Final Thoughts

The purpose of my research was to see how Irish Film Culture approaches, reproduces and shapes xenophobia and homophobia. Before commencing, I envisioned films with blatant racism or films with anti-racist messages. I had several pre-conceived notions about what my experience researching this topic will be like. The preliminary background research I had done on Ireland’s demographics online made me confident that the country was more than suitable for my research. My expectations for this project, I later discovered, were fueled by discriminatory situations that I had learned of in the United States. At some point, these expectations became a hindrance to my learning. As long as I was looking for a single and specific answer I was not discovering anything new.

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The Irish Film Board and the Irish Film Institute

The Irish Film Board’s shorts channel on YouTube was very useful to my research. Every year, the IFB funds a lot of short films and most of them are available on this channel. I watched a lot of the films and tried find a common pattern, but soon gave up. There is no trend in the films being funded. The Irish Film Board it seems is just interested in helping people further their creativity. Before I went to Ireland I had very specific questions about their funding policies and statistics. I was hoping to talk to some board members to find answers.  However, I could not really talk to the board members except one who was my film teacher during my summer program. It turns out that at this stage in my research, talking to the board members was not necessary. All the information I was looking for is found either online or in print.

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Little Cinema

Another highlight of my time in Galway was a project called Little Cinema. It is an exhibition space for filmmakers. They get a chance to show their films and receive feedback from their peers. It was started by three friends who had recently graduated from college with Film degrees. Little Cinema is situated at the top floor of a very well-known bar. It is a very cozy and relaxed environment. Almost all the filmmakers were friends. In fact, the first night I went there, they were happy to announce their first “Little Cinema engagement”. Although all the films were less than ten minutes, they all highlighted the variety that the new wave of Irish filmmakers have to offer. There was simply slapstick comedies, sci-fi, horror, documentaries, and so on. Each filmmaker had a chance to present his film and when all the films were screened, there was an opportunity for feedback. This project showed me that filmmaking in Ireland is not an exclusive club, but instead a place for everybody. To my delight, Little Cinema got a chance to exhibit its best work at the Galway Film Festival.

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Galway Film Festival

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Pre-Departure Preparation

I decided to spend the last two weeks before my Ireland trip better acquainting myself with Irish cinema. During this time I read literature reviews on Irish Film and Irish Film Culture. To my disappointment, at first, these works did not just talk about Irish Film Culture in relation to xenophobia and homophobia. Instead, they highlighted the role of Irish Cinema in exhibiting untold stories of women, drug addicts, Northern Ireland, abused children and so on.

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