A still from 'Saving the Turf' by Fiona Breen, one of several Midlands-based films to be screened in Berlin.

Birr festival goes international this week!

Birr’s OFFline Film Festival is going international this week with its curation of the programme for the first-ever Irish Film Berlin.

This brand-new showcase of Irish screen creativity is taking place from May 26-28 at Berlin´s arthouse cinema, ACUD-Kino.

One of the main aims of the festival is to spotlight filmmaking in different regions in Ireland and this year the focus is on the Irish Midlands with films made in Birr/Offaly and by Offaly filmmakers being screened.

On Saturday 28 May, ‘Made in Midlands’ will feature hand-picked award-winning films distilled from: FilmOffaly bursary films, Screen Ireland-funded shorts, OFFline Animation Residency shorts as well as independent productions.

Films that will be screened include IFTA award-winning animations; The Dream Report by Jack O’Shea and Soft Tissue by Clíona Noonan which were both made in Birr on the OFFline Animation Residency; Saving the Turf by Birr filmmaker Fiona Breen and IFTA award-winning short, Nothing to Declare, by Daingean’s Garret Daly.

These filmmakers are also travelling to Berlin to accompany their films and special Q&A sessions to give the audience context to these visual treats after seeing them on the big screen.

A return visit by Berlin filmmakers to Offaly is anticipated for October, with a special programme of German films to be shown at OFFline Film Festival 2023 in Birr.

OFFline has been bringing cultural cinema to Irish audiences since 2010. Speaking ahead of Irish Film Berlin, OFFLine Director, Gary Hoctor said: “This is such a unique chance for us to bring Irish filmmakers and their work to the Berlin public. As evidenced by the IFTA win for our Animation Residency short Soft Tissue only recently, the quality of the films on show will surprise and delight the local audience.”

Irish Film Berlin is the initiative of Denis Madden, director of European Tech Hub Network, based in Birr and Berlin. A supporter of stronger Irish-German cultural and business relationships, Denis is keen to bring regional Irish film talent to his Berlin base and vice versa.

“With the huge focus on and success of the Irish film industry this year, and no regular screenings of Irish films in Berlin, it feels like the perfect time to re-establish a showcase festival. Irish and German filmmakers will get to meet their counterparts and the seeds of future collaborations will hopefully be sown. Showcase events and an established platform are also incredibly important for the Irish diaspora and ongoing promotion of Ireland and Irish culture in Germany.”

“While our first event will have a “Made In Midlands” programme focus, plans for future events will reflect the wider Irish film catalogue and we will hold events in other German cities. An additional objective this year is also to build a sustainable festival team of film lovers and filmmakers to support film events and industry connections in future years. In a nutshell though, this year will bring great festival films from Birr to Berlin, and later Berlin films to Birr.”

Irish Film Berlin is a collaboration between European Tech Hub and OFFline Film Festival and is kindly supported by the Irish Embassy Berlin and other private sponsors.

For more information visit https://irishfilmberlin.ie/