23/10/2014 : Minister Humphreys officially opens the Clones Film Festival

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, is this evening (Thursday) officially opening the Clones Film Festival. The Festival, which is now in its 13th year, runs over four days until Sunday. The festival aims to give a local audience access to non-commercial films which they might not otherwise get to see.

The main feature of this evening’s event is Na Píobairí Uilleann, a documentary about the 1968 gathering of pipers that saved the uilleann pipes from extinction, produced by Ballybay native Deaglán Ó Mocháin of Dearcán Media.

Speaking this evening, Minister Humphreys said:

“It is great to be in my home county of Monaghan to kick off what is a fantastic local film festival. The next four days will be the annual highlight in a series of events held by the festival committee, including screenings of films in Clones Courthouse over the winter months, an outdoor summer screening on the wall of Clones Library in August and a drive-in screening in September.

“Film is one of the most accessible and therefore popular art forms. But festivals such as this one give local audiences access to top quality non-commercial films which might otherwise go below their radar. This festival has fostered a great interest and respect for film making and the work of independent film makers here in Clones.

“The Government fully recognises the importance of investing in and nurturing creative talent. The Irish Film Board, which is funded by my Department, plays a major role in fostering and supporting creative talent in Ireland. Over the course of 2013, the funding arm of the IFB directly invested €7.5 million in feature film, television drama and animation projects. This enabled Irish producers to raise €59.5 million, which was invested directly into the Irish economy through employment and spend on local goods and services. This helps to gives us a domestic film industry we can be proud of, and provides Irish actors, writers and directors with a creative launchpad for their work.

“The Government sees the film sector as a very important source of job creation. The Irish audio visual sector supports about 6,000 jobs; these are people employed in both home grown and international productions. The Section 481 Film Tax Relief Scheme for the film sector is crucial in attracting major international producers to Ireland, and I was very pleased to get a commitment from Minister Michael Noonan in the Budget that he will look at increasing the €50 million cap for eligible projects.

“But while attracting the big budget productions to Ireland is very important, small, local events like this one are also really important for the indigenous film industry. The Clones Film Festival gives people a unique opportunity to see Irish and International films in their local town, and gives young and old the opportunity to partake in workshops and discussions with respected filmmakers and industry professionals.  I have no doubt that ‘Ireland’s biggest little film festival’ will deliver a host of cinematic treats over the next four days, and a positive boost to the local economy.”


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