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Irish folk furniture film wins top award at Sundance festival

Irish Folk Furniture won the prize for Best Animation at the festival, while another Irish film has been nominated for the Cinema Documentary Award.

Image: YouTube screengrab via YouTube

IRISH FOLK FURNITURE, the short Irish documentary made by director Tony Donoghue, has won the prize for Best Animation at the Sundance Film Festival.

The announcement was made today by the Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB), which funded the short film. The animated tale focuses on folk furniture made in rural Ireland, and features stop-motion animation. It was made after 10 years of research and interviews by Donoghue, who focused on people in his local community in Tipperary.

Speaking to before he travelled to Utah for the festival, Donoghue described how the film was shot using a €150 camera bought on EBay, and was “totally a community-based project”.

In the course of this film we take 16 items, restore them and give them back to the farmers. Older farmers tend to not want to put them into the house. But younger farmers do tend to be more interested.

(Tony W Donoghue/YouTube)

Focusing on the cultural and social history of Irish farmhouse furniture, the short documentary – which was produced by Cathal Black under the IFB ‘Frameworks’ animated short film scheme – brings the stories of everyday handmade objects alive, while displaying a humourous edge.

It was selected from over 8,000 short film applications to screen at the prestigious festival. Since the festival began, the film has also been available to view on YouTube and has reached over 130,000 views.

James Hickey, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board Chief Executive said:

Sundance is one of the most prestigious and competitive film festivals in North America. Tony is a very talented filmmaker and we are delighted to see him receive the international recognition he deserves for his short film. We look forward to working with him in the future as he develops his career further.”

The Summit

Another Irish documentary, The Summit, was snapped up by US distributor Sundance Selects after its world premiere over the weekend and has since been sold to Australia and New Zealand.

The film details the deadliest day in modern mountain climbing history and has been nominated for the world Cinema Documentary Award, the result of which will be announced on Saturday 26 January.

The Summit was produced by Image Now Films and Pat Falvey Productions, in association with Passion Pictures, Diamond Docs and Fantastic Films and is funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/ the Irish Film Board, RTE, BAI and BBC.

Read: Irish folk furniture film arrives at Sundance festival>

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