Local Films for Local People – IFI brings cinema back to the community

For the next several months, Dublin’s Irish Film Institute will be digging into the archives and giving back to cinema lovers across the island. As part of their commitment to preserve and promote Ireland’s film heritage, the IFI are setting off on tour, presenting local films sourced from their archive back to the communities that inspired them.

IFI Local Films for Local People is the Irish Film Institute ’s popular programme which brings films from the IFI Irish Film Archive back to the communities from whence they came. This year the first stop on the national tour will be 29th April in Kerry.  

The programmes which are bespoke and county-specific, include both professional and amateur films documenting all aspects of Irish life from the early days of cinema to more recent times.  

Throughout the year, they are presented in cinemas and arts centres around Ireland providing easy access  to the national film heritage for audiences.  

Commenting on this year’s tour, IFI Head of Irish Film Programming Sunniva O’Flynn, said:

“It’s a pleasure to return these archival films to the places where they were made and to present them to the communities with which they resonate most strongly. The public presentations create welcome opportunities for shared community experience and the exciting possibility of seeing oneself on screen. The audience feedback greatly enhances our understanding of the films and the contexts in which they were made.”  

APRIL – KERRY The 2023 programme launches on April 29th with a Kerry Kaleidoscope screening as part of Dingle’s popular Féile Bealtaine.  Returning to Ionad Dún Chaoin (recent venue for the IFI presentation of the Gault Collection of US-produced film of Kerry in the 1920s), the programme will include film of the then-inhabited Blasket Islands and of Dunquin in the 1930s. Bodhrán, directed by Tom Hayes and presented as Gaeilge celebrates this iconic Irish instrument which is beaten by Wren Boys in Killorglin, festival goers in Listowel and elsewhere around the country.  

MAY – CORK the West Cork on Film at the Fastnet Film Festival.  This is a two-part programme.  Part 1 will include a series of archival films – such as Travels Through Erin (1978), a US homage to Aran jumpers in the Cork countryside; previously unscreened film of Rosscarbery and Jim Clarke’s elegiac portrait of Crookhaven (1959). Part 2 will feature Sharon Whooley’s Fathom (2013), an experimental short film about isolation and thinking, filmed on the Fastnet lighthouseand All that is, is Light (2021) is an experimental short film from West Cork filmmaker Pat Collins which explores personal archive and memory. 

JULY – GALWAY at the Galway Film Fleadh (11th – 16th July) with a programme of made in and about the county and environs.  This annual presentation is a popular fixture in the Fleadh programme drawing on a range of films made by locals and by visitors to the county, entranced by its many charms.  

SEPT – TULLAMORE where the newly-opened Esker Arts Centre will host An Offaly Miscellany, a programme which will include sporting highlights for Offaly’s footballers in 1960s Croke Park; opening of the Bord n Moóna briquette factory in 1961 and extensive footage of the Brackna Peat Cooperative and their efforts to raise funds for the fledgling Irish government in 1921. 

NOV – DONEGAL where Destination Donegal will be hosted by the Disappear Here Film Club, in partnership with ChangeMakers Donegal and Concern Worldwide. The programme will include nostalgic travelogues capturing the wild majesty of the county; 1960s newsreels of boat-building in Killybegs, angling in Moville and carpentry projects in Teelin and short 1950s documentaries about tweed production in Glencar and hotel courses for young women in Bundoran. 


April 29th at 4pm: A Kerry Kaleidoscope, Féile Bealtaine, The Blasket Centre, Dunquin, Co Kerry  

May 28th  12 pm – 2.30 pm: West Cork on Film, Fastnet Film Festival, Schull, Co Cork.  

July 11th – 16th date tbc: Galway in the Archive, Galway Film Fleadh 

September 7th: An Offaly Miscellany, Esker Arts Centre, Tullamore, Co Offaly  

November 11th: Destination Donegal, The Market House, Clonmany, Inishowen, Co. Donegal. 

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