Posts Tagged ‘Irish Film Archive’

Irish Destiny

10 December 2009

Contributed by Seán Lucey

On December 2nd the Irish Film Institute premiered two DVDs released this year, Irish Destiny and Seoda. Irish Destiny is a feature length film set during the war of independence and was originally screened in 1926 to mark the tenth anniversary of the 1916 rising. The film was thought lost until found in the Washington Library of Congress in the early 1990s.  It was restored by the Irish Film Archive who commissioned the renowned pianist, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, to compose a full score for it. Ó Súilleabháin was present at the premiere and not only introduced the film but also played the music live to the film for the opening twenty minutes.

Unsurprisingly, Irish Destiny is full of historical resonance. Filmed in Dublin, Wicklow and Shephard’s Bush, London, it re-enacted famous events during the troubles such as the burning of the Custom House. The film was the brainchild of a Dublin G.P. named Isaac Eppel who was also a theatre impresario and cinema owner. Actual members of the IRA were cast in the film and a former Dublin IRA leader, Kit O’Malley, was enrolled as military advisor to production. Read More

Irish Film Archive: Seoda

3 November 2009

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.