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2019 at the Irish Film Institute (IFI)

The Irish Film Institute (IFI) has announced its 2019 plans, covering its core activities of exhibition, preservation and education.

Located in Dublin’s Temple Bar, the cinema says it will bring exciting new strands, events and seasons to audiences both in the capital and across the country. This is in addition to its popular festivals, comprehensive educational initiatives, historically significant archival projects, and the completion of its highly-anticipated refurbishment plan.

The IFI will undergo a major capital remodeling project in summer 2019. This will result in two completely modernised cinema spaces, offering IFI audiences the opportunity to see films with the best facilities. The cinema says the major refurbishment will maintain all the charm of its 18th century Quaker building while bringing changes to increase the comfort and enjoyment to cinephiles.

The IFI’s comprehensive exhibition programme will include a complete retrospective of the work of Robert Bresson, director of classics Au Hasard Balthazar and The Trial of Joan of Arc. There will also be a season entitled Memory on Filmhighlighting how this most abstract of concepts has been represented on screen.

One of the most influential figures in 20th century British culture, Derek Jarman’s work will be honoured with a short retrospective. There will also be the return of Hidden Figures, a strand focused on forgotten filmmakers. In 2019, it will centre on American Dorothy Arzner. She was the only female director in 1930s Hollywood and launched Katherine Hepburn’s career.

2019 will also bring the third Dark Skies Science Fiction season. It will be headlined by a 70mm screening of James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The IFI remains the only cinema in Ireland with the facilities to screen this format.

Speaking at the programme’s announcement, IFI Director Ross Keane, said: ‘We look forward to unveiling our wonderful new facilities the summer, and offering our audiences the opportunity to enjoy our curated events and programmes in even better surroundings.’

Irish filmmakers will remain central to the IFI’s focus throughout the year. Seasons focusing on them  include Neglected Perspectives, a timely selection of films looking at work that challenged the prevailing representations of the Northern Ireland Troubles. The work of Trish MacAdam, director of Snakes and LaddersHoodwinked and What Do I Do Now? will also take centre-stage with a retrospective and a career-spanning public interview. Meanwhile the IFI’s ongoing collaboration with Dublin City Council will continue with the Edna O’Brien Trilogy. This will featuring screenings of The Country GirlsThe Girl with Green Eyes and I Was Happy Here.

Throughout its entire exhibition programme the IFI will, where possible, aim to make its screenings as accessible as possible. This will be either through improved access to screens. Or via scheduled Open Captioned and Audio Described showings.

The IFI’s four flagship festivals will return. These are the IFI French Film Festival in November, the IFI Family Festival in August, the IFI Documentary Festival in September, and IFI Horrorthon over the October Bank Holiday weekend. Also scheduled to return are collaborations with East Asia Film Festival Ireland, Polish festival IFI Kinopolis and the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival (Virgin Media DIFF).

2019 promises to be another key year for the award-winning IFI Irish Film Archive. This summer will see the launch of the second part of the Irish Independence Film Collection. This features repatriated newsreels from international news crews, bringing material that relates to one of the most important periods in Irish history back home and presented to audiences for free on the IFI Player.

Meanwhile, in April, the release of the Loopline Collection will be made public on the IFI Player and its app. This centres on the exceptional documentary output of the pioneering Irish production company.

Other exciting Archive projects include a second collaboration between the IFI Irish Film Archive, Screen Scene and the Radharc Trust. This will see 50 Radharc films digitally preserved and remastered. Meanwhile, in the autumn there will be the commencement of a unique project to preserve a large collection of broadcast material created by the community production company Ballymun Communications.

The IFI’s education plans for the year start early in February with the second annual Careers In Screen Day. Presented in association with Virgin Media DIFF, this year’s guests include director Lenny Abrahamson, costume designer Consolata Boyle, and producer Ed Guiney.

Following that, the hugely popular and comprehensive 2019-2020 Schools Programme will launch in September. The IFI’s commitment to lifelong learning also continues with spring and autumn Evening Courses, which will focus on British and Asian cinema respectively.

Regular audience favourites The Bigger Picture, IFI Family, aemi, Wild Strawberries and Feast Your Eyes will all return. Meanwhile Mystery Matinée will continue to go from strength-to-strength in its monthly Sunday lunchtime slot.

IFI will continue its programme of exciting and exclusive 70mm events throughout the year. On top of this, IFI Open Day will return after the refurbishment of the cinema’s two biggest screens for another day of free screenings and behind-the-scenes tours.

The cinema will continue its vast programming with IFI National, bringing the best of local cinema to communities across the country. It will travel to counties Leitrim, Fermanagh, Cork, Sligo and Galway. IFI National’s collaboration with Limerick arts venue Belltable will also continue into 2019.

Meanwhile, IFI International will bring the very best of Irish cinema to cities and countries across the world. These include Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Egypt, Serbia, Luxembourg, Barbados, Czech Republic and Colombia.

For more information about the IFI, visit its site here.

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