The 8th annual OFFline Film Festival was officially launched as part of Culture Night at Spinners on Castle Street in Birr tonight (Friday 22 September). This year’s Festival runs from Wednesday 11- Sunday 15 October across Birr and the surrounding region.

One of the biggest announcements of the night was the revealing of the first ever OFFline Animation Residency which will begin in 2018. The successful candidate(s) will embed themselves within the local community and develop a project of their choosing over the six months – culminating in a public screening of their work at the OFFline Film Festival 2018.

The initial call for applications will happen early 2018, after which an interview and presentation of portfolios will take place. As well as being provided with a stipend, accommodation, a workplace, and access to industry standard software and computing technology, successful applicants will also receive ongoing mentoring from award-winning studio Piranha Bar, as well as a chance to attend the Annecy Animation Festival.

It is aimed at people who are passionate about animation – those who wish to develop a project with a colleague – over six months. They might be recent graduates or those who have been working a short while and want to get away to focus on something of their own. Gary Hoctor, OFFline Director

Meanwhile, the 2017 programme is brimming with feature films, Irish and international short film screenings, the 57 Hour Filmmaking Challenge, workshops, family-friendly screenings, an exhibition and more.

The Festival will open with the screening of the much buzzed about The Drummer & The Keeper on Wednesday 11 October at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre. Birr director Mark Noonan’s new documentary The Quiet Architect also gets a screening while Oscar winner Ben Cleary’s newest work, Wave, will form part of the 24 strong Irish and International shorts programme. 

A specially curated ‘Fright Night’ at Leap Castle is also set to garner plenty of attention while the Festival will also host the Irish premiere of 13,000,000,000 Light Years From Birr, the story of how one of the world’s most advanced telescopes, the I-LOFAR, arrived in Birr and how it will help unlock clues to one of the earliest phases of cosmic history. It will be followed by a discussion with Professor Peter Gallagher who is leading the I-LOFAR project.

OFFline is now 8 years old and we’ve blossomed into a must-attend Festival that always rewards its loyal audience with entertaining and challenging programming. The Festival has always been dynamic and this year we’re delighted to announce an Animation Residency to take place over 6 months in 2018. The animators, as well as the community of Birr, will benefit hugely – both economically as well as culturally – from this unique endeavour.
Gary Hoctor, OFFline Director

For the full 2017 OFFline Film Festival programme, check out www.offlinefilmfestival.com or log on to www.facebook.com/OfflineFilm

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