16th IFI Documentary Festival

 

The Irish Film Institute has announced the programme for the 16th IFI Documentary Festival (26 – 30 September), featuring fifteen features in total and a  shorts programme. This year’s festival will include the world première of Marcus Robinson’s The Man Who Dared To Dream and seven Irish premières, including the festival’s opening film Minding the Gap, winner of the 2018 Sheffield Doc/Fest New Talent and Audience awards. The event will also welcome a number of special guests from across the globe throughout the five days of the festival.

Opening film and Irish première Minding the Gap is a virtuoso début that follows the lives of three young men, including director Bing Liu, as they go from carefree skateboarders to responsible adults in the economically deprived town of Rockford, Illinois. Liu tackles the veiled subject of the trio’s variously damaged upbringings, cycles of abuse and toxic masculinity with nuance, insight and great visual flair.

Robinson’s The Man Who Dared to Dream, is a cinematic homage to Peter Rice, one of the most distinguished engineers of the late 20th century whose work includes the Sydney Opera House, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Lloyd’s building in London. The festival will also see a special preview screening of Tom Burke’s elegiac Losing Alaska which follows the inhabitants of Newtok, Alaska as their homes become endangered by coastal erosion; both Burke and Robinson will take part in post-screening Q&As.

Other guests scheduled to attend include Steven Eastwood, director of the intimate documentary Island which examines the final year in the life of four patients in the Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight; Almudena Carracedo, co-director of Sheffield Doc/Fest Grand Jury Prize winner The Silence of Others, will discuss her award-winning exploration of the battle to overturn a 1977 law that whitewashed the Franco regime’s crimes against the people of Spain; and Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, director of the unforgettable A Woman Captured which focuses on a Hungarian woman trapped in domestic servitude.

As always, the IFI Documentary Festival will showcase a number of superb Irish documentaries as part of its slate. Among the films shown, each followed by a post-screening filmmaker Q&A, will be Ross Whitaker’s Katie, a look at the notoriously private Olympic champion boxer Katie Taylor as she attempts to rebuild her career after a disastrous campaign at the 2016 Olympics; The Curious Works of Roger Doyle, a focus on the acclaimed Irish composer as he prepares to present his first opera; The Life After, an examination of the profound effect the Northern Ireland Troubles have had on the families of those who died during the conflict; When All Is Ruin Once Again, a richly-textured portrait of a rural Irish community as a motorway is carved through their land; and The Man Who Wanted to Fly, an endearing depiction of an 80-something Cavan bachelor who follows his dream to take to the skies.

Other Irish premières scheduled to screen are Erika Cohn’s The Judge, a focus on the first woman judge to be appointed to a Palestinian Shari’a Law court; Maxim Pozdorovkin’s amusing and troubling Our New President, which examines the election of Donald Trump in 2016 through the lens of Russian propaganda clips; and Paul Williams’s Gurrumul, a look at the fascinating career of the late blind Indigenous Australian musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.

Rounding out the features programme will be the Irish première of Lovers of the Night, a gentle portrait of seven elderly Cistercian monks, residents of Bolton Abbey, Co Kildare, by German filmmaker Anna Frances Ewert; the film will be preceded by George Fleischmann’s 1948 short about Cistercian monks in Roscrea, Silent Order, and will also be followed by a Q&A.

Friday will see a panel discussion hosted in association with Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) examining the current state of documentary filmmaking in Ireland.

Finally, the highly anticipated Irish shorts programme, where the audience award is supported by Screen Scene, will return on Saturday afternoon with new films from Jamie Goldrick, Hugh Rodgers, Paul Power, Mia Mullarkey, Sean Mullan, Luke Brabazon, Paddy Cahill, and Maurice O’Brien.

Tickets for the IFI Documentary Festival are now sale. Individual screening tickets are €11, excluding the opening film which includes a post-show reception (€15). A special ticket package is available in person only from the IFI Box Office: 5 films for €45. Tickets for the Documentary Filmmaking Panel Discussion cost €5.

Tickets are available online from www.ifi.ie/docfest, the IFI Box office at 6 Eustace Street, Dublin 2, and over the phone at 01 679 3477.

 

FULL SCHEDULE

Wednesday 26th
20.20     Minding the Gap plus post-screening wine reception

Thursday 27th
18.00     The Life After + Q&A
20.20     The Curious Works of Roger Doyle + Q&A

Friday 28th
12.00     Screen Producers Ireland Panel Discussion
18.00     The Man Who Dared to Dream + Q&A
20.30     A Woman Captured + Q&A

Saturday 29th
13.30     Irish Shorts Programme
15.30     Losing Alaska + Q&A
17.00     Gurrumul
18.40     Our New President
20.30     Katie + Q&A

Sunday 30th
13.30     The Man Who Wanted To Fly + Q&A
15.30     Lovers of the Night + Q&A
16.00     The Judge
17.30     When All Is Ruin Once Again + Q&A
18.00     Island + Q&A
20.30     The Silence of Others + Q&A

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2017 IFI Documentary Festival

The programme for the 2017 IFI Documentary Festival has been announced. Running from September 27th to October 1st, the festival will showcase the finest original international documentary films alongside Irish documentary-makers with 16 feature length documentaries, seven Irish premieres, and the world premiere of Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect.
 

 
This year’s opening film, Nothingwood is a rousing tribute to the Ed Wood of Afghan filmmaking. Sonia Kronlund’s  feature follows the gonzo efforts of Afghan actor/producer/director Salim Shaheen and his ramshackle repertory group as they embark upon the auteur’s 110th no-budget action feature, leading the increasingly anxious Kronlund deep into the Taliban-controlled territory.

The festival will close with the world premiere of Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect, a profile of the Pritzker Prize-winning Irish-American architect. Although Roche has reached the top of his profession, he has not sought fame, and little is known about him here. He is best known in Ireland as the architect of Dublin’s Convention Centre.

As always, the festival features a strong programme of international stories with films from USA, Mexico, UK, the Gambia, Lithuania, the Phillippines, Italy, the Republic of Congo and Cambodia. They include: Motherland a fly-on-the-wall portrait of the Jose Fabella Hospital in Manila, the world’s busiest maternity hospital; and Makala, a profoundly moving, experiential film, and deserved winner of Best Film at Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week 2017.

A number of Irish-produced features also have a distinctly international flavour: winner of the Best International Feature at Toronto Hot Docs 2017, A Cambodian Springtells the story of three people caught up in the chaotic events shaping modern-day Cambodia; Jaha’s Promise, in which Jaha Dukureh returns home from the US to the Gambia to lead a campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM); and Butterfly City, which features the young Lithuanian town of Visaginas, now under threat following the decommissioning of its nuclear power plant.

Documentary film can illuminate the complex nature of migration and immigration through the power of human stories. In The Good PostmanIvan, mayoral candidate in a scenic yet economically depressed Bulgarian village, sees the welcoming of refugees as their best chance for rejuvenation. In Elián, directors Tim Golden and Ross McDonnell recount the story of a 5-year-old Cuban boy who became the centre of a political firestorm following his rescue from a sinking boat off the coast of Mexico. Grand Jury Prize nominee at this year’s Sundance Festival Whose Streets? captures the escalating situation in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by police in 2014; the event triggered mass demonstrations and rioting and became a flashpoint for the Black Lives Matter movement.

For documentaries that not only entertain but also enrich your understanding of art and culture there is Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, honouring the substantial contribution of Native American musicians; Spettacolo, which focusses on the amateur theatre group of Monticchiello, a tiny hilltop village in Tuscany which has staged original productions themselves for over fifty years; and Audience Award and Grand Jury Award winner at this year’s L.A. Outfest, Chavela, which examines the life of trouser-wearing ranchero-music-singing Chavela Vargas as she revolutionised Mexican traditional singing in the 1950s whilst challenging hetero-cultural norms in the process.

Home-grown talent is well represented with Rocky Ros Muc, a profile of Seán Mannion, a talented boxer from the quiet Gaeltacht village of Ros Muc, Co Galway, who left Ireland for Boston in the 1970s and rose to the heights of New York’s Madison Square Garden’s; Loving Lorna, a tender coming-of-age story of a fiercely capable and determined young woman who has heart set on becoming a farrier, a traditionally male preserve; It Tolls For Theea remarkable portrait of Irish unsung heroine Mary Elmes who saved hundreds of children from the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and World War II.

The Irish shorts programme this year features Mia Mullarkey’s Throwline; Deirdre O’Toole’s Faraway Land; Mairéad Ní Thréinir’s Tit for Tatt; Mike Hannon’s The Cloud of Unknowing; Bob Gallagher’s The Impossible Flight of the Stone; Maurice Gunning’s Sekar Arum; and Kristin Vollset’s No Plan. There will be an Audience Award for Best Short.

Special guests expected to attend the festival include Mark Noonan and John Flahive who will attend the world premiere of their new film Kevin Roche: the Quiet Architect. Other guests include Olga Černovaitė and Jeremiah Cullinane for Butterfly City, Ramona S Diaz for Motherland, Michael Fanning and Máire Bhreathnach for Rocky Ros Muc, Chris Kelly for A Cambodian Springand Patrick Farrelly, Kate O’Callaghan, and Jaha Dukureh for Jaha’s Promise.

Tickets for the IFI Documentary Festival are now on sale. Individual screening tickets are €11, excluding the opening film which includes post show reception (€15). A special ticket package is available in person only from the IFI Box Office: 5 films for €45.

Tickets available online from www.ifi.ie/docfest, the IFI Box office at 6 Eustace Street, Dublin 2, and over the phone at 01 679 3477

SCHEDULE 

Sept 27th  NOTHINGWOOD (20.20)

Sept 28th  LOVING LORNA + PANEL DISCUSSION (18.20)

Sept 28th  THE GOOD POSTMAN  (20.30)

Sept 29th  WHOSE STREETS? (18.30)

Sept 29th  CHAVELA  (20.30)

Sept 30th  IRISH SHORTS PROGRAMME  (12.30)

Sept 30th  BUTTERFLY CITY + Q&A  (13.00)

Sept 30th  MOTHERLAND + Q&A  (15.15)

Sept 30th  ROCKY ROS MUC + Q&A (16.00)

Sept 30th  JAHA’S PROMISE + Q&A  (18.10)

Sept 30th  RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD (20.40)

Oct 1st      IT TOLLS FOR THEE  (13.00)

Oct 1st      MAKALA   (13.20)

Oct 1st      SPETTACOLO (15 .00)

Oct 1st      A CAMBODIAN SPRING + Q&A  (15.30)

Oct 1st      ELIÁN + Q&A   (17.10)

Oct 1st      KEVIN ROCHE: THE QUIET ARCHITECT + Q&A (20.20)

 

 

 

http://filmireland.net/2017/06/09/film-festivals-2017-here-abroad/

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IFI Documentary Festival Podcast 2016: Interview with Sunniva O’Flynn & David O’Mahony

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Ahead of the 2016 edition of the IFI Documentary Festival (22 – 25 September 2016), Grace Corry talks to David O’Mahony, Head of Programming, and Sunniva O’Flynn, Head of Irish Film Programming, about what to expect from this year’s festival.

 

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IFI Documentary Festival Announce Programme

 

The programme for the 2016 IFI Documentary Festival has been announced.  One of the IFI’s flagship festivals running over 4 days in September the festival will showcase the finest original international and Irish documentary films and provides a platform for Irish filmmakers to show their work with 13 feature length documentaries, 1 world premiere and 8 Irish premieres.This year highlights include:

Mattress Men following Michael Flynn’s journey as he reinvents himself as Mattress Mick in an attempt to save his struggling business. This Irish documentary will open the Festival on 22 September.

How To Defuse A Bomb: The Project Children Story. A 1970s scheme saw children from Northern Ireland offered the chance to spend their summers in suburban USA. With contributions from Bill Clinton, Martin McGuinness and the now-adult children this screening has its world premiere screening at the festival.An intriguing look at Ireland through the eyes of journalist Peter Lennon who returned home to Ireland to find a country stagnating under the weight of its own history in  Blindboy presents Rocky Road to Dublin – with a screening of this iconic 1968 film, followed by a discussion with the Rubberbandits’ Blindboy Boatclub.

This year’s Irish shorts programme features 8 works capturing the pulse of the traditional documentary scene, drawing on new shorts from filmmakers living in Ireland.

An intriguing drama-documentary hybrid takes us on a cinematic odyssey into the heart of war-tormented Afghanistan in The Land of the Enlightened. Shot over seven years, director Pieter-Jan De Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting picture of the country at a time of flux.

The Festival features a strong international programme with films from USA, UK, Netherlands and Israel. They include:

The winner of the 2016 Grand Jury Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Cameraperson from Kirsten Johnson, one of the most notable cinematographers working in documentary today, uses footage and outtakes from films including Fahrenheit 9/11, Citizenfour andThe Invisible War to illustrate moments and situations that have affected her.  Kirsten Johnson will take part in a post-screening Skype Q&A.

Directors Ross Adam and Robert Cannan will be in Dublin for the screening of The Lovers and The Despot, a gripping film which recounts how in 1978 North Korean dictator (and movie buff) Kim Jong-il kidnapped a famed South Korean celebrity couple – actress Choi Eun-hee and director Shin Sang-ok – hoping their star wattage would invigorate his burgeoning moviemaking empire.

Audience Award winner at Berlin Who’s Gonna Love me Now?, charts the journey of Saar Moaz an affable forty-year-old gay Israeli man living in London, home to confront the resentment and prejudices that saw him flee his homeland.

In Lo and Behold: Reveries of The Connected World, Werner Herzog turns his singular brand of cultural analysis to what is perhaps the defining technological development of our age – the Internet – and finds it at best problematic.

A profoundly autistic boy learns to communicate through reciting memorised dialogue from Disney films in Roger Ross William’s inspirational case history Life, Animated.

An intriguing family portrait which doubles as investigation, in A Family Affair. Director Tom Fassaert’s film is an attempt to untangled his family’s troubled history with its 95 year old matriarch Marianne Hertz around a never discussed or resolved act has since caused the family to passively unravel under a burden of resentment, guilt and regret.

Featuring glorious concert footage The Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble profiles this eclectic group of gifted musicians from across the globe. Directed by Oscar-winning Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom) The Silk Road Ensemble are in many respects the crowning achievement in the career of world-beating Chinese-American cellist Yo Yo Ma, whose questing musical spirit is given free reign as leader of the supergroup.

Tower, A forensic, moment-by-moment chronicle of America’s first major school shooting that imaginatively blends cutting-edge rotoscoping animation with more traditional documentary techniques

Booking now open: Tickets from €10.50 Tel: 01 679 3477 / Online:www.ifi.ie/docfest In person: IFI 6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Irish documentaries:

The Irish Premiere of Mattress Men is a new Irish documentary from Director Colm Quinn. In an attempt to save his struggling mattress business, sixty-something Michael Flynn reinvents himself as the eccentric online personality ‘Mattress Mick’ under the guidance of his good friend Paul Kelly. Paul, burdened with debts and living with his family in inner city Dublin, yearns too for a full-time contract. Using all his marketing savvy and entrepreneurial skills, Paul embarks on a mission to make Mattress Mick a viral sensation. Will he be successful in his endeavours? And will Mick finally recognise the hard work and good intentions of his long-time friend? Vividly reflective of Ireland’s crippling austerity, Mattress Men is a wholly engrossing tale – peppered with startling revelations – of a friendship sorely-tested.  Date: 22 Sept, 8pm

Blindboy presents Rocky Road to Dublin (Dir: Peter Lennon). In 1967 Paris-based journalist Peter Lennon returned home to find a country that was stagnating under the weight of its own history. His response was this film, his only one, a brash, polemical essay which contrasts the aspirations of the founders of the state with the ideological malaise afflicting Ireland of the day. Inspired by the French New Wave the film creates a montage of wryly critical commentary, interviews with public and private figures  and Raoul Coutard’s nimbly photographed montage of Dublin by day and night. It will be discussed post-screening by filmmaker Paul Duane and Rubberbandits’ Blindboy Boatclub who says the film “is like your Uncle’s old diary that you find in the attic, that finally explains all those scars he never talks about”’, Date: 24 Sept 8.30pm

How To Defuse A Bomb: The Project Children Story (Dir: Des Henderson) In 1975 Irish immigrant Denis Mulcahy of the NYPD bomb squad  – gathered a group of family, friends and neighbours to start a scheme offering children from Northern Ireland a chance to temporarily escape the violent turmoil of their daily lives. From modest beginnings Project Children ultimately brought over 20,000 Catholic and Protestant children to suburban US for summer-long visits where they forged unexpected friendships and found they had more in common with the “enemy” than they thought. Featuring a gem of a 1970s American TV film of the scheme and contributions from Bill Clinton, Martin McGuinness and the now-adult children, the personal stories are positioned within the wider political story of how Washington struggled to deal with Northern Ireland and Irish-America’s complex relationship with home. Date: 25 Sept, 1.30pm

Irish shorts programme: This year’s short film programme captures the pulse of the traditional documentary scene, drawing on new shorts from filmmakers living in Ireland. It includes Edward Costello’s Become Invisible a haunting picture of an artist and rural isolation; Paddy Cahill’s Sean Hillen, Merging Views, a personal and informative view of the artist at work; Bryony Dunne’s Gasper about a Slovenian man living deep in the Irish countryside; Closed Wounds, Lanka Haouche Perren’s reflection on children in a Mental Asylum in Belarus; Michael Lavelle’s succinct portrait of Bob Crowley Stage Designer; Hanan Dirya’s Diving Within, a portrait of a Malaysian woman’s journey of self-discovery and Gregory Dunn’s Toasted– a quirky profile of a Swedish print-maker. There will be an Audience Award for Best Short supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board. Date: 24 Sept 12pm

International programme:

Cameraperson (Dir: Kirsten Johnson) USA. One of the most notable cinematographers working in documentary today, Kirsten Johnson has shot films of the calibre of Fahrenheit 9/11, Citizenfour and The Invisible War; using outtakes and unused material from these films, and many others, Johnson reframes the footage associatively in the style of a collage, or visual essay to illustrate moments and situations that have affected her. The result is a film that pushes at the boundaries of the documentary form, arguing for new modes of expression. Winner of the 2016 Grand Jury Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Cameraperson is as thrillingly inventive it is profoundly moving, and asks pertinent questions about the relationship between filmmaker and subject. Date: 23 Sept, 6.20pm

Life, Animated (Dir: Roger Ross Williams) USA. A profoundly autistic boy learns to communicate through reciting memorised dialogue from Disney films in Roger Ross William’s inspirational case history. By the age of three Owen Suskind had withdrawn completely; no longer able to talk, with sleep and motor functions severely disrupted, his parents Ron and Cornelia were facing a future where Owen would be entirely dependent on others. Hope arrived in the most unlikely form when at age five he began to speak by way of quoting his beloved Disney characters. The film charts Owen’s transition in his early twenties towards independent living. Date: 25 Sept, 3.40pm

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Dir: Werner Herzog) USA. Werner Herzog turns his singular brand of cultural analysis to what is perhaps the defining technological development of our age – the Internet – and finds it at best problematic. Structured as a ten-part essay, the director covers everything from hacking and web addiction to the unforeseen possibilities and dangers of an artificial intelligence that could ultimately eclipse its creators. Herzog’s philosophical approach to his material is, as ever, key to its success, his question (reminiscent of Philip K Dick) ‘does the internet dream of itself?’ being typical of his mode of inquiry in this playful and troubling film from a master of the documentary form. Date: 23 Sept, 8.45pm

The Lovers and The Despot (UK). The history of Hollywood is replete with bizarre tales, but for sheer strangeness few can match the one recounted in this gripping film that illuminates a dark chapter of Korean cinema lore. In 1978 North Korean dictator (and movie buff) Kim Jong-il kidnapped a famed South Korean celebrity couple – actress Choi Eun-hee and director Shin Sang-ok – hoping their star wattage would invigorate his burgeoning moviemaking empire. A seamless blend of interview, recreation and archival footage, the film features rare recordings of the dictator, secretly taped by the captive lovers.  (subtitled) Date: 25 Sept, 8pm

A Family Affair (Dir: Tom Fassaert) Netherlands. A family portrait that doubles as investigation, director Tom Fassaert’s film is an attempt to untangled his family’s troubled history with its matriarch Marianne Hertz, an impeccably dressed ninety-five-year-old whose persona in front of her grandson’s camera switches from candid to evasive when he turns to areas she would prefer remained shrouded, namely the two-year period in the ‘40s when she put Tom’s father and uncle into an orphanage. This never discussed or resolved act has since caused the family to passively unravel under a burden of resentment, guilt and regret. (subtitled)  Date: 25 Sept, 8pm

Who’s Gonna Love me Now? (Dir: Tomer & Barak Heymann) UK/Israel. Saar Moaz is an affable forty-year-old gay Israeli man living in London who sings regularly in the Gay Men’s Chorus; he’s also living with the burden of being HIV+ and the rejection he experienced at the hands of his conservative family who expelled him from their kibbutz many years ago on account of his sexual orientation. Saar may be living freely in London, but he yearns to reconnect with his estranged siblings; Tomer and Barak Heymann’s exceptionally moving film – a deserving Audience Award winner at Berlin – charts his journey home to confront the resentment and prejudices that saw him flee his homeland. (subtitled) Date: Sept 24, 6.40pm

The Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (Dir: Morgan Neville) USA. An eclectic group of gifted musicians from across the globe, The Silk Road Ensemble are in many respects the crowning achievement in the career of world-beating Chinese-American cellist Yo Yo Ma, whose questing musical spirit is given free reign as leader of the supergroup. Glorious concert footage abounds in Oscar winning director Morgan Neville’s (20 Feet From Stardom) profile of this gathering of close to fifty traditional musicians, among them Kayhan Kalhor, a kamancheh player from Iran, and Kinan Azmeh, a clarinettist from Syria, who speak movingly of the threats musicians face in their countries. Date: Sept 24, 4.30pm

Tower On 1st August 1966 engineering student Charles Whitmore ascended the main building observation tower in the University of Texas at Austin with a small arsenal in tow and proceeded to open fire on the student populace beneath him. Forty-nine people were shot and sixteen killed by the time he was apprehended by police. A forensic, moment-by-moment chronicle of the massacre, America’s first major school shooting, that draws on eye-witness testimony from survivors, Tower is also a formally daring hybrid that imaginatively blends cutting-edge rotoscoping animation with more traditional documentary techniques. Date: Sept 25, 4pm

The Land of the Enlightened (Dir: Pieter-Jan De Pue). This intriguing drama-documentary hybrid takes us on a cinematic odyssey into the heart of war-tormented Afghanistan. Shot over seven years, first-time director Pieter-Jan De Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting picture of the country at a time of flux. As American soldiers prepare to leave, De Pue burrows deep into a land where young boys form wild gangs to control trade routes and deal in explosives, drugs and precious stones  – dreaming all the while of a brighter future. This transportative, meticulously-crafted film celebrates the visceral beauty of survival as it blends romance and harsh realism, serving as a testament to the unquenchable spirit of childhood and the extreme resilience of a people and country. (subtitled)  Date: Sept 24, 2pm

Tickets: €10.50 (excluding opening film which includes post show reception (€15) and Blindboy presents The Rocky Road to Dublin (€12)

Special package: 5 films for €40. Available in person at the IFI box office only.

Booking details:
IFI Box office Tel: 01 679 3477 Online: www.ifi/docfest
In person: IFI 6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.Join in the conversation: @IFI_Doc #IFIDocfest/
www.facebook.com/irishfilminstitute
www.twitter.com/IFI_Dub
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Call For: Submissions for IFI Documentary Festival

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This year’s IFI Documentary Festival, running from September 22nd to 25th, is looking for original and exciting documentary films from Irish filmmakers to include in the festival. So if your film fits the bill, now is the time to prepare your entries as submissions are open for Irish short documentaries (under 20 minutes), and Irish feature length documentaries (over 60 minutes).

Preference may be given to films which are Dublin premieres. Films that have been broadcast on Irish television or on a channel available to Irish television audiences should not be entered and will not be considered. There is no entry fee.

To enter a Short or Feature Documentary:
Send an online link of your complete film to ifidocfest@irishfilm.ie with either Doc Fest Irish Feature or Doc Fest Irish Short  in the subject line. The following information should be included: film title, running time, credits (producer, director), a synopsis of the film in less than 300 words, a detailed  account of the film’s  exhibition history to date  and three high-resolution images from the film.

Submission Deadlines: Films must be submitted before 6pm Monday June 20th2016.

 

Looking for funding?  Want to submit your work to festivals. Keep an eye on upcoming deadlines here.

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IFI Documentary Festival Review: Bargaintown

Grace Corry hurries on down to Bargaintown, David Jazay’s film about Dublin’s Liffey quays and its inhabitants, which screened at the IFI Documentary Festival.

 

David Jazay once referred to himself as a “memory maintenance worker”, a reviver of lost or forgotten social and cultural histories, his work revolving around the documentation of changing urban and rural spaces and indeed spaces that had already been relegated to the past. Bargaintown – shown at the recent IFI Documentary Festival for the first time ever in Dublin – is case in point.

This feature-length documentary presents rarely seen footage of the Liffey quays and its inhabitants as a new wave of modernism swept through, photographed by Jazay from 1982 to 1992 and throughout 1988/9 when the film was made, detailing all the beloved characteristics that made it both a city community and an alluring, strange landscape. Captivated, David spent a decade documenting the architectural heritage of the docks as it evolved and even disappeared, replaced in the absence of imagination by radical office blocks, a decision seemingly made without any orientation toward the cultural and aesthetic future of the city, or indeed its history. The auction rooms that were once dotted all along the quays, side by side with family antique and furniture businesses, exist now only in the archives which, here, Jazay has so lovingly and comprehensively contributed to.

The opening moments of Bargaintown are set in total darkness – we sit in front of a blank screen nostalgically listening to the familiar voices of inner city traders selling fruit, as they air out into the theatre. Unaccompanied by the image a recognizable, almost inherent sound can afford an opportunity to engage in and enhance a filmic experience viscerally, and in this instance, did so from the outset. Buildings appear, the man and his camera first fixated on those which had fallen along the Liffey, the buildings that were just short of falling and the buildings that had fallen foul of fire, dilapidation and vandalism.

The city conditions were bad, and possibly some of the worst in that era of European capital history. Although this is reflected in many of the stories shared, the interviewee’s generally seem as light-hearted as you’d expect. We meet ‘The Mad Barber Ellis’, whose longing for the return of “civic pride” is subverted by his humorous (and somewhat foretelling) opinions about pollution and obesity. Mick Hoban of ‘The Workingman’s Club’ (now the ‘Workman’s’) muses with Jazay over possible reasons why the preservation laws put in place to protect Georgian Dublin were “knocked away”, or why the newly erected central bank was mistakenly built thirty feet higher than was permitted, stories told with a grin and a healthy measure of sarcasm. He returns at the end of the documentary to sing us out with ‘Ireland Mother Ireland’ from a bingo hall, preceded by singer Frank Quigley, who performs with his blues band mid-way through the film to a lively pub crowd, recorded with affection. Earlier on, Dick Tynan (who was present at the screening) also performed jazz drums from a corner of his furniture shop, music which Jazay plays over the ensuing lengthy shots from the street, thus merging the exotic and the ordinary.

Filmed in black and white on 16mm, this exhibition is a remarkable departure from cinematic depictions of Ireland up to that point. Shots of the shop fronts – whilst indulging Jazay’s fascination with signage and iconography – give emphasis to what would otherwise be considered mundane and unworthy of focus, shots which are now precious, demonstrating the meaning that can be exacted from a film that has no intention other than to observe, and perhaps eventually remind. At its purest, nostalgia compels a sense of truth in us, and Jazay’s greatest achievement in this sense was the significance he placed with the voices from within the environment, not forgetting the buildings themselves, or in fact Bargaintown, which is the only remaining furniture business from that time.

For an unobstructed, barely pre-Celtic Tiger depiction of life in 80s Dublin, catch this documentary anytime you can.

 

 

Bargaintown screened at the IFI on 27th September 2015 as part of the IFI Documentary Festival (23 – 27 September 2015)

 

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Interview: David Jazay, director of ‘Bargaintown’

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In 1982 a young exchange student David Jazay came to Ireland from Germany and, after beginning his time here on a photography project, embarked upon a 10-year odyssey of annual visits photographing and filming a Dublin that has long-since passed, One of his projects was to film the Liffey Quays, capturing the buildings in the area and the characters who lived therein.

The result was Jazay’s 1988 film, co-directed with Judith Klinger, Bargaintown, a poetic record of life along the Quays in the late 1980s. This weekend, the IFI will screen a new digital restoration of Jazay’s original 16mm print as part of the IFI Documentary Festival.

Grace Corry spoke to David Jazay ahead of the film’s Dublin premiere.

 

Out of curiosity, why Bargaintown – the name?

Well it has nothing to do with the shop. It’s not even featured in the film. It’s just a cool title! We just nicked the name! Much later I found out that Alan Prendergast, the owner of the Bargaintown, loved the film. He badgered the IFI for a VHS copy of the work, which was the only thing that could have been seen; it was just an archival copy  – and he’s probably the only person in Dublin who knows the film. But the film has nothing to do with shop.

What was it that drew you to the Dublin Quays?

I was drawn to the liveliness of it. A lot of people in Dublin seem to remember the Quays as being derelict, unsafe and quite dodgy. But I really enjoyed the antique shops and the small businesses and also, despite the heavy traffic, there was always life on the street, different characters roaming the streets. I  have also always had a love of Irish craftsmanship that the buildings displayed, the traditional family business signage and the wonderful colour schemes of certain buildings. And although many of the buildings on the Quays were derelict, they had a certain beauty about them that I was drawn to.

It was a time of rapid changes, how apparent were those changes to you during your time in Ireland from 1982 – 1992?

Well, they were apparent. There was an urgency making the film. When I got started on the photography project I kind of slipped into it. It wasn’t like at the age of 16 I had a masterplan to do the whole project. I didn’t know I would still be at it 10 years later! But it did of course become apparent in 1987  when I started to go to film school and I started to go about planning the project. It was quite apparent and really urgent as well. Also in that era in Germany at that time my generation were all about preservation and squatting movements – what you have now as anti-globalisation and reclaim the street movements – at that time it was all about preserving old neighbourhoods. So for a German person, it was very much a theme that people could relate to. So when I arrived here it was interesting. I expected to see more groups fighting for the buildings. I know there were some student movements in Harcourt Street, slightly before my time, but on the Quays there was nothing. I thought it was interesting to have that as a foreigner, to have that idea of the Quays as the lifeline of the visual façade to the city that was totally underused and not appreciated enough – and was now crumbling.

In the interviews conducted there seems to be a real sense of pathos among the locals about their lost community and their homes and the buildings they grew up in.  You were somewhat objective – you saw beauty in the city centre in the buildings that were crumbling. Was it difficult to strike a balance of representation between the structure of the aesthetics you wanted to achieve for the film and for the social actors and their environment and giving them a voice in the film. 

With the buildings, what I wanted to achieve was a sense of faded glamour and beauty because they were all like fine Georgian buildings. Had the area been restored at that point as it could have been, it would have been immensely more beautiful than what it is now. The stuff they put up was really tacky. It was a wasted opportunity.

With the locals, we were quite straight forward – we just asked people how they felt about the Quays. That’s the focal point for all the interviews – to ask them what their vision would be for the future of the Quays. I think that was something that was never asked of them, not by the city council, not by other journalists. So it was just to actually go there and ask actual people who lived there what they thought of it and how they would like to see it develop.

How do you see the value of Bargaintown now – is it purely nostalgic or can we learn from it?

I’m surprised at the reaction I’m getting to photographs on the website. When you read the comments – thejournal.ie did a piece and some people seem to have this almost hateful attitude towards Dublin’s past. I think when you look at the film it’s not a bleak depressing film about urban decay as some have described it – it’s more about loveable and lively people talking about their city and their neighbourhoods. 

Talking about the value that the film might hold – I get a lot of mail, particularly from younger people, who are interested in things like the signage and the craft traditions we feature in the film. A lot of them are gone and if you want any sort of resurrection of that you need the archival material. Nobody else has it. There’s not exactly a wealth of moving or still images of this area and that time.

Bargaintown screens at 17.00 on Sunday, 27th September as part of the IFI Documentary Festival (23 – 27 September 2015)

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director David Jazay hosted by Frank McDonald

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Podcast Interview: Sunniva O’Flynn

Bargaintown-poster-reconstructed

The IFI’s Head of Irish Film Programming, Sunniva O’Flynn, talks to Film Ireland’s podcast hosts Richard Drumm and Jonathan Victory about the Irish feature documentaries screening as part of the upcoming IFI Documentary Festival. Sunniva also introduces the Reality Bites & Documentary Shorts Programme and previews the festival’s panels.

 

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Competition: Win Tickets to ‘Orion: The Man Who Would be King’ @ IFI Doc Festival

Orion01_Sun_Records 

The annual IFI Documentary Festival (23 – 27 September) is back once again and will screen 14 feature length documentaries (with one world premiere and ten Irish premieres) and welcomes a host of special guest filmmakers from Ireland and abroad, alongside a series of special events.

This year’s festival includes the premiere of Jeanie Finlay’s Orion: The Man Who Would be King. Struggling musician Jimmy Ellis was regularly dismissed by record companies for sounding too much like Elvis. Soon after August 16, 1977, Sun Records signed Ellis as Orion, who performed in a garish mask and fuelled rumours that The King might not be dead after all. Orion recorded 11 albums and was a live draw, but Ellis’ hard-won fame wasn’t what he imagined. Consummate filmmaker Jeanie Finlay (The Great Hip Hop Hoax) rescues another great story from rock ‘n’ roll’s annals, celebrating the life of a previously unheralded man of mystery. There will be a post-screening Q&A with director Jeanie Finlay.

Thanks to our doc-loving friends at the IFI, we have 2 pairs of tickets to give away to the film, screening on Saturday, 26 th September at 9.30pm.

To be in with a chance of winning yourself a pair of tickets, answer the following question:

Name one Irish documentary featured at this year’s festival?

Email your answer to filmireland@gmail.com by lunchtime on Monday, 21st September when a holographic Film Ireland Hat will sing a duet with Michael Bublé and pick winners.

 

The 2015  IFI Documentary Festival takes place 23 – 27 September

 

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IFI Documentary Festival

 

The newly rebranded and enlarged IFI Documentary Festival is back once again with the world’s best selection of factual films from 23rd– 27th September 2015. One of the IFI’s flagship festivals, the IFI Documentary Festival (formerly IFI Stranger than Fiction) will screen 14 feature length documentaries, with 1 world premiere and 10 Irish premieres. It will also welcome a host of special guest filmmakers from Ireland and abroad, alongside a series of special events; and will continue on the success of last year’s highly successful Industry Day, in partnership with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, which will give filmmakers the opportunity to network with leaders in the field.

This year’s highlights include a look at Steve McQueen’s ill-fated motorsport featureSteve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans; a timely look at U.S race and gun violence in3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets; the story of Orion…, an impersonator who fuelled rumours that Elvis never died; and a newly rediscovered survey of pre-boom Dublin,Bargaintown.

This year’s gala opening night film Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, tells a candid, witty and insightful study of the screen idol’s fascination with motorsports and his commitment to make a film about French endurance race Le Mans – a huge folly and a commercial flop. Sharing the same love of cars but a world away from McQueen’s glamorous lifestyle, Speed Sisters looks at the West Bank speed car racing scene which has flourished in recent years and at an all-female racing team who are breaking through in this male-dominated sport. Staying with sport, the allure of the boxing ring for documentary makers has always been strong and filmmaker Bert Marcus’ Champs, shows there are still many stories worth telling. Focusing on three American champions – Tyson, Holyfield and Hopkins – Marcus’ absorbing film presents boxing as a facilitator of the American Dream, but nevertheless has the courage to confront some serious failings in the sport.

This year’s selection of Irish documentaries includes the world premiere of Dearbhla Glynn’s War in Eastern Congo which highlights the community impact of the devastating ongoing conflict which has claimed the lives of 6 million and seen the use of rape as a widespread weapon of war. Dearbhla Glynn will take part in a Q&A post-screening. Bargaintown, a rediscovered portrait of Dublin in the pre-Tiger era was made by German filmmaker, David Jazay in 1988, and is a powerful record of the lives and opinions of a vanished city; showing an auction at Tormey Brothers’, a night of song and dance at the old Workingmen’s Club on Wellington Quay and performances by veteran bluesman Frank Quigley. David Jazay will take part in a Q&A after the screening of this special record of the city that has never been seen in Dublin before.

Other Irish documentaries featured in the Festival are Loïc Jourdain’s A Turning Tide in the Life of Man, which follows island fisherman John O’Brien’s campaign to try to regain his ancestral right to fish the seas around Donegal, and will be screened in the presence of Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh, followed by a Q&A with the director. Short Irish documentaries are also celebrated and promoted at the festival with a programme that premieres the films from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board’s Reality Bites programme alongside the best independent submissions from around the country.

Two of the biggest news stories on either side of the Atlantic this year are examined in a fresh light in the Festival: immigration in Europe and the struggle against racially-aggravated gun violence in the U.S. David Aronowitsch’s I Am Dublin, focuses on Ahmed, an asylum seeker trying to build a life in Sweden but who is hamstrung by the EU Law known as the Dublin Regulation. 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets looks at the shooting of a black American teenager during the consumerist clamour of Black Friday 2012 by a white man who claimed he acted in self-defence. This probing, pertinent film tries to unravel the truth as it follows the long and divisive trial that followed. Winner of the Grand Jury Award in Sheffield Doc/Fest, A Syrian Love Story by Sean McAllister (Reluctant Revolutionary) looks at the contemporary conflict in the Middle East, through the prism of two Syrian activists over five tumultuous years, from meeting and falling in love whilst incarcerated for crimes against the state, to later trying to raise a family in a country that has descended into chaos.

Jeanie Finlay, who opened the 2013 Festival with The Great Hip Hop Hoax, will return to this year’s festival to take part in a Q&A after the screening of her latest filmOrion: The Man Who Would Be King, which in her characteristic style salvages a fascinating tale from the amnesia of the music industry. Telling the story of Jimmy Ellis who was dismissed as sounding too much like Elvis but found a dubious kind of fame after the King passed away. With his masked act ‘Orion’, Ellis helped fuel rumours that Elvis was still alive.

Documentary pioneer Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Salesman) sadly died in March and In Transit is his final film. Depicting life aboard The Empire Builder, America’s busiest long-distance train route, in trademark observational style, it captures all human life and the beating heart of America. There will be a post-screening Q&A with Producer and Executive Director of the Maysles Documentary Center, Erika Dilday.  Another master filmmaker contributing work to this year’s festival is Chilean director Patricio Guzman (Nostalgia for the Light) whose new film The Pearl Buttonuses his country’s inescapable geographic entanglement with water and the sea  to explore in poetic, essayistic style, key moments in Chilean history from the brutal colonial era to Pinochet’s dictatorship and beyond. Vibrant Russian documentaryCinema: A Public Affair celebrates a passionate advocate for film culture: Naum Kleiman, director of the Moscow Film Museum and an internationally renowned Eisenstein scholar. His reputation is such that when in October 2014, the Russian Minister of Culture fired him, the entire staff of the Museum handed in their resignations.

The Festival, in partnership with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, will be presenting a selection of special industry events that foster talent, create international connections and bring filmmakers and audiences closer together. Two stand-alone panels are currently available: Radharc Restored: A Case Study in Restoration, and Women in Film and Television: Telling Tales; and a Documentary Industry Day that will include seminars, panels and the chance to network with international producers and programmers. Details will be announced shortly.

Schedule:
Wednesday 23 September:
20.00    STEVE MCQUEEN: THE MAN & LE MANS

Thursday 24 September
11.00    PANEL: RADHARC RESTORED: A CASE STUDY IN DIGITAL PRESERVATION
18.00    A TURNING TIDE IN THE LIFE OF MAN
20.30    3 1/2 MINUTES, TEN BULLETS

Friday 25 September
10AM – 6PM      DOCUMENTARY INDUSTRY DAY
18.30    CHAMPS
20.30    SPEED SISTERS

Saturday 26 September
11.00    PANEL: WOMEN IN FILM & TELEVISION: WOMEN TELLING TALES
13.00    CINEMA: A PUBLIC AFFAIR
15.00    WAR IN EASTERN CONGO
17.00    REALITY BITES & DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
19.00    IN TRANSIT
21.30    ORION: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING

Sunday 27 September
13.00    I AM DUBLIN
15.00    THE PEARL BUTTON
17.00    BARGAINTOWN
19.00    A SYRIAN LOVE STORY

Tickets are on sale now from the IFI Box Office in person, on 01 679 3477 or online at www.ifi.ie/docfest.

Tickets are priced €9.50 except for the opening film which includes a post-screening reception and costs €13. Daily Membership costs €1 for Non-Annual Members and will be added to the ticket price. Special Events cost €5 Enjoy more of the Festival for less with a special package price of 5 films for €40 – available in person only..

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Call For: Documentaries for IFI Documentary Festival

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IFI Documentary Festival (formerly known as Stranger Than Fiction) has been expanded to five days and will take place between September 23-27th 2015.
The IFI are now accepting entries of  Irish feature-length documentaries (over 60-minutes) and Irish and international short documentaries (under 20-minutes). International features are programmed on an invitation-only basis and no entries in this category will be accepted.  Submission deadline is 6pm June 24th 2015.

All Irish feature-length entries must be Dublin premieres. For short documentaries, premiere status is not required but preference will be given to shorts which are Dublin premieres. Films that have been broadcast on Irish television or on a channel available to Irish television audiences should not be entered and will not be considered. There is no entry fee.

To enter a FEATURE documentary:
Send two non-returnable DVDs or an online link of your film to IFI Documentary Festival, Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, IRELAND.
Include in your package an A4 sheet with the film title, running time, credits (producer, director), a synopsis of the film of less than 300 words, and an accurate listing of the film’s previous exhibition history .  Please also email these details to IFIDOCFEST@irishfilm.ie  along with three high-resolution images from the film.

To enter a SHORT documentary:
Send an online link to IFIDOCFEST@irishfilm.ie  and email the following information: film title, running time, credits (producer, director), a synopsis of the film of less than 300 words, and an accurate listing of the film’s previous exhibition history; and three high-resolution images from the film.

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