Louth International Film Festival13 October 2021
The Louth International Film Festival presented by the Louth Filmmakers Society in association with DkIT took place on Saturday the 2nd of October in An Táin Arts Centre. The festival programme included 78 short films, a feature film, expert Q & A panel and awards ceremony. The shorts programme was held across two screens throughout the day, showcasing films from Ireland and around the world. It covered drama, documentary, animation and experimental film.
The day opened with a video welcome from one of the festival patrons, Hollywood director John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, The Omen, A Good Day to Die Hard). In the first block of shorts, two American films were screened, ‘Troubled Times’ by Director Jared Crowelle, and ‘Faces After Suicide’ By Director Lindsey Doolittle, who both flew to Ireland to attend the festival.
The curated feature Film ‘County Lines’ was introduced by the film’s producer David Broder. After the screening a Q & A panel was held which included industry practitioners as guests, chaired by DkIT Lecturer Kenneth Sloane. They included Writer and Director Ashlinn Clarke, Director Hannan Quinn, Director of Photography Tim Fleming, Actor and Writer Laurence McKeown and Producer David Broder.
To close the evening the festival held an awards ceremony, the nominations of which were screened over the course of the day. The awards were uniquely handcrafted here in Dundalk by Paul ‘Wick’ Cumiskey at Cofra Kitchens workshop. The LIFF 2021 awards winners: Best Short Fiction went to Ara Devine for ‘Turf’, Best Short Documentary went to Garret Daly for ‘Nothing to Declare’ and Best Student Film went to Radheya Jegatheva for ‘Painted by Numbers’. Although Radheya couldn’t attend the festival because he lives in Australia, he was informed before the ceremony and recorded a video message for the audience accepting the award. Seamus McGarvey ASC, BSC, a festival patron, presented the award for Best Cinematography announcing the winner as Jass Foley for ‘A Haiku To My Mind Via Limerick’.
The festival committee consisted of Festival Director Jay Peter Javeri, Fundraising Director Paul ‘Wick’ Cumiskey, Festival Co-Director Lorcan Dunne, Programme Director Sinéad Murphy, Artistic Director Colm Mullen and Volunteer Manager James Cassidy. The majority of the volunteers were made up of the Louth Filmmakers Society Members and the rest were students from DkIT.
It was one of the first film festivals in the country to have a physical event. DkIT Lecturer and Festival Co-Director, Lorcan Dunne, explained the importance of hosting an event people could attend,
The success of any film festival in my opinion, is the interaction between filmmaker and viewer, to see their films on a big screen with excellent audio-visual presentation, to discuss the films afterwards and network in a relaxed environment.
This year’s festival saw a 25% increase in attendance from the first year of the festival in 2019 despite covid restrictions. Next year's festival is already being planned and it will run across three days. The festival was made possible in part by support from Create Louth, Dundalk Credit Union, Dundalk Institute of Technology and donations from the local community.