The IFI have announced a major partnership with the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann on a new annual event, Spotlight : New Irish Film at the IFI – a month-long series of new releases, short films, Q&A’s and panel discussions


Spotlight: New Irish Film at the IFI is a brand new annual event at the IFI celebrating Ireland’s film industry and taking an in-depth look at what’s happening in Irish cinema. This inaugural showcase is presented in partnership with the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann to mark the occasion of their 20thanniversary. Newly released titles are running throughout the month and the Spotlight will culminate with a series of exciting events, discussions and gala screenings over the final weekend 26th-28thApril including the gala Irish Premiere of Neil Jordan’s new film Byzantium.


IFI Director Ross Keane said: “Throughout the year the IFI is committed to showing Irish film through a combination of new releases, Ireland on Sunday, archive screenings and pairing short films with features. However, in 2013 we also wanted to present a concentrated focus on Irish cinema to showcase some of the work being currently produced and to provide a platform for discussion and debate. This new partnership with the Irish Film Board gives us the opportunity to present some of the most exciting new work being produced at home, alongside panel discussions and a selection of free screenings of Irish short films made over the last twenty years.”

James Hickey, Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board said “We are delighted to be working on this Spotlight with the IFI, which presents an interesting and diverse range of Irish feature films from new and established directors. In particular we hope IFI audiences will enjoy the opportunity to see the wide selection of short films which reminds us of the wealth of creative talent working in the Irish film industry at the moment.”

Made on a shoe-string budget, 24 year old Gerard Barrett’s Kerry-shot debut Pilgrim Hill shows what a young filmmaker with talent and no budget can make happen. This beautiful and unflinchingly told story of a withdrawn bachelor living alone in rural Ireland has won critical acclaim and a prestigious Rising Star Award for Barrett at the Irish Film and Television Awards. Barrett will take part in an Opening Night Q+A on April 12thafter the 18.30 screening and Pilgrim Hill runs until the 25th.

Writer-director Mark O’Connor, whose previous feature Between the Canals brought fresh energy to the Dublin crime movie, returns from April 19th with his new feature King of the Travellers. This hot-blooded feuding drama is set in (and with many of the actors drawn from) the Traveller community. The action centres on John Paul Moorehouse (John Connors), a young man determined to find out the truth about his father’s murder. Mark O’Connor and cast members John Connors, Michael Collins and Peter Coonan (Love/Hate) will attend a Q+A hosted by broadcaster Vincent Browne at a special preview of the film on the 18th April at 18.30 before it is released the following day.

Another new release showing as part of the Spotlight is Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s Good Vibrations (running 29thMarch to 18th April), the upbeat and uplifting story of Terri Hooley’s record shop and label, at the heart of the Ulster Punk scene of the 1970s.

The final weekend of the month April 26th – 28thprovides exciting opportunities to see new Irish features. There will be a gala opening night screening of Kieron J. Walsh’s Derry-based love story Jump at 18.30 on April 26th (followed by a Q+A with actress Charlene McKenna and Director Kieron J. Walsh and a wine reception) . On April 27that 18.30, there’s a gala preview screening of Milo (attended by cast members and followed by a wine reception), a new Irish-Dutch co-production set in Dublin about a 10 year-old boy’s journey of rebellion and self-discovery.

There’s a marathon programme of IFB-funded short films; the selection will include titles such as Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, Undressing my Mother, Give Up Your Aul Sins and Irish Folk Furniture. The short films will be screened simultaneously throughout all three of the IFI’s cinema screens on April 27th and 28th from 11.30-13.30, with the audience free to pop in and out of screenings.

There will be two panel discussions over the course of the weekend. The first 20:20 Visions: New Directions in Irish Cinema on April 27that 14.00, brings together facilitator Dr Dióg O’Connell of IADT and directors Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father), Kieron J. Walsh (Jump), Carmel Winters (Snap), Juanita Wilson (As If I Am Not There) and Mark O’Connor (King of the Travellers). They will reflect on the substantial body of film work that has been produced in Ireland over the past 20 years, discuss current film-making strategies and consider new directions for Irish cinema..

The second discussion A National Cinema in the Global Age, chaired by Tony Tracy of NUI Galway on April 28th at 14.00, will see a range of film commentators discuss the breadth and accomplishments of the Irish film industry over the past twenty years, the role and achievements of the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann and the Irish film industry’s place on the global stage.


The climax of the month is the Gala Closing Irish Premiere of Neil Jordan’s new film Byzantium starring Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton and Jonny Lee Miller on April 28th at 18.30. This gothic thriller, adapted from Moira Buffini’s play A Vampire Story, sees Arterton and Ronan play mother and daughter living in a crumbing seaside with a carefully guarded but deadly secret. The screening will be attended by special guests and followed by a Q&A with Neil Jordan and a wine reception.


Tickets for all the screenings in the Spotlight: New Irish Film at the IFI are available now from the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or online at



  1. Two decades on and the only people making a fuss about Irish cinema is the IFI!

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