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President Higgins celebrates Irish film in New York

Michael D attended a screening of Oscar-winning Irish short The Shore – and gave his views on Irish film.

Niall McKay, director of Irish Film New York, interviewing President Higgins last night at the Lincoln Centre.
Niall McKay, director of Irish Film New York, interviewing President Higgins last night at the Lincoln Centre.
Image: Whiskey G1ass Studios via Irish Film New York

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D HIGGINS continued his first official presidential visit to New York yesterday with a break for the movies.

The President attended a special screening of The Shore, the Irish produced and directed short film that won an Academy Award at this year’s ceremony. The event, at the Lincoln Center in New York, was hosted by Irish Film New York (IFNY) in association with the Consulate General of Ireland and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Following yesterday’s screening, President Higgins took part in a panel discussion on Irish storytelling and film with filmmakers Macdara Vallely, Marion Quinn and IFNY director Niall McKay. President Higgins said that Irish film had to seek a balance between creating art and achieving commercial success. He outlined what he believed to be some of the issues explored most effectively by Irish filmmakers, including its portrayal of immigration within an Irish context – and even the Irish battle with sexual repression and frustration.

Terry George, director of The Shore, said he was heartened to see Michael D Higgins in the Áras, considering his support and passion for the arts. George said:

It’s a great reflection on our country that a poet, writer and humanitarian is now President and I hope that his Presidency will mark a turning point away from the materialism of the past.

Irish Film New York ran its inaugural Irish Film Festival in NYC last September and it works to help Irish films and filmmakers find a market in the United States by fostering partnerships between Irish and US-based film institutes.

Read: Irish turf-cutting film premieres at major film festival>
Read: Lebanon to host its first Irish film festival>
Read: Northern Irish short film ‘The Shore’ tastes Oscars success>

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