THE Limerick Film Festival will offer “a fantastic opportunity” to the many film makers based in the region.
The festival, formerly the LIT Film Festival, enters its fifth year this April, and has been rebranded and restyled to reflect an increase in output and profile, with support from City of Culture.
The brainchild of LIT lecturer Simon McGuire, it already boasts over 90 entries for the short film component of the festival from around the world, while key industry professionals will visit the city to give talks and workshops to aspiring film makers.
It is this aspect that should make it appeal to film makers, according to Eleanor McSherry, chair of the film pillar of City of Culture and an active film maker in the city.
“I was involved with the second year of the LIT film festival and I think it is a fantastic opportunity for film makers, especially independent film makers in the city,” she said at the launch in the George Boutique Hotel this week.
“There is a fantastic programme of events, but it is also an opportunity; it is a good mix of education and of visiting professionals. So if you are a film maker in the city, you need to really be going to festivals like this.”
Industry professionals attending the festival include Rob Cawley, writer of the critically acclaimed series Amber, Nathan Nugent, editor and IFTA award winner for What Richard Did, who has just finished work on Lenny Abrahamson’s upcoming feature Frank, while there will also be a Limerick premiere of The Missing Scarf, long-listed for an Academy Award and produced by local man Jamie Hogan.
The festival, taking place across several city venues for the first time, runs from April 10-12, with a new focus on the city at its heart.
“We didn’t want to just change the name of the festival, but also to move it into the city and allow Limerick to absorb it and call it one of its own,” explained festival director Simon, a lecturer in LIT.
“Year five was always our change year, our maturity year. In the first four years we were looking to develop something for Limerick as regards a professional film festival, in association with LIT.
“As big as the Dublin Jameson, the Galway Film Fleadh, the Cork Corona and the rest are, Limerick should have its own film festival of a similar standard, that is constantly growing each year and bringing in professionals from around the country and abroad.”
Simon said there is “something for everyone” and added that his hope for the festival is that it will “take on its own persona”.
“All the other festivals have their own niche markets, but we hope to keep that technical aspect, to inform people how to make films, rather than just having a series of screenings, so that there is more interactivity with the filmmakers,” he explained.
For more information on the event, see www.limerickfilmfestival.net.