If you want to start a festival, remember that the first one should be a success, otherwise there will never be a second! It should have a good programme, full cinemas, good press coverage and a nice, appealing atmosphere.

Doclands is the first documentary film festival and market to take place in Ireland and it was a success. Therefore there is no reason why it should not be repeated. It had an interesting three-day programme of new Irish documentaries, some international films and meetings, and a big name like Albert Maysles to draw professional attention and remind everyone what it means to take a warm and humble approach to the documentary profession. It all took place in Dublin’s Temple Bar area with headquarters at the excellent Irish Film Centre.

Irish Film Institute (IFI

The main programme focused on Irish documentaries, and I managed to watch ten of them. They lived up to all my positive prejudices about Ireland and the Irish: they were warm, sometimes moving; they dealt with history and social issues; and they were good-hearted with a fine portion of patriotism and humour mixed in. None of the films were stylistically innovative. Some were actually a bit clumsy in their storytelling techniques. Almost all stuck to traditional narrative lines. The message was clear – these films are meant for broad television audiences. The appearance of TG4, the Irish-language public broadcaster, emphasised the call for Irish stories told to Irish audiences. Quite like when the National Film Board of Canada used to showed Canada to the Canadians, the Irish Film Board and the television channels seem to have a policy of making films on the Irish for the Irish. Unlike the Canadian films a couple of decades ago, the Irish documentaries lack an artistic level that could widen their appeal to other countries.

Login or signup to read the rest..

If you do not have subscription, you can just login or register, and choose free guest or subscription to read all articles.