The IFI has announced details of its diverse programme for 2011. Many successful initiatives will continue along with a host of new seasons and special events:
The IFI in collaboration with Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) will be presenting an exploration of Ireland’s fictional representation on screen that has been curated by Gabriel Byrne. Using John Ford’s vision of Ireland in The Quiet Man as a starting point, the programme will include the US representations that shaped international perceptions of Ireland until the 1950s and the subsequent changes in perception that came with the growth of Irish-produced films.
The IFI, in collaboration with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, will be presenting Hidden Ireland: Irish Documentary Film. This kaleidoscopic programme of work, running over three months, presents a range of Irish and US perspectives, on Ireland, the Irish and the Irish-American experience with much of the material being sourced from the IFI Irish Film Archive.
The IFI, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the National Concert Hall will collaborate to present Denis Johnston’s Guests of the Nation with a new orchestral score. Adapted from Frank O Connor’s short story in 1935, this silent film tells of the friendship between British soldiers and their IRA captors during the War of Independence. The newly restored film will be presented at the National Concert Hall in September with the world premier of a new score by award-winning composer Niall Byrne performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. It will then travel to New York’s Lincoln Center in the autumn.
Two contrasting directors will receive special focus; In February the Jim Sheridan: In Focus season will survey the director’s achievements in Irish film since he burst onto the international scene with My Left Foot. For the past twenty years Sheridan has provided a crucial creative bridge for Irish stories to reach the Hollywood mainstream. Guests attending include Jim, Peter and Kirsten Sheridan, along with Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker and Hugh O’Conor.
Thai filmmaker and visual artist, Apichatpong Weerasethakul cemented his reputation as one of cinema’s most original and creative directors with last year’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Following on from a brief visit last year, he will return to the IFI in July for a full season of his film work to coincide with an exhibition of his work at IMMA.
IFI Stranger Than Fiction Festival will return with a special edition focusing on the Irish documentary; an area of Irish filmmaking that has been extremely successful in recent years. Another key annual event on Dublin’s film calendar, the IFI French Film Festival, will return in November and lovers of French cinema can join the IFI’s social French Film Club that meets year-round at screenings of new French films at the IFI.
February’s programme starts a year of special seasons of classic films and festivals with the IFI co-hosting the first ever Chinese Film Festival from Dublin City Council and the concluding part of the popular Graham Greene Season, coinciding with the release of Rowan Joffe’s new version of Brighton Rock. This year’s annual collaboration with JDIFF will be a screening of Turner prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing’s Self Made which explores the question ‘If you were to play a part in a film, would you play yourself or would you play a fictional character?’
The IFI’s screenings of Irish film continues, both through monthly Ireland on Sunday screenings and discussions, as well as a programme of new Irish releases and focus on upcoming Irish filmmakers. Mark O’Connor’s high-velocity urban St. Patrick’s Day drama, Between the Canals, will be released on 18th March and, also in March, Juanita Wilson will be at the IFI to discuss the release of her much-lauded and hotly anticipated film, As If I’m Not There.
This summer the IFI will celebrate the fantastic level of support from audiences and visitors it has continued to receive over the past year with the IFI Open Day 2011. Once again the IFI be throwing open its doors to the city for a whole day of free screenings of new Irish and international releases as well as classics and films from the Archive.
NT Live, the live theatre broadcast programme from the National Theatre in London, returns on 17th March with Frankenstein. Dublin City Council’s One City One Book has given the impetus to several successful programmes at the IFI and on 9–10 April, award-winning writer Joseph O’Connor, author of this year’s selection Ghost Light, will be in attendance a programme of films that engage with the themes of the novel.
The IFI Irish Film Archive continues with the release of GAA Gold, a DVD of National Film Institute reports from the All Ireland Hurling Finals from 1948–1959 was a success and will be followed with another release of the Gaelic Football Finals from the same period in the autumn.
IFI National curates special events across the country, helping to provide access to independent new releases and Archive collections. This will include Aran of the Saints, an extremely valuable and long-forgotten 1932 film by the Catholic Film Society of London documenting life on the Aran Islands two years before Robert Flaherty’s Man of Aran. A new musical arrangement devised by musicians from the Islands, commissioned by IFI with the support of the Arts Council, will create a new soundtrack for this silent film. The film will receive its Aran Islands premiere with live musical accompaniment at Áras Éanna Inis Oir Arts Centre as well as being shown at Galway Town Hall in the summer. The IFI @ The Model regular programme in Sligo will continue to bring new releases to the North West and more regional partners will be announced later in the year.
The annual IFI Family Festival, will be back during the summer holidays to provide a host of family films and accompanying workshops for young filmgoers. IFI Family also, on a monthly basis, provides an international cinema programme at affordable prices to families and young film fans – February’s screening is a Chinese New Year-themed The Magic Aster animation and March’s screening for World Book Day will be Eleanor’s Secret. IFI Family will also be continuing its work with Rua Red bringing family film events to Tallaght.
The Spring/Summer IFI Education Schools Programme has just been released with a programme tailored to teachers in supporting and broadening the curriculum. Each year the programme reaches 16,000 students nationwide and the current programme includes popular recent releases such as The Social Network, The Pip, Persepolis and Billy Elliot. In 2011, IFI Education responds specifically to the DES Draft National Plan on Literacy with several events focusing on visual literacy which is an essential skill in negotiating the range of media and digital technologies in contemporary society. This year will also see the final phase of Film Focus, the IFI Education’s action research project to develop a national strategy for Film Education with an exciting and diverse set of pilot projects taking place across the country and a final report due in the autumn.
The IFI’s Essential Cinema Evening Course of films introduced by lecturers and critics from IADT will focus on American cinema in the 1970s. The course will give new perspective and critical context on favourites from the period including Jaws, American Graffitti, The French Connection, Nashville and The Godfather. Further opportunities for critical engagement with film at the IFI can be found at the monthly Experimental Film Club and a planned series of forums with the Screen Directors Guild.
For more information visit www.ifi.ie