Wednesday 8 July 2020

New Reels from Home project launches in UK

A partnership between the Irish Film Institute and the London Irish Centre is bringing film heritage to Irish communities in London and across the UK. Reels From Home: Irish Film Heritage at Your Fingertips brings together a wide range of content from the IFI Irish Film Archive into one specially curated collection. It is now available free-to-view on the IFI Player.

Under the headings 'Ireland of Yesterday', 'Watch Irish History Unfold', and 'Rediscover Television Adverts', the Reels from Home collection includes materials which date as far back as the early 1900s. It includes both professional and amateur films documenting all aspects of Irish life including tourism, industry, sport, entertainment, and much more. The films have been selected to engage with the London Irish Centre's objectives to promote and advance education in Irish art, language, culture and heritage.

Reels From Home contains materials from IFI Player collections including the Bord Fáilte Film Collection, the Irish Adverts Project, the Father Delaney Collection, the Loopline Collection Vol. 1, and the Irish Independence Film Collection.

At a time when many people are spending more time at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Reels From Home brings a new channel of content to the Irish community that is free, entertaining, informative, and easy to access and navigate. The project follows in the footsteps of the 2018 Reel Memories initiative, presented by the IFI in partnership with Nursing Homes Ireland, which brought a selection of curated IFI Player material to nursing home residents across the country.

Commenting on the project, Kasandra O'Connell, Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive, added, 'We are delighted to be able to bring the collections of the IFI Irish Film Archive to a new audience in the UK , particularly at a time where people may be feeling more isolated than usual. As someone who was born in London to Irish parents, I have been eager for the archive to work with the UK's Irish community, and partnering with the London Irish Centre gives us a wonderful opportunity to do so.'

Highlights of the collection include 'Alive Alive O: A Requiem for Dublin', which captures the colourful street traders of Dublin and their fight to maintain their merchant tradition in the face of aggressive economic development; 'Ireland in Spring' presents a celebration of all things Irish and a delightful window on 1950s Ireland; and a 1970s advert for Bass ale featuring the legendary band The Dubliners performing in iconic Dublin bar O'Donoghue's.

It can be viewed on the IFI Player here.

As part of the London Irish Centre's Solas Season, there are weekly co-watching screenings of the collection. The next one is this evening, at 8pm. Details.