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One of Ireland's best-known film festivals has been forced to close its doors over a lack of funding

The festival was founded in 2007 and showcases cinema from around the world.

Image: Shutterstock/Frank Gaertner

THE ORGANISERS OF the Dingle International Film Festival have announced that the festival will close due to a lack of funding. 

The festival was founded in 2007, and showcases films from Ireland and around the world across all genres, with its most recent edition taking place in March this year.

It was the first Irish film festival to hold an Animation Awards ceremony in 2015 and had a full animation programme, while it also promoted Irish language cinema by offering an award for Irish script writing with its Físín event.

However, announcing details of a final event today, which will see its founder Maurice Galway given The Gregory Peck Award: For Excellence in the Art of Film, the board of the festival announced that rising costs meant it would close its doors.

The board said that the increasing size of the festival, combined with a lack of funding, resulted in a situation where staff could not be employed to enable the festival to continue in its current format.

They said the festival would “not compromise” on its content, which led to a “very difficult decision” to cease business and wind down the company.

The board thanked their sponsors, funders and supporters, as well as industry experts, audiences and Galway, who is also Artistic Director of the festival.

“The board would like to thank Maurice Galway for his unwavering devotion and dedication to the Festival,” a statement said.

“Without his integrity and tenacity the Festival would not be what it is today.

“Dingle IFF is a very significant player on the Festival circuit and is held in high esteem both in Ireland and worldwide.

“Each year guests and films come in from home and abroad and this is in no small way, down to the hard work of Maurice Galway.”

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Galway said the festival’s organisers were disappointed with the decision, but felt the event was no longer viable.

He said that despite the work of volunteers and students, cuts in funding from the Arts Council and Kerry County Council meant organisers were no longer able to put the festival on to a high standard.

“We were looking at it for the last two to three years and felt we had to call it a day,” he said.

“It was just stagnant financially. We were just about getting there and balancing the books, but we were never making much more than that.

“It was a big risk every year to go into it and ultimately, it became about integrity: we were trying to do everything really well.”

However, he added that rising insurance costs were not a factor in the festival’s, saying that this had never been an issue in the 12 years that the festival was in existence.

Galway will be presented with the Gregory Peck Award at a ceremony in The Phoenix Cinema on Saturday 29 June.

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