Monday, 12 March 2018

To coincide with Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger an exhibition of the world's largest collection of Famine-related art at Dublin Castle, Dr Tony Tracy (Huston School of Film & Digital Media) has co-curated a month-long ‘The Great Hunger on Film’ programme at the Irish Film Institute as part of the Archive at Lunchtime on on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. On March 24th Dr Tracy will introduce an omnibus screening, outlining the history of representations of the Great Famine as well as considering challenges and issues around such constructions.   Dr. Tony Tracy has also commissioned and executive produced the short film The Hunger Times on behalf of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum (Quinnipiac University), which will have its premiere at the IFI on March 21st as part of a gala event that includes a screening of Black ’47. Produced by Tile Media, the film will be available to schools and general audiences via online platforms with supporting educational materials.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The event below has been postponed as Laura is unable to travel due to poor weather conditions. Huston School of Film & Digital Media and the Moore Institute are delighted to welcome Prof Laura Mulvey to the the Huston School Main Room on Thursday, March 1st. Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. After studying history at St. Hilda's, Oxford University, she came to prominence in the early 1970s as a film theorist, writing for periodicals such as Spare Rib and Seven Days. Much of her early critical work investigated questions of spectatorial identification and its relationship to the male gaze, and her writings, particularly the 1975 essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, helped establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study. 1.05pm Remixing Hollywood movies of the 1950s: from textual analysis to digital Spectatorship.         In my 2006 book, Death 24 Times a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image, I suggested that digital technology had transformed film spectatorship: its interactive possibilities seemed to make the previously restricted critical practice of textual analysis available to every film fan.  But digital editing takes these possibilities further.  While the textual analyst selects a particular film sequence for repeated viewing, discovering meanings that are not visible at 24 frames a second, the remixer detaches a sequence from its place in its original narrative sequence.    As my own modes of spectatorship have evolved with new technological possibilities, I have found myself returning to Hollywood films, particularly of the 1950s.  I would like to discuss this backwards trajectory and present the remixes that have emerged along the way. 2.30pm  Riddles of the Sphinx (screening) The most influential of Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen's collaborative films, Riddles of the Sphinx (1977), presented avant-garde film as a space in which female experience could be expressed. Drawing on psychoanalytical theories and the contemporary politics of representation, the film explores the nature of patriarchy and how women have been objectified by mainstream narrative cinema. Formally experimental and socially committed, Riddles of the Sphinx subverts familiar cinematic codes and conventions to encourage an alternative relationship between spectator and female subject.  This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Laura Mulvey. This event is presented in association with Moore Institute, NUIG

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

"Polly Platt, Film History and the Question of Authorship" Aaron Hunter, NUI Maynooth , February 22nd, 2:30 pm Huston Main.  ‌ Polly Platt was a key Hollywood designer for decades with credits including Say Anything (1989), The Last Picture Show (1970), A Star is Born (1976) and Terms of Endearment (1983). But she also played significant roles, credited and uncredited, as a writer, costume designer, location scout, and, later, producer, in a career that lasted until shortly before her death in 2011. Much of the history and critical scholarship of creativity in 1970s Hollywood has been written about the decade’s larger-than-life men – directors like Altman and Scorsese, or producers like Bob Evans. However, the decade also saw an explosion of new talent behind the camera, in roles like cinematographer, designer, editor, and writer. And much of that creative force included women like Platt, who performed tremendous amounts of labour in creating the look, feel, and potential meanings of their films. This talk outlines some of the signature components of Platt’s design work in the 1970s, and demonstrates how significant her contribution was to the films she worked on – the ways that, as one of the primary creative talents on her films, she acted as one of their authors.  

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Thursday February 1st : Huston Main Room 2.30pm Mia Mullarkey is an award-winning film director and founder of Ishka Films. Mia's most recent short documentary, 'Mother & Baby', explores the memories of Mother & Baby Home survivors who were sold or fostered out by the Irish church and state if their mothers conceived them out of wedlock. 'Mother & Baby' was funded by the Irish Film Board and premiered at Cork Film Festival 2017 where it won Best Short Documentary. Her film 'Throwline', a short documentary about Irish taxi drivers trained in suicide prevention, won numerous awards world-wide including Best Short Documentary at the Galway Film Fleadh 2017. Her short documentary 'Feats of Modest Valour', co-directed with Alice McDowell, looks at a new potential cure for Parkinson's Disease and won the prestigious Scientist Award at Imagine Science 2017. Feats of Modest Valour was shown on RTE in November 2017 to an audience of 160,000 viewers

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Award-winning Film Director John Carney Appointed Adjunct Professor at  Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway. John Carney, one of the most acclaimed and successful contemporary Irish film directors, has been appointed an Adjunct Professor with the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway. Mr. Carney will give talks and workshops in the Huston School over the next three-years, including the forthcoming BA in Film and Digital Media, and will also contribute to the increasing integration of the school’s programmes with the film and audio-visual industry in Ireland and internationally.    John Carney will visit the Huston School of Film and Digital Media on Thursday, 9 November at 5.30pm to give an inaugural lecture as Adjunct Professor. John’s talk will be preceded by a directing workshop in the Huston School at 4pm for leaving certificate students interested in the School’s forthcoming BA in Film and Digital Media, enrolling from September 2018. Dr Seán Crosson, Acting Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that such a distinguished director as John Carney has agreed to join us in Huston as an Adjunct Professor. John has been a key figure in Irish film over the past twenty years. His award-winning work, particularly in the musical genre, has helped to reimagine the parameters of Irish cinema and brought Irish stories and characters to wide international audiences. John will make an important contribution to the Huston School programmes in the coming years, and allow us to further develop our connections with the film and audio-visual industry in Ireland and internationally.”  Speaking about his appointment as Adjunct Professor, John Carney, said: “I’m thrilled with the appointment. Galway holds a special place in my heart as a filmmaker, and I look forward to many months of work with the NUI Galway students, discussing, developing and making films.”   John Carney was born in Dublin and was educated at De La Salle College Churchtown and at Synge Street CBS. He was the bassist for Irish rock band The Frames between 1991 and 1993 and also directed some of their music videos. Carney also co-wrote and co-directed the hugely successful RTÉ TV series Bachelors Walk. In recent years Carney wrote and directed the 2006 global hit movie Once, which went on to win numerous awards including an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It has since been adapted as one of the most successful theatrical musicals of recent years, including award winning runs on Broadway and the West End. Subsequent films directed by Carney have enjoyed considerable critical and commercial success. Begin Again (2013) grossed over $63 million worldwide and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Lost Stars. His most recent film, the Irish set coming of age musical Sing Street (2016), was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 74th Golden Globes in January 2017. With a core focus on the development of creative and critical skills, the BA in Film and Digital Media equips graduates for a career in today’s rapidly changing media environment. Employing over 6,000 people nationwide, and generating an estimated €550 million annually, the creative industries are central to Ireland’s economic and cultural achievements on the global stage. At the heart of the industry’s success lie the creative talents of the individuals working within it. The exciting new BA in Film and Digital Media undergraduate degree offers students a unique combination of theory and practice across the areas of film and digital media, providing them with practical skills in filmmaking, screenwriting, and digital development and design, and positioning them to become the next generation of content creators. Students interested in attending John Carney’s inaugural lecture and workshop on Thursday, 9 November should contact as places are limited. .

Friday, 20 October 2017

Galway Music Residency in association with the Huston School of Film & Digital Media present a screening of the silent film, Nosferatu, with a score performed live by Con Tempo Quartet Thursday, October 26, 7.30pm, Huston Main If you’re looking for something a little different this Halloween, the Galway Music Residency has just the thing! This unique event, in association with NUI Galway, is sure to give you that spooky feeling. This classic 1922 silent film was the first onscreen interpretation of the story of Dracula and, though banned at the time for copyright infringements, it has gone down in cinematic history as one of the greatest horror films ever made.  While this great classic is being screened next Thursday, 26th October,  the Galway ConTempo Quartet will perform a very special live score composed in the 1990s to provide a fresh sound-scape for such a timeless piece of film. It was composed by French specialist Baudime Jam in 2002 for the Prima Vista Quartet which has performed it in numerous times internationally. The score has since become part of the repertoire of a number of other renowned string quartets including the Debussy Quartet. Tickets for this unique event cost €10/€5 and can be purchased at Nosferatu Live or on the door.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Huston Guest session: Kevin Toolis: "The Wonders of the Irish Wake and other Adventures in the Screen Trade."  Thursday October 26, 2.30pm, Huston Main.  The award-winning filmmakerand writer Kevin Toolis will speak in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media on Thursday, 26 October 2017 at2.30pm.  The event is organised by Aonad Léann na Cumarsáide, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in association Huston School of Film & Digital Media.  A BAFTA award-winner (for his ethical thriller, Complicit (2013)), Toolis has also been nominated for an Emmy for his documentary 'Cult of the Suicide Bomber' (2006), an extraordinary examination of the origins and motivations of the modern-day suicide bomber.  His books include Rebel Hearts concerning the IRA and he has contributed as a journalist to the New York Times, the Observer and the Guardian.  His drama 'The Confessions of Gordon Brown' was staged on the West End in London in 2013.  Weidenfeld & Nicolson published his most recent this year My Father's Wake, a moving meditation on death and a celebration of the traditional Irish way of mourning the dead.    

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

BRESAL 2017: Europe and the Social  26-27 October 2017 Supported by the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance and the School of Humanities Research Incentivisation Scheme NUI Galway   Europe, as continent, social community, and political union, is in crisis. Societies are fraught with economic instability and cultural tensions, while the refugee crisis has led to humanitarian devastation and renewed vociferous debate about the limits of inclusion and tolerance within European societies. The growth of far-right politics as well as the tone and tenor of its discourse present alarming threats in social, political and cultural realms. For states lying outside the boundaries of the European Union on the continent, perhaps differing concerns animate many of the same tensions. Europe and the world await to see how the UK’s exit from the EU will shift balances of power, prestige and access in European society and beyond. Artists and scholars, through this symposium, are invited to question the relationship(s) across art, society and the past, present and future(s) of the European project through interdisciplinary enquiry and practice. Panels will explore the historical contexts of European arts practice, scholarship, politics, culture and society, as well as focus on the urgency of the present moment, and anxieties regarding the future.  What is the role of the artist in the contemporary as well as historical moment in reshaping and calling into question the boundaries of “Europeanness” on scales ranging from the individual to the supra-national? What promise does looking towards practice-as-research as methodology and mode of social engagement at this particular juncture hold for European communities? And what warnings? BRESAL is a forum for artists and scholars who are passionate about the intelligence of art. Based on the West Coast of Ireland, it was founded by the Burren College of Art, the Huston School of Film and Digital Media (NUI Galway) and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (UL). Its goal is to provide opportunities for artists-scholars to share their work, support doctoral level arts research, and advocate for recognition and support at a national and international level. The forum takes its name and inspiration from the mythical Celtic island of ‘Bresal’: an island off the West Coast of Ireland known to appear and disappear magically. It is a metaphor for our interest in art’s intelligence: sometimes obvious and sometimes illusive; both measurable and intangible.  Note: There is a free event, but tickets must be reserved in advance. Please reserve tickets at:           

Monday, 2 October 2017

Huston Guest Session: Award-winning Music documentary Cinematographer Frank Shortt Huston Main, Thursday, October 5th at 2.30pm  Frank Shortt has worked in the film industry for almost twenty years, specialising in the music documentary genre and contributing as a cinematographer to award-winning productions including for leading international rock acts Iron Maiden, Motörhead and Rush. Originally from Norway, he completed a bachelor degree in Film & Video production in 2001 at Surrey Institute of Art & Design (now part of UCA UK), working as a camera trainee and extra on the Oscar-winning feature film Gladiator (Ridley Scott) during his time there and specialising in camera and lighting.  In 2003 Frank returned to Norway and collaborated with fellow filmmaker Martin Hawkes; together they set up SAFT Film, a production company producing local, national and Scandinavian productions and industrial videos. In 2004, Frank (as cinematographer) and SAFT collaborated with the Canadian production company Banger Films to shoot the acclaimed documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005). This led to a series of major music documentary productions for some of the biggest rock banks in the world, including Motörhead: The World Is Ours (2011), Rush: Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland (2011) and Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009).  Frank rose to Head of Camera Department/Cinematographer for Bangers Films, producing high end documentaries and films for clients such as Warner Bros, Universal, Netflix, as well as Bangers’ own productions. Among Bangers’ major achievements was a Grammy nomination for Best long form music video in 2011 (for RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)) and winning the Juno awards for music DVD of the year in 2011 (RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage) and 2010 (Iron Maiden: Flight 666). During his visit to Huston, Frank will discuss the process of producing music videos and screen extracts from the work he has done to date.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Pat Comer - Visual Storyteller Huston Main, Thursday, 28 Septemer at 2.30pm Pat Comer is a Galway-based filmmaker, photographer, and visual storyteller. For over twenty years Pat has plied his trade – producing and directing documentaries and dramas for TV, and also creating novel exhibition spaces – usually outdoors – to display his photographic work. While these different projects are often varied and diverse in both format and nature, there is however a central premise to his work: to try and find meaning and value in the subtleties of everyday life. Because of his background playing with the Galway senior Gaelic football team (and representing Ireland in International Rules),  some of Pat’s work has naturally focused on ‘sporting-themed’ documentaries including the award winning ‘A Year ‘til Sunday’ (1998); ‘Munster – The Brave and The Faithful’ (2006); ‘Tall, Dark and O hAilpín’ (2007); ‘Paddy Don Patricio’ (2012); and ‘Living for London’ (six-part series) (2012), to name but a few. Comedy-based documentaries provide another genre that takes up a large slice of Pat’s TV work. Previous collaborations include with comedian Des Bishop on the projects: ‘In the Name of the Fada’; ‘My Dad way nearly James Bond’, ‘Under the Influence’ and ‘Breaking China’. In the past he has also worked with comedians Pat Shortt and Jon Kenny (D’Unbelieveables), Tommy Tiernan, and Jason Byrne. No matter the genre however, the central tenet of any of Pat’s documentary or photographic work is the ‘story’. Pat’s talk in Huston will focus centrally on ‘story-telling’ and those attending will learn not just about the craft but also the business.  

Friday, 15 September 2017

Huston School of Film & Digital Media continue their Guest Session Talks on Thursday 21st September at 2.30pm with Heather Grace Mills discussing animation in Ireland Heather Grace Mills is an Animation Producer and Line Producer working for Telegael in Connemara, in the West of Ireland. A graduate of both GMIT (BA Film & TV Production) and NUIG (MA Film Studies: Theory and Practice), Heather has worked in Animation Production for more than a decade across a range of animation formats including traditional 2D animation, 3D-CGI, stop-motion puppet animation, and sand animation, for both series and feature films. Heather is currently producing, for Telegael, the first stop-motion feature film ever to be made in Ireland, “Captain Morten & The Spider Queen”, a coproduction with Estonia (Nukufilm) and Belgium (Grid Animation) featuring an all-star Irish cast including Brendan Gleeson, Pauline McGlynn, Ciarán Hinds, Tommy Tiernan and Jason Byrne. Heather’s presentation will include clips and behind-the-scenes footage of “Captain Morten” and other projects in development, and the talk will also provide an overview of animation production, touching upon funding, training, international coproduction and distribution.

Friday, 8 December 2017

  Levi Hanes Research Exhibition will take place in the University Art Gallery in the Quadrangle , NUIG from December 11th-16th featuring artworks which have been developed over the course of an Irish Research Council funded, practice-based PhD at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media as a part of the Digital Arts & Humanities programme considering the role of slapstick and critical aesthetic theory in contemporary art.  The Research Exhibition will consist of artworks featured in Levi's thesis including large and small-scale prints, painted objects, freestanding sculptures, a floor installation and video.  Opening hours: Monday 1pm - 5pm, Tuesday - Saturday 12pm - 4pm. The gallery is currently not wheelchair accessible. Note: Levi will be present in the gallery from Thursday – Saturday inclusive between 12pm and 4pm if you wish to discuss his work with him in person.  

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

We are delighted to announce that Huston School of Film & Digital Media alumnus Patricia Prieto-Blanco has just received the prestigious International Visual Sociology Association, Rieger Award for her PhD thesis: Affect and Affordances: case studies of transnational digital family photography. The award – only one of which is made each year - recognises outstanding work by graduate students in visual sociology. Patricia was supervised by Dr. Tony Tracy (Huston) and Dr. Anne Byrne (Sociology and Politics), NUI Galway and now lectures in photography at University of Brighton.