Dublin International Film Festival Maeve Crossan – C16321726DT597/2In this essay, I intend to describe and evaluate Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) 2017 under Culture Ireland’s 2017-2020 document. I will primarily be viewing the policies, theories and priorities in relation to DIFF. Lastly, I will look into why Dublin has made an effective place to host an international film festival.Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) is an annual event that celebrates cinematic creations on a large scale. The ten day festival was established in the 1980’s by Michael Dwyer and David McLoughlin. Dwyer is a well-known international film critic and Chief Film Correspondent at The Irish Times, while McLoughlin is a film producer. The event was conceived with the intention to provide the Irish cinema-going audience with the best films produced both in Ireland and internationally. Since being founded, the event has grown in scale, acquiring an impressive amount of support from local, national and international companies, institutions, organisations and government bodies. Initially sponsored by Jameson, DIFF’s title sponsor is now Audi. From simply viewing the two title sponsors the festival has acquired over the years, it was and is clear that it has accumulated a huge amount of national and global traction. The event celebrates cinematic creations from all over the globe. In 2017, the event spanned from the 16th to the 26th of February. Film stars, along with producers, directors and writers attended the event to celebrate the film industry. It is time taken to celebrate the works of Irish creators and award them for their work. The attendance of famous actors such as Jack Reynor, Vanessa Redgrave and Cillian Murphy further emphasises the importance and scale of this event. Along with just showcasing films, the festival enables creators to be acknowledged with awards. For example, in 2017 , director Kleber Mendonça Filho was awarded Best Movie for his film Aquarius, while the Best Irish Feature was awarded to director John Butler for Handsome Devil. Other awards include grants towards projects. DIFF also has a whole host of other notable funders and partners. It’s principal funder is the Arts Council. Other funding partners include Irish Film Board, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Screen Training Ireland, Dublin City Council, Culture Ireland and Visit Dublin. Media partners for the festival include FM104, Sunday Times, entertainment.ie, ORB, Wide Eye Media, Micromedia and Olytico. DIFF also has an impressive amount of supporting partners such as Just East, Wells Cargo Co., WindMill Lane, Five Lamps Dublin Brewery, Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, MAC and Peter Mark. Due to the sheer scale of this festival, multiple venues have been secured for screenings in various parts of Dublin such as Light House Cinema, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Cineworld Cinema, Savoy, Irish Film Institute, Pavillion Theatre, Movies at Dundrum and Swords, Omniplex Cinemas and WigWam. DIFF not only shows Irish made films, but films from all around the globe. As it is an international event, cultural agencies and embassies have been consulted to ensure the event is organised and inclusive. These include The Ark, Access Cinema, Goethe Institut, TASC, Italian Cultural Institute Dublin, Danish Film Institute, UniFrance, Embassy of Switzerland, American Embassy, Norwegian Embassy, Romanian Cultural Institute, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Dublin, Embassy of Estonia in Dublin and Embassy of Bulgaria in Dublin.Culture Ireland has set out a three-year strategy (2017-2020) as part of Culture 2025. Culture Ireland’s mission statement states it intends to promote and advance “Irish arts worldwide, strengthening Ireland’s cultural profile and global reputation and increasing career opportunities for Irish artists globally.” The Dublin International Film Festival is evidence of this statement. Firstly, the event was funded largely by Culture Ireland. Secondly, the relationships fostered and strengthened through the festival achieved many goals set out in this document. The document proceeds to layout its strategic and geographical priorities. In terms of strategy, they intend to provide support for Irish artists and organisations all over the globe, as well as developing new markets and encouraging international collaborations. They also intend to “Build reciprocal relationships with relevant Government Departments and State agencies for mutual advantage and unify Ireland’s global reputation.” In tandem with this, they also intend to build relations with the European Union, English speaking countries with significant Irish diaspora communities like the USA, along with trying to build a greater relationship with Asia. This goal was also achieved and is visible by solely looking at the cultural agencies and embassies associated with the event. It can also be seen in the shift in title sponsor, from Jameson (Irish) to Audi (German). Along with the above, the diversity involved in the 2017 festival was astonishing, providing further evidence to the aforementioned statement. Culture Ireland then proceeds to outline the actions they plan to take in supporting culture nationally and internationally. The first Action they intend to take is to provide resources such as funding, advice and “promotional support” for Irish events internationally. One way of doing this is through grants and funding which they intend to make more accessible and raise awareness of. They also intend to work with other funders. In relation to DIFF, Culture Ireland worked with other funders such as Irish Film Board, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Screen Training Ireland, Dublin City Council, Culture Ireland and Visit Dublin. They also state that not only are monetary supports available, but also skill and information-based aids will also be available to creators. Their second Action is to arrange various showcases for all forms of Irish work. DIFF would be one of these events, as it promotes not only Irish acting, directing, writing and producing, but other creative Irish media such as radio and television. They also want to ensure effective promotion, along with facilitating suitable media partnerships. Their third Action includes working “with resource organisations and Ireland’s key international cultural centres, on an annual funding basis, to deliver key Culture Ireland objectives.” For example, they plan to “Support Irish Film Institute International to ensure the cultural dissemination of Irish cinematic work and to use its worldwide network of connections with sales agents, distributors, festival programmers, educators, production companies and filmmakers to broker relationships between these groups to ensure exposure for Irish cinema to a broad range of audiences”. DIFF, once again, is an example of this. While the event itself is not abroad, it includes a vast amount of other countries, providing them, and in turn ourselves, with international platforms for showcasing. They plan to work with Irish embassies and agencies, just like we work with embassies in Ireland, to enable a wider range of showcasing. Action 4 reads; “Maximise the cultural impact of the Government’s international promotion strategy through special initiatives in key markets, Government visits and trade missions, and strengthen Ireland’s cultural networks abroad.” Similar to Action 3, Culture Ireland intends to create beneficial and strengthen government relationships through creative means, like DIFF.Action 5 states; “Advise the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and work in tandem with other stakeholders across Government to maximise the impact of Government investment.” It seems that DIFF was seen as an important and worthy asset to international relations as it received funding from Culture Ireland. DIFF must have been viewed as worthy of government investment. This Action plan also includes the desire to work in “close coordination with the Arts Council”. We can see this also materialised by looking at the principal founder the the festival, which was the Arts Council. Another part of the plan was to “Work with National Cultural Institutions in developing major exhibitions in an international setting”. Evidently, DIFF is an testament to this as it allowed multiple cultural organisations to band together and create an event worthy of international recognition. The sixth Action is to “… research new global opportunities for the promotion of Irish arts including the fostering of partnerships, reciprocity and co-productions.” This was done through the fostering of new relationships, along with strengthening existing ones, to allow symbiotic relationships between countries. The relationships will allow for international pathways and opportunities for Irish creators. The seventh and final Action is to “Expand the global footprint of Culture Ireland by developing a meaningful digital presence in target markets”. Through advertising, promotion and invitation, DIFF provides efficient communication globally. It advertises our willingness to be inclusive, to collaborate, to share and celebrate film from all countries. In turn, it promotes Ireland as inclusive, creative and accommodating.The Arts Council are also play a significant role in the scheme put out by Culture Ireland, but is solely focused on artists and their work. Many of their objectives for 2016-2025 include increased support for artists, which allow “innovation and experimentation within visually based work”. They also focus on training people, providing funding for relevant organisations along with placing a special emphasis on the needs of younger people in relation to film. Moreover, they place a large emphasis on showcasing Irish film, as they plan “to consolidate film exhibition through funding of film festivals”. It is evident by reviewing the above policies of Culture Ireland and the Arts Council that the creating, showcasing and celebrating of film was high on their list of priorities. It was so high possibly due to the new relationships it would allow them to foster with foreign governments, not just in a creative, collaborative sense, but politically as well. New relationships would provide access routes and opportunities for filmmakers and other art creators abroad. On the back of the above statement, I feel it is important to look at what makes Dublin suitable for hosting such a highly anticipated and unique event. While Ireland as a whole is small with a population of only 4.773 million, we have an impressive hold internationally. While Ireland’s film industry is miniscule compared to that of the United States, we have a large international foothold in other areas such as politics. If we look at Dublin, and the greater Dublin area, we can see that it has a dense population. On top of this, people travel in and out of Dublin on a daily basis for work, college or for recreational purposes. It is Ireland’s largest city, famous internationally. Millions travel here annually, and it seems only natural that a film festival of international variety would attract a considerable amount of tourists, along with those living here. Dublin is also one of ireland’s transport hubs making it more appealing and suitable for a festival. Allen J. Scott wrote that “we can identify contemporary urbanization as a doubly faceted phenomenon in which individual cities are constituted as systems of internal transactions embedded in a wider system of transactions binding all cities together into a grid of complementary and competitive relationships”. Because Dublin now hosts this event each year, the money, companies and people it attracts will benefit the surrounding areas and the country due to this ripple effect. If the physical location, population, and wealth of transport were not appealing enough, Dublin is a city full of art, history, architecture and music. It seems that a country so vibrant would be perfectly suited for an international film festival. To take another view, Ireland is a very ‘modern’ country. To elaborate, Ireland is hugely accepting and open to the different ways people worship and love. If we look at the Global Creativity Index Ireland is most certainly one of the more tolerant and accepting places. Ireland is ranked in the top ten most tolerant places in relation to religion and sexual orientation and identity. Richard Florida says, “Places that are open to new ideas also tend to attract creative people from around the globe that provide an edge in generating the innovations and startup companies that create new industries.” In this report, Florida says that a country’s success and popularity correlates to how tolerant and accepting it is. Following this theory, Ireland should be largely successful in its creative endeavors. Dublin International Film Festival is a hugely popular event among, not only film fanatics, but the general public too. Showcasing the talents and skill of not only Irish filmmakers, but creators from all around the globe. This prominent event promotes, celebrates and awards this creative faction. While the event was not set up by any government body, Culture Ireland and the Arts Council have clearly seen the potential in the event, supporting it for just under twenty years. Over the years, it seems the event has gained traction, attracting more attention from the public, the government and film organisations. Having adopted more inclusive and specific policies, Culture Ireland has created a more accessible route not only to the Irish film industry, but to the industry abroad. This unique festival introduces a new market and provides the opportunity for new relationships, between countries and individuals, to be fostered. From viewing the events and the work, funding and organisation that goes into it, paired with the local and international businesses it supports by default, Dublin International Film Festival seems to play a vital role in the creative sector along with government relations. This event has enormous potential, and it clear the the Culture Ireland sees this too.Bibliography”Creative Ireland Programme”. 2017. Creative Ireland. https://creative.ireland.ie/en.”Culture Ireland Welcomes The Additional €1M In Budget 2017″. 2016. Cultureireland.ie. http://www.cultureireland.ie/news/article/culture-ireland-welcomes-the-additional-1m-in-budget-2017.”Culture | Department Of Culture, Heritage And The Gaeltacht”. 2015. Chg.Gov.Ie. https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/culture/.”Home – Audi Dublin International Film Festival”. 2017. Diff.Ie. http://www.diff.ie.”New Creative Youth Plan Launched”. 2017. Creative Ireland. https://creative.ireland.ie/en/news/new-creative-youth-plan-launched.Clarke, Donald. 2017. “Audi Dublin International Film Festival Launches Its Programme For 2017”. The Irish Times. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/film/audi-dublin-international-film-festival-launches-its-programme-for-2017-1.2941501.Culture 2025: A Framework Policy To 2025. 2018. Ebook. 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