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For years the Carlow Arts Festival has aimed to create a vibrant community in the Midlands fostering creativity, collaboration, innovation, participation, inclusion, diversity, and passion, but the Covid-19 Pandemic ensured that they were one of many endeavours in the arts who were forced to rethink their approach in 2020.

One of their efforts throughout the last month has been their Virtual Reality Cinema programme, which offered viewers the opportunity to replicate the experience of 360 degree filmmaking from the safety of their own home.

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In the latest episode of the Breakout Role Podcast, Luke and Jess look at a more recent success story, that, in a personal attack on Luke as he pushes 30, was also 9 years ago…It’s Attack the Block! Joe Cornish’s cult hit sci-fi story of a group of London kids taking on vicious aliens in their block of flats.

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The IFI Documentary Festival is a staple of the programming of the Irish Film Institute, key to their remit to exhibit, preserve and educate. The full programme for the 2020 festival is now here as the IFI blends a mix of live screenings and programming on IFI@Home to deliver this year’s selection of interesting, engaging and informative documentaries.
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Following widespread confusion at the latest Covid-19 restrictions in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of the Taoiseach have stated as of this morning that “theatres (including cinemas)” are permitted to operate with 50 people without needing Govt approval. Clear as mud? With cinemas still operating, a campaign has launched in Ireland called #Lovecinema, a reminder to audiences of the wonder that film on the big screen has to offer.

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Director: Claire Oakley Starring: Molly Windsor, Joseph Quinn, Stefanie Martini Running Time: 86 minutes


If one where to have a season of revelations of romance and identity in a tourist spot, they might prefer a glamorously lazy summer by the Italian riviera to say, the gloomy caravan’s of off-peak Cornwall. Yet that is where young Ruth, small and uncertain, finds herself in Make Up, the debut feature of English director Claire Oakley. Expanded from a concept for a looser, more abstract short, this seaside story appears elusive at first, Ruth wandering seemingly aimlessly around a holiday park in the dead of winter, but Make Up snaps into focus the clearer its aims become, and its setting and filming all feed into that feeling. We’re always lost until we know exactly where we are.

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Director: Alex Thompson Starring: Kelly O’Sullivan, Ramona Edith Williams, Charin Alvarez, Lily Mojekwu Running Time: 101 minutes


 

Being “real” is often one of the main aims of the indie dramedy; the gentle, sensibly chuckling low-budget-low-stakes affairs can pride themselves on being more connected to the genuine experiences of everyday life than contrived, overwrought Hollywood productions. Yet this kind of storytelling, chock a block at film festivals the world over, can take on their own stifling conventions and cliches, and the bad cases often present a reality that’s little more than the same platitudes of the big leagues, except mumbled. Saint Frances’ foundation of white slacker ennui doesn’t seem to offer much new on first glance, but through strong stains of period blood, ugly tears of postpartum depression and more, it does explore a number of truths and vulnerabilities with a welcome sense of honesty, the kind that too many films of this type end up glossing over with their Sundance-friendly optimism. Writer and star Kelly O’Sullivan and director Alex Thompson use a standard setup, but are happy to wander from it to more interesting places.

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