Wednesday 28 October 2009

Kino in Cork will Close

The Irish Times reports today that Kino, Cork's arthouse cinema, will be closing next month after a firm of architects began a High Court proceeding to recover €50,000 owed for design work.

Mr Hannigan said the debt arose from a plan he developed in 2003 to expand the 188-seat single-screen cinema into a three-screen facility with a total capacity of some 360 seats.

"We had got a grant of €750,000 from the Arts Council and the Film Board for the project which was costing around €3 million in total. I had managed to secure substantial borrowings but we were still left with a shortfall of around €1 million," he explained.

"Because of that shortfall, we were unable to proceed with the work so we never drew down the grant money but . . . we had to do a considerable amount of preparatory work including getting a design done and that's where the debt stems from.

"It's ironic really that our plan to actually expand the arthouse facilities in Cork has now resulted in the city losing its only dedicated arthouse cinema," said Mr Hannigan, who established the Kino in a former pool hall on Washington Street in November 1996.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

James Parriott Interview

On the BBC Writersroom web site there is an extensive interview with US screenwriter and showrunner James Parriott (Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Sons of Anarchy).

In it he talks about pitching, how the Writers' Room works in America for creating television series, and the changes he foresees in how television programmes will be funded in the coming years.

The piece is well worth reading.

Digital Theatre Download

The Stage reports that theatrical live productions from prestigious companies, filmed in high definition, will be available to download from a new web site called Digital Theatre.

Launching this week, the first two productions to available to buy will be English Touring Theatre's Far From the Madding Crowd, recorded at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, and The Container, presented in association with the Young Vic and Amnesty International. Currently, Digital Theatre is working with five partner theatre companies - the RSC, Young Vic, Royal Court, ETT and the Almeida Theatre Company.

The initiative has been set up by theatre director Robert Delamere and TV and radio producer Tom Shaw. Five shows will be made available in the first season, with future productions due to be announced and available for download shortly. Royalties from the shows will be paid to the theatres involved, as well as creatives and performers and agreements have been reached between Digital Theatre and Equity and Bectu over payments to participants.

ETT director Rachel Tackley said the filmed version of its show "cleverly captures the raw energy and dynamism of the live production", while Royal Court director Dominic Cooke said that "the potential of digital technology to connect with a worldwide audience is genuinely exciting."

Monday 26 October 2009

Cork Festival Talks Industry

The 54th Corona Cork Film Festival takes place from November 1-8, and will offer a splendid array of premières, documentaries, film tributes, special guests, exhibitions, short films, animations, workshops, and courses.

In association with MEDIA Desk Ireland the festival will be coordinating a discussion about film production at the University College Cork, on Friday, November 6th from 2.30pm to 5pm.

"Having been impressed by the cultural and economic enquiry of the recent Global Irish Economic Forum, we invite those active in the Irish film, television and new media sector to attend the Cork forum to engage in reflection and debate," says Festival Director, Mick Hannigan.

"In the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, we are delighted to partner with the MEDIA supported Cork Film Festival in this creative forum which will allow for blue sky thinking," Siobhan O'Donoghue, CEO of MEDIA Desk Ireland continues.

Screen Producers Ireland will host a networking reception for the event’s participants. For further information contact MEDIA Desk Ireland.

Thursday 22 October 2009

The Abbey Stays Put

The Irish Times reports today that the Abbey Theatre will remain in its current location for at least another five to six years as the Office of Public Works (OPW) has initiated a feasibility study on the possibility of relocating it in the GPO.

Minister of State for the OPW Martin Mansergh said a "considerable degree of pressure has been taken off the Abbey Theatre" because of its recent refurbishment. "It is quite happy it will be able to continue for the next five or six years until a new site is developed, hopefully in time for the centenary of the Rising in 2016."

He told the Dáil that to date €219,590.32 had been spent in the development of a new national theatre. The Government had originally decided to relocate the Abbey to a site at George's dock.

Dr Mansergh said the work done was "project specific", not "site specific", and "the vast majority of it could be transferred into the GPO if that is the decision".

Fine Gael arts spokeswoman Olivia Mitchell described the GPO proposal as a "red herring" and said the preparation for a design competition had been going on for years. "Three Ministers have dealt with it and it still has not been announced." She would have loved the GPO as a location "if it had come up five or six years ago when it was first announced". But she was concerned that "it is merely a time-wasting exercise".

The Eclipse wins at Stiges

The Eclipse, the supernatural drama written and directed by Conor McPherson, won the prestigious Melies D'Argent Award for Best European Motion Picture at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival in Spain, one of Europe's largest fantasy and horror film festivals.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

European Commisson Tackles Digitisation and Copyright

The European Commission had adopted a Communication on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy, which aims to tackle the issue of legal challenges of mass-scale digitisation and dissemination of books, particularly in relation to the European library collections.

The Communication was jointly drawn up by Commissioners Charlie McCreevy and Viviane Reding. Digital libraries such as Europeana will provide researchers and consumers across Europe with new ways to gain access to knowledge. For this, however, the EU will need to find a solution for orphan works, whose uncertain copyright status means they often cannot be digitised. Improving the distribution and availability of works for persons with disabilities, particularly the visually impaired, is another cornerstone of the Communication.

On adoption, Commissioners McCreevy and Reding stressed that the debate over the Google Books Settlement in the United States once again has shown that Europe could not afford to be left behind on the digital frontier.

"We must boost Europe as a centre of creativity and innovation. The vast heritage in Europe's libraries cannot be left to languish but must be made accessible to our citizens", Commissioner McCreevy, responsible for the Internal Market, stated.

Commissioner Reding, in charge of Information Society and Media, said: "Important digitisation efforts have already started all around the globe. Europe should seize this opportunity to take the lead, and to ensure that books digitisation takes place on the basis of European copyright law, and in full respect of Europe's cultural diversity. Europe, with its rich cultural heritage, has most to offer and most to win from books digitisation. If we act swiftly, pro-competitive European solutions on books digitisation may well be sooner operational than the solutions presently envisaged under the Google Books Settlement in the United States."

The Communication addresses the actions that the Commission intends to launch: digital preservation and dissemination of scholarly and cultural material and of orphan works, as well as access to knowledge for persons with disabilities. The challenges identified by the Commission today stem from last year's public consultation on a Green Paper ( IP/08/1156 ), the Commission's High Level Group on Digital Libraries and the experiences gained with Europe's Digital Library Europeana (IP/09/1257).

The recent information hearings held by the Commission on the Google Books Settlement Agreement highlighted the anomalous situation that would arise were the

Settlement to be approved, namely that the vast number of European works in U.S. libraries that have been digitised by Google would only be available to consumers and researchers in the U.S. but not in Europe itself. Ensuring that Europeans are given access to their own cultural heritage, while European authors are fairly remunerated, is therefore of immediate concern and will require European responses, as recently stressed jointly by Commissioners Reding and McCreevy (MEMO/09/376)

Digital Preservation and Dissemination

The Commission will now engage in a stakeholder dialogue to find viable solutions for simple and cost-efficient rights clearance covering mass-scale digitisation and the online dissemination of library collections still protected by copyright. This concerns both out-of-print works and orphan works, i.e. works whose owner cannot be identified or located.

Orphan Works

The digitisation and dissemination of orphan works pose a particular cultural and economic challenge – the absence of a known rightholder means that users are unable to obtain the required authorisation, e.g. a book cannot be digitised. Orphan works represent a substantial part of the collections of Europe's cultural institutions (e.g., the British Library estimates that 40 percent of its copyrighted collections are orphan 1 ). The Commission will now examine this phenomenon more in detail via an impact assessment. The aim is for an EU-wide solution to facilitate the digitisation and dissemination of orphan works and the establishment of common 'due diligence' standards to recognise orphan status across the EU. First progress in this respect has already been made by the ARROW (Accessible Registries of Rights information and Orphan works) project which gathers national libraries, collective management organisations and publishers and is co-funded by the European Commission under the eContent plus programme (€ 2.5 million). This project (launched in November 2008 ) is aimed at identifying rights holders and clarifying the rights status of a work, including whether it is out of print or orphan: "The EU-funded ARROW project is a first step to link Europe's different rights registries and make it easier to identify rights holders," said Commissioners Reding and McCreevy today: " We call on national libraries, collective management organisations and publishers to build on this good start and work with the Commission to develop a pro-competitive and pan-European system of book registries that will allow for cross-border licensing under a transparent and affordable pricing system, while ensuring a fair remuneration of authors."

Access for Persons with Disabilities

Persons with disabilities experience obstacles in accessing information. In particular, visually impaired people experience a "book famine" – only 5% of European publications are available in accessible formats, a situation compounded by restrictions on cross-border distribution, even between countries sharing a language. A stakeholder forum on the needs of disabled persons, in particular visually impaired persons, will examine policy responses, including ways to encourage the unencumbered EU trade of works in accessible formats.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Douglas Hyde Conference 2009

The Irish Times reported yesterday on the Douglas Hyde Conference 2009 that took place last weekend in Roscommon. Its theme was Culture and the Economy: Creativity and Innovation in Post Boom Ireland

The piece quotes from several of the conference speakers, such as Garry Hynes, founder and director of Druid Theatre Company, poet Alice Lyons, and our own David Kavanagh, chief executive of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild.

Monday 19 October 2009

Cinemagic Workshops

The Coca-Cola Cinemagic Film and Television Festival for Young People, which is taking place during from 18 November - 4th December 2009 in Belfast, is seeking young people aged 16-25 to participate in their ‘Talent Lab’ and Masterclass series - covering topics such as screen fighting, casting, makeup, production, acting and screenwriting amongst others.

The 2009 Masterclass lineup for the Cinemagic Festival includes: ‘Fights for Stage and Screen’ with Youngblood’s fight director Tim Klotz (Shakespeare’s Globe, Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Festival Hall); ‘Make-up for Film’ with Academy Award winning hair and make-up artist Christine Blundell (Topsy Turvy, Casino Royale, Sherlock Holmes); costume design guidance from Academy Award winning designer Jenny Beavan (A Room with a View, Gosford Park, Alexander); a script writing lesson with Ryan Rowe (Tapeheads, Run’s House, I’m on Fire); a film production session with Terry Bamber (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Phantom of the Opera) and David Cain (Thunderbirds, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Hannibal Rising), casting advice from casting director Ros Hubbard (The Commitments, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum), and location management pointers with Andrew Wilson (City of Ember, Middletown, Breakfast on Pluto).

Cinemagic are running other special events in November. Amongst these is an ‘In Conversation with’ session with Muppets Potto and Hilda on November 20th who will be screening ‘Sesame Tree’, the Northern Ireland adaptation of ‘Sesame Street’. There will also be an acting masterclass with IFTA winning actor Ciaran Hinds (The Eclipse) on November 23rd where the actor will deliver a practical workshop in acting for film. Another masterclass being held on the same day is the Channel 4 Programme Making Workshop, hosted by Neil McCallum (head of music at Channel 4) and other members of the Channel 4 Production Team, which aims to expand the skills of individuals who already have gained a degree of experience in areas such as presenting, producing and directing. The Channel 4 Programme making workshop will run for two days.

Friday 16 October 2009

DEAF 2009

Next week see the launch of the eight Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (22 - 31st October, 2009).

DEAF's focus is on the experimental, and the intersection between music, art, film and the public. It attempts to promote a genuine inclusiveness in its approach to showcasing the electronic arts to new audiences in Ireland.

The festival will be running films, workshops, gallery showings, talks and of course live gigs.

Thursday 15 October 2009

Crafting the scene

Filmbase is running a new three-day screenwriting course called "Crafting the Scene", which will be taught by Mary Kate O'Flanagan.

This course offers writers and people collaborating with writers the chance to learn how to craft a scene effectively. There will be one evening lecture to put this work in context, on creating dramatic tension across the span of a feature film or television drama.

TUTOR: Mary Kate O Flanagan works as a script consultant with writers and producers internationally. She trained to teach screenwriting using the Frank Daniel approach with David Howard, author of The Tools of Screenwriting and How to Build a Great Screenplay and Martin Daniel, Professor of Screenwriting at USC.

"I would rank Mary Kate on the highest international level in terms of her knowledge of filmmaking, her contributions to the creative process, and her expertise in dealing with screenwriters." Philip La Zebnik. Screenwriter, Mulan, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt.

Participants will learn to:
  • give a scene its own tension, narrative drive and reversal.
  • decide whose scene it is and what choice is more effective.
  • orchestrate the rhythm of a scene
  • how to choose where to come in and where to leave a scene for maximum effect, using visuals in counterpoint to dialogue and the skills involved in crafting key scenes.

Cost:: €325 waged / €300 unwaged, and it requires a €60 deposit.
It will run from 10.00am - 5.30pm on the 6th, 7th & 8th November.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Arts Delegates Meet Government Committee

IFTN reports today that a number of representatives from the Arts community appeared before the the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to discuss the future funding of the Arts.

The delegation included Emmy-winning actor Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges), authors Colum McCann (Zoli) and Sebastian Barry (The Secret Scripture), as well as the chairman of the Arts Council Pat Moylan, Arts Council director Mary Cloake, director of the Abbey Theatre, Fiach Mac Conghail and artistic director of the Druid Theatre Company Garry Hynes.

Speaking after the meeting, Chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Deputy Tom Kitt told IFTN it had been a "very productive" day:

"We had meetings today for two and a half hours with representatives of the arts council and very distinguished artists such as Brendan Gleeson, Sebastian Barry, Colum McCann and of course Pat Moylan and Mary Cloake from the Arts Council all of whom came to discuss the seriousness of the situation regarding funding of the Irish arts in this time of economic hardship, laying particular emphasis on the McCarthy report.

The most significant part of the day, for me, was hearing the personal experiences of artists such as Brendan Gleeson and both Colum McCann and Sebastian Barry. It was a very powerful way to defend the arts funding in that all three bore witness to the fact that their respective breakthroughs came as a result of arts committee funding. Brendan Gleeson mentioned, in particular, the help he has received from the Irish Film Board."

Following today's meeting, Chairman Kitt indicated he plans to write to Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan to confirm his support for the arts in Ireland.

He commented: "As a result of today's discussions I am now writing a letter to the Finance Minister to explain that having met with the joint committee of the Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and following the presentations of several distinguished Irish arts representatives I now strongly support the campaign which asks that the funding of the Irish arts, which is central to Irish culture, be maintained at the present level and I also today suggested the possibility of a system of tax relief for new artists."

RTE Call for Ideas

RTÉ Entertainment is looking for ideas for high energy, popular entertainment programming for 9:30pm on Saturday evenings on RTÉ ONE.

For all information click here:


RTÉ requests that producers submit proposals into the eCommissioning system no later than noon on Friday 16th October 2009.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Irish eQuinoxe

Irish screenwriters Brian Ó Tiomáin and Shane Grealy Perez have been chosen as part of a group of nine European writers to attend the latest Equinoxe screenwriting workshop currently being held in Elmau, Bavaria in Germany.

The residential workshop sees experienced industry advisors work intensively with screenwriters on selected scripts. Advisors include James V Hart, writer of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and renowned script supervisor An gela Allen, who started her career on The Third Man and went on to work with countless luminaries and thirteen of John Huston's films.

Brian Ó Tiomáin is from Dublin and writes in Irish and English and has won prizes in the Oireachtas Irish language literary awards over the last five consecutive years. He has been selected for Equinoxe with Dublin Stories, a coming-of-age story about two inner city boys growing up on the periphery of a gang war.

Transplanted New Yorker Shane Perez resides in Galway and comes to Equinoxe with his screenplay Blood & Sand, about a soldier serving in Iraq who discovers he fathered a son during the first Gulf War 14 years earlier. Blood & Sand won Best Screenplay at the London Independent Film Festival in March 2009.

The Equinoxe Screenwriting Workshop runs twice a year and the next workshop will be taking place in the West of Ireland in April 2010. The deadline for applications for the workshop is 3 November 2009.

Monday 12 October 2009

Irish Film Board Saved

The Irish Times reported on Saturday that Fianna Fáil and the Green Party have agreed to a revised programme for government that includes the retention of the Irish Film Board.

Speaking on behalf of the National Campaign for the Arts, Tania Banotti welcomed the decision:

"The Film Board is a specialised agency which has built up a unique expertise in the area of film finance and it would have been a terrible shame if it had been axed. We warmly welcome the government's decision."

Friday 9 October 2009

TG4 Drama Competition

Údar is a new development scheme that offers Irish-speaking writers/directors an opportunity to adapt a well-known piece of work for television and to bring it from the basic script stage to the broadcasting stage.

The scheme, which is co-sponsored by TG4 and Skillnet, is open to Irish language writers from all over the country, whether they have screen experience or not, and to directors who wish to gain experience in television drama through Irish.

To start the process each applicant must choose an original piece of work in Irish, for example a recognised short story. The applicant can arrange the work in his or her own way by building on the outline of the original work (adhering to the time in which it is set) or by bringing it up-to-date. The most important development, however, is to make the work suitable for the television screen.

The outline of the story and 12 pages of sample script (a number of scenes) must be enclosed when sending the application form to us.

Additional information is available by ringing 091-558492 or by emailing

Applicants will be competing in a script competition. From this competition nine will be selected to attend craft master-classes conducted by a script editor where each proposal will be developed further.

6 dramas will be chosen for television production from the nine proposed scripts. These will be developed in the directing workshop before being produced and broadcasted on TG4 in 2010.

Application forms are available from the web site, and the deadline is midday, 16 November 2009.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Create n Innovate

Create 'n' Innovate '09 is a conference going on in Belfast from 11-12 November 2009 that will include presentations, panels and workshops highlighting and exploring ideas and good practice in creativity and innovation, and its importance for our future.

Speakers and panellists from across the UK - keynote from Feargal Sharkey, CEO of UK Music, and panel discussions with creative practitioners, representatives from the business sector, educators, researchers and policy makers.

An amazing array of 12 workshop and presentation sessions where you will be stimulated and challenged – led by people such as Baba Israel, New York hip hop emcee, poet and beatboxer who now runs Contact Theatre in Manchester; Cathy Hunt from Australia who will present the development of Australian indigenous art; Stephen Feber who will be creative about the amazing new Heartlands development project in Cornwall; Marek Banczyk who has worked on a development strategy for Poznan, a "second city" in Poland; Jan Runge, one of the authors of the recent "Creativity in Europe" report; Venu Dhupa who will challenge us on our understanding of what these words mean; Sharon Taylor who will look at the relationships between creative professionals in schools; Raj Isar who will take examine some of the assumptions sometimes made about the successes and failures in this area; and Pia Alebrad from TILLT in Sweden which works on projects where artists are based in everyday workplaces.

Information on how to join the conference is available on the web site.

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Kilkenny Arts Act Grants

Kilkenny County Council is looking for applications for its Arts Act Grants 2009.

Any organisation or individual based in the Kilkenny administrative area involved in activities, which promote, develop the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts is eligible to apply for the Arts Act Grant.

The Arts includes:
Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, Film, Artistic Craftsmanship, Literature, Dance, Photography, and Multi-disciplinary events.

The grant divided into three categories:
  1. Groups and Organisations promoting the Arts
  2. Equipment Purchasing Grant
  3. Individual Artists - all art forms - to enable them to pursue their practice and to develop within their chosen discipline, including Professional Development and the purchase of equipment.
Closing date for receipt of completed applications is no later than 4pm on Wednesday 4th November 2009.

Information on how to apply is available on the web site.

Friday 2 October 2009

Cullen Defends the Arts

Martin Cullen, the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, appeared on the RTÉ Radio 1 show, Arts Tonight, on September 28.

He discussed with Vincent Woods future strategies for the Arts in Ireland, and stressed that he does not intend cutting the Artist's Tax Exemption, getting rid of Culture Ireland, or the Irish Film Board.

He promised to publish a recent DKM consultant report that indicates that the added value from the Arts was over €11.8 billion in 2008. He pointed out that Cultural Tourism is expected to grow by about 15% in the coming years, and added:

Why at a time when we have hard facts in front of us would we be undermining where we are world leaders? And we're not world leaders in many areas. But clearly in the whole area of artistic endeavour, in the general area of culture and arts, we are world leaders, and that's something that has to be minded and guarded.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Why the Arts are Important

Here are the central tenets of the The National Campaign for the Arts:

Why the arts are central to economic and social recovery:

1.The arts and our reputational capital

Every day without fail, on the world’s cinema screens, bookshelves, theatres and concert stages, Irish artists are our perpetual trade mission, defending and redeeming our global reputation at a time when it is under the most rigorous scrutiny, and offering the most spirited riposte to the perception of a nation in duress. We are economically bloodied, we are culturally unbowed.

"Most Americans encounter Ireland today through culture: whether that is Irish dance and music, Irish film, Irish writing or an Irish play on Broadway. We have to be prepared to invest in our cultural infrastructure here, as we do in Ireland. As a first step, I am asking Culture Ireland with the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism and the Department of Foreign Affairs, to prepare a series of high profile cultural events in this country in 2011 to take advantage of recovery". Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Spring 2009, speaking in New York.

"The Government firmly believes that our cultural and artistic reputation is one of our most potent calling cards internationally and it is imperative that we continue to fund and support activity in this sector in the coming years."- Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism at Edinburgh Festival, Aug 09
  • According to the statistics compiled from box office host venues presenting Irish work overseas verify that over 500,000 people worldwide attended a theatre and/or dance performance by an Irish company in 2008.
  • 1 Tony Award 2008, five nominations
  • 2 Academy Awards 2008, five nominations
  • 2 Golden Globes 2009, three nominations
  • Man Booker Prize winners 2005 and 2007, shortlisted 2004, 2008, longlisted 2009
  • 7 Edinburgh Fringe Firsts for Irish theatre and dance shows over three years (2005-2008)
2. The arts and the smart economy

Since long before the term existed, the arts have been our greatest creative industry, and today the arts brilliantly foster those attributes so important to the smart economy that is vital to our future collective wellbeing. Lateral thinking, big ideas, resourcefulness and invention, problem solving, vision and originality find full expression in the output of Irish artists, and their work percolates every walk of Irish life. Our artistic community is a nerve that flexes the creative economy muscle.
"Ireland is hugely successful in the arts. Innovation is about creativity and skills, just like art is. Princeton has decided on a drastic expansion of its arts departments. You will not be able to get a degree in electrical engineering from Princeton without having followed a class in drama. The reasoning is that anyone can acquire skills, but the competitive edge is in creativity. Ireland beats Princeton hands down in the arts.

– Dr. Richard Tol, Research Professor, ESRI

3.The arts and cultural tourism

There is a reason that visitors are still compelled to travel here in their thousands, dispersing billions in our local economies in the process. Cultural tourism is a genuine growth industry in Ireland, and just as with our landscape and heritage, the arts have a starring role in how we give our visitors a unique cultural experience, from our mighty international festivals of the performing arts to our vivid traditional music by a convivial fireside hearth. Long before they arrive, it’s our writers, filmmakers and touring performers who whet their appetite to come.

"Ireland enjoys a rich cultural heritage that is central to whom we are. This is a clear attraction for those who wish to visit Ireland and is appreciated by those who spend time here.”

- Tourism Ireland, A New Strategy for Cultural Tourism in Ireland
  • Cultural Tourism is worth over €2 billion to the economy – this includes both domestic and overseas tourism. Source: Failte Ireland Survey of Overseas Travellers/CSO Travel and Tourism
4. The arts and employment

Culture and the creative sector generate 170,000 jobs, a significant ratio of them in the arts, among them practitioners, technicians, producers, curators, publishers and the other highly skilled disciplines that work together to create art from Ireland. We are an indigenous industry, active in every county, we are wholly Irish owned and we are exporters. Our earnings are not repatriated, and we are spending locally.

5. The arts and the national psyche

Our artists steer a course for shore when the waters around us become uncertain. They are a celebration of our shared gift for self expression, our capacity for resilience and reinvention, and a mechanism for us to heal and resonate, understand and reconnect. The artist’s voice is woven into our discourse, reconciling the past, imagining a future, and as important now as at any of the precipitous moments when our forefathers called upon its counsel. The citizenship of the artist is always active.

"We need to listen to everyone who has something to contribute; yes the business sector and the financial experts, but also the social entrepreneurs and innovators, the teachers who educate our children, social workers and activists …. We should also listen to our creative artists." – Former President Mary Robinson at Beál na mBláth, August 2009.

The National Campaign for the Arts wants:
  • Retention of Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide
  • Retention of The Irish Film Board, development agency of the Irish film industry
  • Maintenance of existing levels of funding to the Arts Council
  • Retention of the artists income tax exemption scheme
  • Commitment to retain the arts portfolio at cabinet as part of a senior ministerial portfolio

Hotel Darklight Selections

Hotel Darklight, a Darklight Festival filmmaking endeavour, is pleased to announce the successful applicants for the project:

  • "Derval" written by Paul Markey, directed by Brian O'Toole
  • "Heaven in a Wildflower" written by Sinead Fagan, directed by Dolores Rice
  • "Hotel Training" written by Maura McHugh, directed by Conor McMahon
  • "Lonely Hearts" written and directed by Ciaran Foy
  • "My Regards to the Chef" written by Eilis Mernagh, directed by Kian Petit
  • "Noughts and Crosses" written by Barry McLoughlin, diercted by Alan Brennan
  • "Play Dead" written and directed by James Phelan
  • "Prejudice" written and directed by Paul Walker
  • "St Mary" written by Gerry Creechan & Paul Markey, and directed by Brian O'Toole
Producers Alan Keane and Declan Lynch received 80+ pitch documents for the available slots on the project. The entire slate of films was shot in a week, with the help of a coffee-fuelled production team, and on the strength of good-will and passion for new filmmaking. A fund-raiser to cover extra costs will be happening in the coming week.

The première of the Hotel Darklight anthology film will feature as the closing event of the Darklight Festival, on Saturday, 10th of October, at 9.30pm in the Light House Cinema, Dublin.

Visual Artists' Grant

The Arts Council invites applications for grants towards the cost of equipment and/or improvements to the quality of artists' workspaces. This follows the Council's recent Review of Visual Artists' Workspaces in Ireland which recognised the need for capital investment in visual artists' workspaces.

The scheme will award capital grants of up to €5,000 to purchase/maintain essential equipment for the use of artists and/or to undertake improvements to the quality of the artists' workspace. The total fund available is up to €97,000.

The closing date for the Minor Capital Scheme is Thursday 5 November at 5.30pm.

How to apply:
The scheme is administered by Visual Artists Ireland on behalf of the Arts Council. Applications should be sent in hard copy and electronic format (word format) to:

Minor Capital Visual Artists' Workspaces 2009,
Visual Artists Ireland,
37 North Great Georges Street,
Dublin 1

For applications forms and further information please contact Bernadette Beecher in Visual Artists Ireland on info [AT] or (+353) 1 8722296.