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Kerry International Film Festival’s first online event a massive success

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The Kerry International Film Festival (KIFF) has just completed its 21st Edition, and are proud to announce that it has been one of their most successful years of celebrating film to date.

Despite facing their most challenging year thus far due to COVID-19 restrictions, KIFF has been overwhelmed by the immense support and interest gained, not only at a local level, but also both nationally and internationally.

To ensure the safety of KIFF audiences everywhere during an international pandemic, KIFF chose to present an exclusively online festival from October 15 -18. Shifting to a fully digital programme was a new process for KIFF and it presented some interesting challenges along the way, however, a state-of-the-art festival was successfully delivered due to support from local business, the determination of a remarkably dedicated team, and via the invaluable backing from key funding partners such as The Arts Council, Kerry County Council and Creative Ireland. As a result of going entirely online, KIFF are delighted to say that they have reached a wider audience base and have grown interest and participation in the festival far beyond The Kingdom.

"We are overjoyed with the positive feedback we have received on every level this year,"
General Manager of KIFF, Sean Mulchinock said.

"Filmmakers, audiences, sponsors and local businesses alike have all come out in support of KIFF 2020. This support has made a significant difference to us as a festival and it reiterates the value that people place on KIFF, both regionally and nationally. We are privileged to be associated with all of our supporters and we cannot thank them enough for boosting up our festival, particularly during these challenging times."

TRUA AWARD

As well as presenting an online film festival for the first time, KIFF 2020 also saw the introduction of their inaugural TRUA award, an award that celebrates compassionate filmmaking that promotes positive change. The recipient of the 2020 TRUA Award went to 'This Land'. Upon receiving the award, Director, Zithelo Bobby Mthombeni said he "wanted to start a conversation".

"I wanted to get people talking, not only about how people in Ireland have suffered racism but also the positive impact immigration has had on Irish culture, whether that’s through food, music, media or activism. It was also an opportunity to talk about how Ireland’s culture has changed in the last 10 years. The creative community in Ireland is quite inspiring right now, and it is important to showcase what we in Ireland have to offer in terms of talent and diversity."

Due to the immense success of KIFF 2020, the team are already making plans to incorporate a permanent digital element to the festival going forward. However, they are also excited to have the opportunity to work with partners in October 2021 and to welcoming audiences back to physical screenings. Whatever the future may bring, KIFF have showcased that they are here to stay and that they are dedicated to delivering their bespoke festival to worldwide audiences next year and beyond.

WINNERS

BEST INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT Leopard Diretor, James Arden Producers, James Arden & Poppy Ashton

BEST STUDENT SHORT My Other Suit Is Human Diretor, Andrew Paul Montague Producer, Kira Fitzpatrick The London Film School

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE The Yellow Dress Composer, Natasa Paulberg Diretor, Deborah Grimes Producer, Maggie Ryan

BEST OF KERRY Bó Director & Producer, Mieke Vanmechelen

BEST OF KERRY The West Kerry Cowboy Director, Cian O'Connor Producer, Peter Kilmartin

BEST ANIMATION: GON, THE LITTLE FOX Director, Takeshi Yashiro. Producer, Masaaki Oikawa - special mention for Alamid by Shayna Gail Velasquez, this year’s youngest KIFF filmmaker. Shayna Gail is a 16-year-old high school student from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

SCRIPT WRITING AWARD Lambing Screenplay by Katie McNeice

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Violet Gibson The Irish Woman Who Shot Mussolini Directors, Barrie Dowdall & Kevin de la Isla O'Neill Producers, Siobhán Lynam & Barrie Dowdall

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: How to Fall in a Love in a Pandemic. Director & Producer, Michael-David McKernan

BEST IRISH NARRATIVE SHORT Rough Directors, Declan Lawn & Adam Patterson Producer, Louise Gallagher

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE Follow the Dead Director & Producer, Adam William Cahill KIFF's inaugural annual TRUA Award - celebrating compassionate filmmaking that excites positive change.

TRUA AWARD 2020 Winner: THIS LAND
Director Zithelo Bobby Mthombeni
Producers The Tenth Man, Eric Davidson, Ellen Bennett

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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