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Clare Island Film Festival to screen Man of Aran

Going Out

OPENING ACT Psych-folk singer Áine Tyrrell will perform on the festival’s opening night with singer-songwriter Emily Wurramara, who hails from Groote Island of the north coast of Australia.

All aboard for this seventh edition of the Clare Island Film Festival, which takes place from September 5 to 8. Ireland’s only island based film festival, it claims to be Ireland’s most intimate film festival. Based three miles offshore with an island population of just 150 souls, it is easy to see why. The event is now in its seventh year, and the island is awash with filmmakers for the weekend.
Events kick off on Thursday, September 5, with an intimate gig from the talented Áine Tyrrell and Emily Wurramara in a renovated old stone barn. A unique and stunning double bill of powerful and inspiring performers. These women have already shared bills and performed at festivals across Australia. They are passionate women of the sea, who both sing and speak from the heart. The opening screening takes place on the Friday night.
This year’s highlight is the very special screening on Saturday night of the iconic 1934 film ‘Man Of Aran’, directed by Robert Flaherty. There will be a live, original, contemporary score featuring pedal steel guitar, cello, guitars and electronics by Simon O’Reilly and Alec Brown. Screenings are open to all on a first-come, first-served basis, so no tickets in advance.
John Brennan of Blakes Always Organic attended the festival last year and was enchanted by the island and the event. When he heard about the lack of funding available to the festival he decided there and then to get involved. Plans to bring the classic Man of Aran with a live score to the festival piqued his interest, and he offered to sponsor the screening. Blakes will be joining from their Leitrim HQ and supplying festival goers with samples of their organic coffee and kefir drinks.
The remainder of the screenings will be a feast of easily digestible short films. The programme includes a documentary slot and a Mayo Film slot, where all the films screened will have a Mayo connection.
Filmmakers will once again be in attendance to talk about their work, and this aspect of the festival has proved a real hit with audiences. Festival goer Cathy Waddell commented: “The eclectic mix of films provided an outlet for an array of emotions - joy, sadness, awe, wonder, fear....clearly visible on the blinking faces exiting the cinema. A particular treat was having some of the filmmakers present in such an intimate setting to discuss their work and give advice and encouragement to young filmmakers starting out on their creative journey.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Cora Keating, festival chairperson: “Like Bob Quinn coming here to make ground-breaking films in the past, we hope that through our festival and collaborations we can play a small part in inspiring the next generation of island filmmakers.”
Keating also put out a call for collaborators to help the festival grow: “We see the festival evolving organically and are delighted with our progress to date. With the lack of funding and continuous cuts to supports for the arts in this country, we feel the future for smaller organisations and events is through collaboration and mutual support. We are open to working and collaborating with like-minded people and organisations.”

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