The Online St Patrick's Film Festival London kicked off yesterday
- The virtual initiative, created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak by the Irish Film Festival London, will run until midnight on St Patrick’s Day
The Irish Film Festival London, founded by Kelly O’Connor and now in its tenth year, is an annual event aimed at presenting the latest and greatest Irish film and animation output to UK audiences. This year, the event organised by Irish Film London will not take place with live screenings, as is usually the case, owing to the global emergency caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Nonetheless, the body launched the Online St Patrick's Film Festival London yesterday. The short-film event, fully available online, can be accessed by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Virtual attendees will receive a password instantly and will be able to take part in the festival through www.irishfilmfestivallondon.com/spd-london. It may be a good idea to check your spam folder if you don’t receive the password within a few minutes.
The initiative was made possible by the filmmakers who agreed to share their work online, Elemental Media and Doyley Designs, which took care of the technical part.
Speaking about the initiative, festival founder and director Kelly O’Connor disclosed to Cineuropa: “It was so disappointing to have to cancel our plans for the St Patrick's Film Festival London. It would have included not only cinema screenings, talks, workshops and networking, but also some short films were programmed for the huge outdoor screens in Trafalgar Square, to play to 6,000 people during the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Parade and Festival. We know it was the right call to make and are very relieved not to have put our volunteers, filmmakers and audience in a vulnerable position. But it was so hard to just walk away from it, and we didn't want to just leave it at that. In the days leading up to that decision, as the threat had been rising, I had started to play with the idea of how we could still bring these films to our audience, even if we did end up with these social distancing measures being put in place. And within a few days, an online film festival was born. I hope that the experience we’ve built brings people together for many reasons. Firstly, our festival supports the development of new Irish filmmakers. We showcase the cream of the crop here in London, and help them make connections and get their work seen by some of the right people here. I hope that this online festival still allows for that access and brings them some of the attention they deserve here.”
The festival partners include the Emigrant Support Programme of the Government of Ireland, the Mayor of London’s office, Culture Ireland, the Screen Ireland agency, the Irish Film Institute and the Irish Youth Foundation, among others. Irish Film London’s patrons include Moe Dunford, Colin Farrell, Lenny Abrahamson and Ros Hubbard. The festival will run until midnight on St Patrick’s Day (17 March).
Here is the full list of available shorts:
Give Up Yer Aul Sins: Story of St. Patrick - Darragh O’Connell
Parfum - Graham Cantwell
Parenting - Aoife Nic Ardghail
In Orbit - Katie McNeice
Mourning Murder - Liam Fahy
Blanket - Ken Williams and Denis Fitzpatrick
On My Own - Kristian Young
Gallery Boys - Dave Fox
The British Border - Kenneth Maguire
The Butterfly Love Song - Luke Morgan
Run - Kevin Cassidy
Waves - Emma Zukovic
The Blocks - Gareth Gowran
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