The Bird and the Whale (dir. Carol Freeman, 2018), An Cailleach Bhéara (dir. Naomi Wilson, 2007), From Darkness (dir. Nora Twomey, 2002), Departure (dir. Aoife Doyle, 2018), and Late Afternoon (dir. Louise Bagnall, 2017).
Irish animation has grown hugely in the past decade, from estimates of less than 100 full-time professionals in the early 2000s to 1600+ workers today. More importantly, as Ciara Barrett notes in a chapter in Susan Liddy’s collection Women in Irish Film: Stories and Storytellers (forthcoming, 2020), the Irish animation sector has “developed a particular reputation for progressiveness in gender representation.” Our animated shorts programme has been chosen to celebrate the range of women and animation styles contributing to the international reputation of Irish animation. These include Carol Freeman’s The Bird and the Whale (2018), created using oil-paint on glass, and Naomi Wilson’s An Cailleach Bhéara (2007), a mythical stop-motion animation based on a folktale from Cork’s Beara peninsula. A folktale, this time an Inuit one, is also the basis of Nora Twomey’s From Darkness (2002), an early short from the Academy Award nominated director of The Secret of Kells and The Breadwinner. Our selection concludes with two animations focused on elderly women: Aoífe Doyle’s Departure (2018), made by Pink Kong studios – one of Ireland’s few female-run animation studios – and Louise Bagnall’s Late Afternoon (2017). Bagnall’s award-winning short was nominated for an Oscar in 2019 and it features acting legend Fionnula Flanagan in the main voice role. Viewed together, these diverse shorts reflect a selection of the talents of women working in Irish animation today!
Followed by a panel discussion with the directors, chaired by Dr. Ciara Barrett.