Funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, After ’16 is a creative response by Irish filmmakers to the events of Easter 1916. This collection of nine short films is a mixture of live-action, animation and documentary, and tells stories from the eve of the Easter Rising, all the way to the Troubles in 1970’s Northern Ireland and beyond.
Films made for Bord Fáilte provide not only a beautiful record of Ireland’s landscape and topography throughout the 20th century, but also serve to illustrate the development of the Irish tourist industry and the image that ‘brand’ Ireland was endeavouring to project, as it marketed itself as an international tourist destination.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, also known as the Department of External Affairs, was one of the many state bodies in Ireland to commission films to be produced on its behalf. Often partnering with the National Film Institute (now the IFI) they generally made films on subjects considered to be culturally worthy and educationally important.
Desmond Egan was a skilled, amateur filmmaker with a background in professional production. A wine merchant by trade, he lived with his wife and 4 daughters in Glenageary, Co. Dublin. His collection of silent, colour films includes home movies, short dramas and documentaries on a range of subjects. His professional experience no doubt influenced his films which, unlike those of many other amateurs, are finely-crafted and edited works.
Father Jack Delaney was ordained in 1930 at the age of 24 and served as a parish priest in Dublin in the 1930s and 1940s. He served mainly in Seán McDermott Street, Rutland Street and Gardiner Street. His films of trips with parishioners, tenement life, school children at play, religious processions, and scenes within the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Convent (which housed a Magdalene Laundry) provide us with a fascinating glimpse of life in 1930s inner-city Dublin.
The Horgan Brothers’ films (1910-1920) are some of the earliest moving images made in Ireland. Brothers George, James and Thomas Horgan began their careers in the late 19th century in Youghal, Co Cork as shoemakers and photographers. They ran magic lantern shows in Youghal and in the surrounding villages and townlands. From 1900, following the success of their photographic studio and shows, James Horgan began to use a motion picture camera to capture current events and their local community.
The IFI Irish Film Archive, supported by a grant from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Archiving Funding Scheme, has catalogued, digitised, restored and preserved a large collection of 35mm film television advertisements made in the 1960, ‘70s and ‘80s. These commercials were made for broadcast on Irish television by a number of prolific Irish advertising agencies.
The period 1900-1930 was one of the most turbulent in Irish history, with WW1, the Easter Rising, the War of Independence, the Irish Civil War all taking place. Due to the emergence of cine camera technology in the 1890s these three decades are the first to be widely documented on film. In the early part of the 20th century (before the advent of television) newsreels, radio and newspapers were the predominant way for the public to keep up to date with important events.
Loopline is an independent production company established in 1992 by award-winning filmmaker Sé Merry Doyle. Since its foundation, Loopline has been at the heart of Irish independent broadcasting, creating a wealth of important and diverse material on topics such as folklife, ethnology, architecture, art, literature and inner-city life.
Father William Reid (later Monsignor Reid) acquired his first ‘movie’ camera in the mid-1930s. He continued to film a wide variety of subjects until the 1970s. He filmed in the United States, where he lived for most of his life, and also documented life in Ireland with family and friends during his regular trips home. His Irish films include holiday and family activities against the backdrop of beautiful Irish scenery. He also captured holidays abroad in France, Spain, England and Italy.
The O’Kalem films can be considered important not only for their claim to be the first fiction films made in Ireland and on two continents, but also because they tell us much about the Irish emigrant experience in America at the start of the 20th century. They are also fine examples of silent era filmmaking by a large American studio.
Radharc was an independent production company established by Father Joe Dunn, Father Desmond Forristal and other like-minded priests to make programmes for television and non-theatrical exhibition. Between 1961 and 1996 they made over 400 films in 75 countries on social, political and religious issues.
Roy Spence is an award-winning amateur filmmaker. For the past 50 years, Spence has been making and screening a series of remarkable and sometimes eccentric films in his cinema in Comber, Co. Down. The films span many genres from sci-fi, horror to folk-life documentaries, shot between 1965 and 1986.