What an adventure it’s been! Without meaning to sound grandiose, these 10 years have been a journey of actualisation for this Festival with any notions of imposter syndrome quickly drifting away, as the appeal of Birr rapidly grew in the creative hearts and minds of Filmmakers and Fans throughout Ireland and beyond.
Looking back at the past 10 years, and trying to distinguish one year from the next, it’s always the memories of the people behind the ﬁlms that stand out. Yes - their ﬁlms certainly always bring a smile or a tear or a thrill - but only as a sort of bas relief of the Filmmaker as a person themselves. So it’s with great excitement that we look forward to the scores of people that will bring themselves, their crew or their work to the tenth OFFline.
There’s such an exciting programme of short ﬁlms this year. If you think you won’t like short ﬁlms - think again! Take some time out to see even one of the 3 Shorts sessions happening on Saturday afternoon. Friday sees another great Industry day lined up with Birr’s very own Peter Campion and Tullamore’s location guru David O’Reilly just some of the experts taking part. That’s followed by the second Animation Residency ‘Show and Tell’ where you’ll get to see the work of Birr’s latest Animators on display.
For year 10 we’re also doing something a bit different for opening night: We’re showcasing all that’s great and good about ﬁlmmaking in the area with our Made In Midlands section. Come along to kick the Festival off with a peek at what’s happening in the world of ﬁlm so close to home. And if you’re feeling inspired you can sign yourself up to the 57 Hour Filmmaking Challenge with one of the visiting crews. It’s become such keynote for OFFline, we can’t wait to see where and who they shoot in Birr this year!
With huge thanks to our Funders, local business Sponsors, our incredibly generous Patrons, ticket-buyers, ﬁlm-location hosts and volunteers who make OFFline possible (many of whom have been with us all the way!) - Enjoy #10!
Gary Hoctor - Festival Director