Short films wanted for screening in Bealtaine Festival 2012

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    Avatar photoSeanBreathnach

    Howard (CINE-CAFE, Halloween Festival of Gothic Horrors) is seeking films for another edition of Bealtaine, the nationwide festival held annually at this time of year.

    May is almost upon us and will see yet another edition of Bealtaine, the nationwide festival held annually at this time of year for the last sixteen years or so, co-ordinated by Age & Opportunity, an Irish organisation working to promote greater participation by older people in society. The largest co-operative arts festival in Ireland and possibly its biggest arts festival. Bealtaine is a genuine ‘first’ in cultural terms: an Irish innovation now receiving international recognition which Age & Opportunity hopes will help to bring about a shift in attitudes and practices for older people to participate fully and meaningfully in the arts. This vision is in line with Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by which "everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts".

    Last year was the second consecutive year that CINE-CAFE participated in Bealtaine by putting on a number of free screenings during the month of May, at different venues around Dublin, of a specially-themed selection of recent short films all of which featured older-aged people to the fore in their principal cast and/or crew, both to entertain and also to illustrate Bealtaine’s overall theme over the years of ‘celebrating creativity in older age’ in one of the most modern of all art forms.

    The show was called ‘Older…?” and its programme made good use of the significant number of recent Irish short films that suit its theme: think ‘Teeth’ (featuring actors Niall Tobin and Niall O’Brien), ‘The Wednesdays’ (featuring actors such as Des Keogh and Pat Laffan) and ‘Rolla Saor’, all of which were made with Irish Film Board funding. A host of other suitable films have also been made, either with funding from elsewhere or self-funded eg Ken Wardrop’s ‘Undressing My Mother’, ‘Farewell Packets of Ten’ and ‘Bongo Bong”, Brendan Muldowney’s ‘The Ten Steps’ and Conor Horgan’s ‘The Last Time’.

    As in the last two years, this CINE-CAFE special will tour to various locations around Dublin, showing the shorts at cafes, bistros, community centres, arts centres and pubs – indeed at any venue that has a plasma-size tv or a ‘big screen’ with the capacity to show short films in dvd format. Next Tuesday (May the 1st) our first screening event of Bealtaine 2012 will take place from 3pm onwards in the Exchange-Dublin Arts Centre in Exchange Street Upper, Temple Bat D2. On Monday 7th May there will be another screening of the specially-themed show at the Exchange, again at 3pm.

    Howard is also seeking loans of additional short films that suit the special theme of this film show and fit in with the express theme of Bealtaine: ‘celebrating creativity as we age’ (note it has been slightly tweaked this year, compared with the former version that I mention in my second paragraph above). If anyone reading this has made a short and feels it might be suitable, you can contact Howard by e-mail at if you’re prepared to lend a copy of it for possible showing during one of this year’s screenings of Older?:Wiser! (the slightly-amended title of this year’s ‘special’ for Bealtaine 2012).

    The specially-themed film showcase will also be travelling to venues outside Dublin: this year, arrangements have been made to screen it at the Roundy Bar in Cork and at a similar venue in Galway (for which final confirmation is awaited) and he is in contact with a number of other venues in towns outside Dublin at present, with a view to finding a suitable local premises in which to hold a screening of the show.

    Avatar photoSeanBreathnach

    CORRECTION: The next screening of the specially-themed show Older?:Wiser! at the Exchange is actually not on until Wednesday 10th May at 3pm. Howard is holding a different event there on Monday 7th, namely the May session of the First Monday Poetry Sessions.

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