3 - 11 OCT 2020
Birr - Co.offaly 
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Offline Film Festival has always been as much about the filmmakers as the films. Our Plan A 2020 festival was to have been a vibrant coming together of people to create, discover, share, and celebrate all there is to love about film, in the beautiful setting of Birr.

But 2020 is not about Plan A’s and we are hoping that it will be sympathetic to Plan B, which has streaming alongside physical screenings planned with military precision to fulfil all the Covid Guidelines and provide a safe environment to be able to enjoy the big screen experience, take part in Q&A sessions and even some very controlled social interactions.

This year we have had more short film entries than ever before, with a healthy representation of Irish Films and a dedicated animation shorts slot with a Show and Tell from this year’s Offline Animation Residents.

Our main theme of Man and Land  showcases documentaries that examine the complex questions of land exploitation , the human stories of the communities associated with industrial land use, and the hope for a Just Transition to a more  sustainable way of being.

We hope you will join us for Offline Film Festival 2020, either in person or online as we navigate this new world that is as strange as any film, and whose plot twists will  keep us guessing  till the final credits roll.

Caroline Conway - Festival Manager


Festival Programme 2020

Saturday 3rd

Family Film


3rd October - 11am

Birr Theatre & Arts Centre

Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship comes from an array of exotic animals that he speaks to on a daily basis. But when young Queen Victoria becomes gravely ill, the eccentric doctor and his furry friends embark on an epic adventure to a mythical island to find the cure.

Birr Theatre & Arts Centre


Wednesday 7th


7th October - 10am

Birr Theater & Arts Centre

Hoping to find the perfect place to live, a couple travel to a suburban neighbourhood in which all the houses look identical. But when they try to leave the labyrinth-like development, each road mysteriously takes them back to where they started.

This schools screening is presented in association with IFI education 

Broken Law

7th October - 7.30pm

Birr Theater & Arts Centre

Dave Connolly is a respected member of the Garda Síochána but his loyalty to the law gets tested by his ex-convict brother Joe who is in desperate need of his help.

Director - Paddy Slattery

Run time: 1hr 25mins

Followed by Q&A in The Chestnuts Walled Garden with Offaly Native Paddy Slaterty (theater ticket required for Q&A entry)

The Future of Film in Offaly

7th October - 2pm


How are filmmakers in Offaly building sustainable careers and companies? Are they achieving their creative goals and ambitions? What supports do they need to grow, develop and thrive?  And, most importantly, is that help available to filmmakers in the region?

This panel invites Offaly filmmakers at all stages of their careers, from emerging to established, to take part in an open discussion about the future needs for film and filmmakers in the region. The discussion will be an critical element in and contribute to the FilmOffaly Needs Analysis of Offaly Filmmakers.


Funded by Offaly Local Enterprise Office.

Max Participants: 20


Email arts@offalycoco.ie

by Noon Tuesday 6th October reference workshop and OFFLine Booking.

Thursday 8th

Creative Storytelling for Screenwriters

8th October - 2pm


How do you come up with ideas? Do they just fall out of the sky and on to the page fully formed?

Does your screenwriting practice include other forms of creative writing? If not, it should! Developing (and maintaining) a consistent creative writing practice is an important element of producing great work, better ideas, more interesting perspectives and greater diversity and volume in your own work.

This workshop will be an energetic session of writing activities and games, where participants will be encouraged to share their own experience in a fun, collaborative and inclusive atmosphere. 


Max Participants: 10-12

Registration: Email arts@offalycoco.ie by Noon Tuesday 6th October reference workshop and OFFLine Booking


Amazon Mirror

8th October - 9pm

The Chestnut

Following two decades of acclaimed shorts, acclaimed Brazilian director Fernando Segtowick makes his feature-length debut with O Reflexo do Lago ('Amazon Mirror'), a stunning, black and white documentary concerning the environmental and social impact of deforestation in Brazil.

Segtowick's contemplative film delves the societal impact of major industry, presenting a gentle exploration of the lives of the residents of Tucuruí, a beautiful region alongside the Amazon that has nonetheless been severely impacted by the building of a hydroelectric dam. In the polluted waters, the remains of dead trees serve as a bleak reminder of whole ecosystems long since lost


Director: Fernando Segtowick

Run time: 1hr 19mins

Birr Theatre & Arts Centre

Gan Fód

8th October - 7pm

Birr Theater & Arts Centre

The accelerated exit from peat will mean that at least 1.25 million tonnes of carbon will be saved each year and emissions will reduce by up to 9 million tonnes up to 2027. The bogs are the Amazon Forest  of Ireland in terms of their importance in terms of Climate change.

Ireland’s necessary transition away from carbon-intensive sources of energy, towards more sustainable, renewable energy, is having a significant impact on the workers in these carbon-intensive sectors, their families, and the Midlands as a whole. Gan Fád traces the transition of the Midland Bord na Mona workers as their way of life is profoundly altered.

Director - Dermot O'Hanlon

Run time 52mins

Followed by Q&A

with quests

Ronan Casey (living bog project)

Paddy Casey (film participant & Bord Na Mona worker)

Pippa Hackett (Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity)

Also featuring..

Ireland’s Boglands, A Hidden Wilderness 

By Joosung Kwon & Tina Claffey

Joosung Kwon is a Korean American documentary filmmaker based in London. His films explore issues related to cultural identify, environmentalism, and globalisation.

Friday 9th

Writing a solid funding Application

9th October - 2pm


Writing a solid funding application is important if you want to move forward professionally and get your work funded. But it can also be a useful way of looking at your project with fresh eyes, refining your story and getting back to the basics of what it’s really about. In this workshop we’ll look at the different funding applications available to filmmakers in Ireland and break down the what they’re asking for, how to approach writing them and, how to make writing a funding application a valuable part of your own practice as a writer.  

Max Participants: 15

Registration: Email arts@offalycoco.ie by Noon Tuesday 6th October reference workshop and OFFLine Booking

Hosted by FilmOffaly, Offaly County Council Length: 90mins

Facilitator: Helen Flanagan

‘Funded by Offaly Local Enterprise Office’ 


Strike or Die

9th October - 7pm

Birr Theather & Arts Centre / Online

In a former industrial town shaken by mining strikes in the 90s, Rescigno follows its various inhabitants and their stories, as questions are raised about the labour struggle, solidarity and how these concepts have now shifted in the present day.

Director: Jonathan Rescigno

Run time: 1hr.33

From the Heart

9th October - 9pm

The Chestnut 

A selection of short films with a midlands connection!

Followed by Q&A discussing filmaking in a time of Covid19 resterictions

Saturday 10th

Shorts Programme

10th October

Birr Theatre & Arts Centre

11.30am - 1.30pm

2.30pm - 4.30pm

5pm - 6.30pm

A selection of Irish & International short films

Prizes for grabs

Best Irish

Best International

Audience Award



Science in the Movies

Fact Vs Fiction

10th October 8.30pm

The Chestnut

Science has been a great friend to the movies, a prop on which to build stories and create new realities   But have the movies  been good to science in return? Often the answer is yes, with NASA or other specialist scientific advisers, but sometimes the fiction presented as fact would make the true scientists squirm in their seats.

Join us for an evening in the company of real and online scientists courtesy of

I-LOFAR, looking at the wins and the fails of how science is used and represented in the movies.

Also featuring

Spiral Nebula.M51

This short film is a visual essay in celebration of the discovery of the spiral structure of Nebula Whirlpool. This momentous discovery, by William 3rd Earl of Rosse, allowed humans to see and realise, for the first time, that we lived not in a singular galaxy but multiple galaxies, a much vaster universe.


Mary Power Cooney, performer

Ann Cleare, composer

Brendan Farrell, filmmaker and editor

Fiona Breen, director

Animation Shorts/ Awards Ceromony 

11th October - 2pm

Birr Theather & Arts Centre / Online

A selection of Irish & International shorts

Followed by introduction to the OFFline 2020 animation residents 


& OFFline Shorts/Animation Awards Ceremony

Sunday 11th


Green Street, Birr, Co.Offaly


Tel: 085 238 9416