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Home Reels from Home

Reels from Home

Welcome to the IFI Player

Reels from Home is a trip down memory lane with a specially curated collection of films selected from the Archives of the Irish Film Institute. Developed in collaboration with The London Irish Centre, Reels from Home presents a collection which includes material which dates as far back as the 1930s and includes both professional and amateur films documenting all aspects of Irish life including tourism, industry, sport, adverts and much more. The collection is made available through the IFI Player and suite of apps able to view anywhere in the world for free. Fancy watching adverts from your childhood or revisiting Ireland of old? Sit back in the comfort of your home and take this trip down memory lane with us.

The IFI Irish Film Archive (part of the Irish Film Institute) collects, preserves and shares  Ireland’s national moving image collection, a diverse resource that chronicles over one hundred years of Irish achievement and experience. The Archive collection spans 1897 to the present day, and the cameras of filmmakers have captured the development of modern Ireland in a uniquely accessible manner.  The most important social, political and historical events of the last century are represented, enabling us to explore our cultural identity and connect with the past.

The IFI Player is a virtual viewing room for these remarkable collections, giving audiences across the globe instant access to this rich heritage. The material on the IFI Player has been selected to give audiences a taste of the breadth and depth of the collections preserved by the Archive. Home movies, newsreels, travelogues, animations, feature films, public information films and documentaries have been included as we have tried to reflect all aspects of indigenous amateur and professional production.

IFI has now partnered with Axonista, Ireland’s leading video technology company, to greatly increase accessibility of its Irish moving image collection through cutting edge distribution to a variety of popular video-capable devices. The new apps are available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for iOS and Android phones, with apps for TV platforms available on Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV & Roku.

As a nation of storytellers, the IFI Player and its suite of apps allows IFI to keep the heritage material of the IFI Irish Film Archive relevant to today’s viewing consumption habits, and helps bring Irish culture and social history to audiences globally – both diaspora and new friends of Ireland alike. Working with Axonista on the IFI Player applications allows the Irish Film Institute to address the rapidly changing digital landscape for this cultural institution and allow for the integration of future technological developments.

The IFI Irish Film Archive has been on a journey of ground-breaking progress in the past couple of years through its extensive Digital Preservation and Access Strategy, becoming world leaders in digitisation processes of moving image material. When we are choosing titles for inclusion on the IFI Player there are a number of technical and practical considerations. In addition to aiming to include a broad cross-section of the material we preserve, we also have to clear each film with the relevant copyright holder and take into account any conservation issues.  The material in our collections goes through a long process of management, preservation and digitisation before we are able to share it with the public. The final clip of film that audiences can access on the IFI Player, is the result of months and even years of work by Archive staff.

IFI is dedicated to ensuring our national moving image collection is preserved and now globally accessible, on behalf of the nation, for future generations. The development of the IFI Player and suite of applications is a significant step for us as it truly democratizes access, and we look forward to building on the content over the coming months and years.

Ireland of yesteryear

Irish Gossamer

This innovative film made by Colm Ó Laoghaire corresponds the beauty of Irish-made fabrics with the breadth of colour and texture displayed in the Irish countryside.

Commissioned by the Irish tourism board Bord Fáilte to entice visitors to Ireland, this visually-stunning short takes the viewer on a journey through Ireland in 1958 looking at Irish life and landscapes. The work of designer Irene Gilbert and fabrics produced by The Crock of Gold and Gaeltarra Éireann are juxtaposed with scenes of rural beauty all around the country. The film also presents cityscapes in Limerick, Galway and Dublin and exciting activities including the Tóstal Festival, the Spring Show, a hurling match at Croke Park and the Horse Show.

To see more of The Bord Fáilte Film Collection, click here.

Killiney Hill - The Father Delaney Collection

This short amateur film shows a trip to Killiney Hill, Dublin, on a beautiful sunny day. The Obelisk stands proudly on the hilltop with views of the Wicklow Mountains in the distance. A boat trip takes us from Bullock Harbour past the beautiful Sorrento Terrace and towards Dalkey Island.

Father Jack Delaney (1906-1980) 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 around Seán McDermott Street (then Gloucester Street), Rutland Street and Gardiner Street. His films offer a fascinating glimpse of life at the time in inner-city Dublin.

To see more of The Father Delaney Collection, click here.

The Glamour of Galway

Galway old and new, is captured in glorious colour in this 1957 Bord Fáilte (now Fáilte Ireland) tourism film produced and directed by Colm Ó Laoghaire.

Situated on the west coast of Ireland, Galway is one of the largest cities in Ireland and boasts a complex history dating back to medieval times.  The film highlights the city’s many wonderful historic buildings and points of interest such as market days, picturesque thatched cottages, the Taibhdhearc Theatre, the Galway  Blazers hunting club and the electric atmosphere at the world renowned Galway Races.

To see more from The Bord Fáilte Film Collection, click here.

Reflections Ireland

Reflections – Ireland is a stunning, non-narrated tourist film with accompanying music by Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains.

Many of Paddy Carey films depict a scarcity of civilisation, an untouched landscape, but here he treats the viewer to the beauties of landscape interwoven with a vivid tapestry of human activity: anglers in a lively river; bird-watchers at work; sheep farmers; horse riders; seaweed gatherers. A nighttime sequence shows people gathering in an unidentified village for music in a cosy pub.

Discovering Ireland

This tourism promotional film was produced in 1982 by Bord Fáilte (now known as Fáilte Ireland) and presents Ireland and its rich history as an attractive holiday destination.From the bustling streets of Dublin during the St Patrick’s Day Parade, to the serene calm of the River Shannon, this film, directed by Louis Marcus, shows the breadth of choice Ireland has to offer any visitor.

Ireland in Spring

Ireland is beautiful all-year-round but spring is when it really blossoms. Produced by Colm O’ Laoghaire (director of the Amharc Éireann newsreels for Gael-Linn) this film is a celebration of all things Irish and a delightful window on 1950s Eire.

The film focuses on An Tóstal (Irish for “The Pageant”) which was a series of festivals and events established in 1953 to celebrate Irish culture and draw more tourists to the country. The wealth of events and happenings the country are shown.

Sports Day - The Father Delaney Collection

Summer, Dalymount Park, 1934: The school sports day is in full swing. A band plays and participants compete in boxing, cycling and a sack race as crowds cheer from the stands. It’s clear that a fun day was had by all.

Father Jack Delaney (1906-1980) 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 around Seán McDermott Street (then Gloucester Street), Rutland Street and Gardiner Street. His films offer a fascinating glimpse of life at the time in inner-city Dublin.

Portrait of Dublin

This film was designed to promote the city of Dublin to its inhabitants and to potential visitors from abroad.  Brendan Stafford’s crisp black and white cinematography serves the city’s elegant architecture well while the narrator tells of the city’s cultural, literary and architectural history.  To see more from The Department of Foreign Affairs Collection, click here.

Errigal

This stunning documentary is set against the scenic backdrop of Mount Errigal in County Donegal. The mountains of Donegal are depicted like fairytale characters, where the hero Mount Errigal competes with neighbouring villain Mount Muckish. A fantastical narrative explains that the landscape is ‘a battleground where the weapons are the elements themselves’. Dramatic footage of storms and lightning blends with a superb score by Irish composer Brian Boydell.