Tuesday 30 September 2014

Vital part of our cultural landscape

Published 03/04/2013 | 05:36

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Tralee artist Austin D.H. Ivers (front left) with Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Affairs Jimmy Deenihan at his art exhibition as part of the Kerry Film Festival at Denny Street, Tralee on Friday. Also included, back from left; Mayor of Tralee Johnnie Wall, David Ramsey, Kieran Ruttledge (CEO Tralee Chamber Alliance) and Sarah Smyth (Kerry Film Festival director).

OVER the past 12 years Kerry Film Festival (KFF) has become a vital element of Kerry's cultural landscape, offering a unique film experience to the local community.

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The festival's programmes are delivered by one employee supported by six Community Employment staff and programmes are open to all members of the community sector for which each programme is designed.

It's all provided at little or no cost to the participant and many of the groups are even involved in the programming of their own activities - that's where Silver Screenings comes in. The focus of the organisation's application for this year's Kerry Community Awards, Silver Screenings is open to the active retired and attendees nominate and select by vote the films they wish to see.

It's part of the extensive Education and Outreach Programme targeted at socially marginalised groups of the elderly and unwaged. By showing classic films which appeal to an older audience, Silver Screenings provides a much needed, affordable and pleasant environment to socialise in.

"Silver Screenings allows people who would not otherwise visit the cinema or any cultural event due to health and mobility reasons to enjoy this social aspect of coming to local venues and chatting about the film over tea and biscuits," KFF Chairperson Roisin McGuigan states.

Silver Screenings take place in Tralee, Listowel, Dingle, Waterville, Killarney and Kenmare and in 2012 alone, the programme saw some 3,500 attend the programme countywide. Kerry's total over-65 population, though, is almost 20,000 and Roisin says the aim is to attract as many as possible.

"There are many more people who can benefit from this initiative and this year the programme will continue to expand through KFF's partner venues including Carnegie Arts Centre in Kenmare, Classic Cinema Listowel, Siamsa Tire in Tralee, Phoenix Cinema in Dingle and Tech Amergin in Waterville," the chairwoman explains.


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