SOME of the biggest players in the film industry are in Kilkenny today for the Youth Film and Digital Media National Conference, which marks the 21st birthday of Young Irish Film Makers.
The event at the Parade Tower was offically opened by Minister of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan who told delegates that he was delighted to be in Kilkenny. “I would like to thank Mike Kelly and YIFM as they know that I have an interest in film. I have made a number of documentaries on North Kerry writers. In total I have made nine documentaries and fortunately they have got a national airing,” he said.
He also paid tribute to fellow Kerry man Mayor of Kilkenny Sean OhArgain. “It is amazing that out of the 404 Mayors of Kilkenny only one has been a Kerryman. He is a fantastic storyteller and I am sure that there is a film in you. I am also sure that Kilkenny has benefitted from your year as Mayor.
“It is a city that has capitalised on it’s heritage and culture and film and has branded itself as a cultural capital alongside Galway, outside of Dublin. Today we are bringing together some of the major players in the industry. It is very important that hopefully by the ned of the day we can come out with a future strategy that will help young people,” he added.
The keynote speaker at today’s conference is Lord David Puttnam who is chairman of Atticus Education, an online education company based in Ireland. David spent 30 years as an independent producer of award-winning films including The Mission, Killing Fields and Midnight Express.
Other speakers include Dr John Bamber, Project Specialist with the Centre for Effective Services. Alicia Mc Givern (IFI Film Focus), Laura Gaynor (Youth Presentation), Anne O’Gorman (NYCI Youth Arts) and Anne White (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment).