Future of film festival under threat amid funds shortage

A shortage of funds is threatening the future of the Kerry Film Festival which has run successfully for the last 13 years.

The Tralee-based event has been left without a director for the first time in its history after Sarah Smyth finished in the job last month. Her contract was not renewed due to funding constraints.

Funding has reduced from a peak of €133,000 when the festival was combined with the Samhlaíocht arts festival. The film festival now receives a maximum of €20,000 through the festivals and events category of the Arts Council.

The Arts Council has had its own funding slashed by almost €20m since 2009.

Film festival chairwoman Roisín McGuigan described the income drop as “drastic” and said the festival’s potential to grow had been damaged.

She said the festival had gone backwards from a stage where they had a full-time director and a part-time assistant to a situation where they had a Fás team.

Ms McGuigan said there was nobody running the organisation on a day-to-day basis.

“Not many organisations grow out of that position,” she added.

One of the key roles of the festival is to encourage young and emerging filmmakers, hundreds of whom have taken part in its competitions.

Judges for competitions over the years have included the likes of Gabriel Byrne, Neil Jordan, and Jim Sheridan.

The festival also presents the annual Maureen O’Hara Award to women who excel in films. Winners include Brenda Fricker and Saoirse Ronan.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

In the shadow of gunmen: Unsolved shootings in Cork

Treasure trove of artifacts found under Cork street

Respiratory drug may be withdrawn

DNA database links 530 crimes to suspects


Breaking Stories

Beggar back on his feet after job offer from stranger

Simon Harris: It seems 'perverse' for IRA to say they disciplined someone over Brian Stack murder

Barrister campaigning to launch second legal challenge to Brexit - in Irish courts

Poll reveals most voters in favour of refunds for those who paid water charges

Lifestyle

Pantomime review: Cinderella, Cork Opera House

Fair City: Behind the scenes at Carrigstown

Ask Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for years

Well-known Irish people share their favourite books from their childhoods

More From The Irish Examiner