate with the increasing international demand for studio production facilities maintaining IADT’s position as a world leading centre for the creative industries.