The Irish Film Institute is screening a selection of family-friendly Irish shorts in celebration of Culture Night on Friday the 16th of September. The programme is in three parts; 6:15pm, 7pm and 7:45pm. Free tickets are available at the IFI box office. The evening will begin with an introduction from the IFI’s programming team and will proceed to explore the history of Irish short film production through a mixture of live-action and animation, newsreels, dramas and public information films to create a picture of modern Ireland that is sure to appeal to young and old alike. The IFI advises that some of the films are recommended for those aged 7+
The programme introduces A Terrible Hullabaloo, directed by Ben O’Connor, which was released this year in commemoration of the 1916 Rising. It tells the story of a young Vinny Byrne, just fourteen years old, who ended up fighting as a volunteer in the rebellion. An eighty year old Vinny tells his tale alongside miniature sets and puppetry, making this film a great teaching aid for anyone wishing to discuss history with their children.
Alan Holly’s Coda tells a very simple story in a very powerful way. The short follows a drunken man on his journey home, pursued by Death. This short won the FICC Don Quixote Award, Vimeo’s Best Animation of 2015, SXSW Best Animated Short among many other awards worldwide and was nominated for the prestigious Cartoon d’Or September 2015. There’s a reason this film has received such critical acclaim, it’s not to be missed.
You may remember Give Up Yer Aul Sins from director Cathal Gaffney, in which a TV crew visiting a primary school being told a colourful version of the story of John the Baptist by the precocious Mary voiced by Maria McDermottroe. This film should be particularly accessible to new audiences, as well as providing some warm nostalgia for those who are already familiar with it.
In Granite and Chalk, director Patrick Hudgins examines the 1916 Rising from a different perspective, that of two agents feeding information to the British Authorities. Who were these spies? Delve into top-secret British intelligence files with this fantastic short film to find out.
Geist, directed by Sean Mullen, Ben Harper and Alex Sherwood, tells the thrilling story of a shipwrecked fisherman discovering a dark secret. The animation is stunning. This may be the stand-out pick of the night.
Jack O’Shea’s creation A Coat Made Dark has helped to bring Irish film to the spotlight by joining Sing Street, Love & Friendship, Viva, The Lobster, Mammal and the feature documentary The Land of the Enlightened in the line-up for the 2016 Sundance Festival. The animated short tells the story of a man following the orders of a dog to wear a coat with impossible pockets. This sounds like a great one for those bringing younger film buffs.
This cultural experience is rich in terms of content but admission is free, so celebrate home-grown short film production this Culture Night.