AS WEST Kerry focuses on 2014 and what the New Year may bring, preparations are already under way ahead of the Dingle International Film Festival in March with the announcement of a high profile addition to its board.
Michael Ryan of GFM Films, the producer of The English Patient, The General and Absolutely Anything (which was written and directed by Terry Jones and reunites the Monty Python team) and who is credited in over 200 films has been announced as the latest addition to the Dingle International Film Festival board.
Mr Ryan, who travelled to Dingle recently, joins existing DIFF Board members Míchéal Ó Dúlaing, Maurice Galway (Chairperson), Ned Dowd (producer of Apocalypto and Last of The Mohicans), Mandy Kean (head programmer at London's Soho House Group), John Benny Moriarty and Brian de Staic as they look ahead to the 2014 Dingle Film Festival which will takes place from March 14 to 17.
According to the board's chairperson Maurice Galway, Michael Ryan's involvement in DIFF 2014 is a very welcome and positive development.
"I was introduced to Michael at The Galway Film Fleadh a few years back by Siobhan O Donoghue of MEDIA Desk Ireland and I invited Michael to Dingle IFF to chair a discussion with Element Films and also a discussion on creativity with Sophie Fiennes and Jean Jacques Beineix," Maurice told The Kerryman.
"Michael returned in 2013 to chair discussions on The Beatles and also with Dick Carruthers and he said that the spirit and atmosphere of the festival reminded him of the first ever Sundance Film Festival. I met Michael again in Cannes last May with Míchéal Ó Dúlaing and Michael agreed to be on the board.
Maurice also feels that Mr Ryan's connections in the film industry will be very positive for Dingle IFF in helping it to attract premiere films along with film talent to the Dingle Peninsula.
"With Michael comes some showbiz and we all need a bit of that today," Maurice said.
"Michael will help make this great event sparkle - he believes the festival has great potential on an international stage."
Following on the success of last year, DIFF, in conjunction with Jam Media, will again be calling on young animators to make submissions to 'Young Animator of the Year' and a selection of entries will be showcased in Dingle in 2014 with a reception and awards ceremony afterwards.
"The call is for new animation works created by Transitional Year Students and the Creative Media Department of IT Tralee will hold an animation training day for participants," said Maurice.
DIFF 2014 also promises to focus on the documentary works of American filmmaker and Oscar winner Cynthia Wade who will attend the festival this year and who also will partake in a public discussion.