Irish Film Archive: Seoda

By Lisa Marie Griffith

Irish film InstituteThe Irish Film Institute is hosting an evening 2 December to mark two important landmarks in the history of Irish Film. Irish Destiny, the 1926 love story set during the War of Independence, will be released on DVD.

The Irish Film Institute will also release their own DVD, Seoda. An integral part of the Irish Film Institute is the Irish Film Archive. The Institute’s mission statement for the archive is to acquire, preserve and make ‘available Ireland’s moving image heritage’, they work ‘to ensure Ireland’s rich and varied film history (both amateur and commercial) is protected and accessible, for the benefit of current and future generations’. As part of the ‘Reel Ireland initiative’ this year the institute toured Ireland and screening films from their archive. They also run film festivals and seasons to promote Irish films, historic documentaries and documentaries from history, as well as the archive itself. The archive also has a  ‘paper collection’; documents relating to the history of Irish film which includes several significant collections from film companies and houses in Ireland. An invaluable archive for twentieth century social, economic and, cultural historians the archive is constantly acquiring reels and expanding their collection.

To mark this work on 2 December they are releasing Seoda, a collection of eleven short Irish films from the 1940s to the 1970s. The shorts deal with a broad range of topics such as ‘health and hygiene, emigration, politics, savings and tourism.’ This will be a valuable addition to twentieth century history making ‘reel’ history easily accessible for those who do not specialise in this field and it will be a useful tool for the classroom.

Both DVDs are now available at the Irish Film Institute bookshop.

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3 Responses to “Irish Film Archive: Seoda”

  1. Alan Menchious Says:

    Unfortunately, the films on this ‘Seoda’ DVD, originally in 4:3 format, have been chopped at the top and bottom to fit widescreen. Luckily I noticed this before I was about to buy it, so quickly put it back on the shelf.
    It seems insane to me that someone at the IFI would see fit to butcher old films like this. Frustrating and irritating in equal measure.

  2. wandles Says:

    This is because the series was originally made for broadcast on TG4, and the widescreen format was a requirement for transmission.

  3. wandles Says:

    Also, you will notice that the other IFI release Irish Destiny, which was not broadcast on television is in its original aspect ratio.

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