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Irish culture across the globe

In August 2013, under funding from Culture Ireland in Dublin, the CIS and Brazilian partners (USP, Cia Ludens) held a threeweek festival of Irish cinema in five different venues across Brazil and Argentina, curated by Professor Pettitt.

The ‘mostra’ (festival) featured a retrospective of the films of Thaddeus O’Sullivan, a Dublin-born director based in London. Professor Pettitt and Mr O’Sullivan travelled with the mostra to Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires to introduce the films and discuss the director’s work.

They also presented at an academic conference of The Brazilian Association for Irish Studies in La Pampa and at a workshop to film students in the Department of Communications at the University of Sao Paulo (ECA).

In Argentina, they were guests of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency James McIntyre hosted a public screening in the capital. A bilingual edition of O’Sullivan’s screenplay The Woman who Married Clark Gable, made in 1985 and coedited by Professor Pettitt and Professor Kopschitz Bastos, was also launched in Sao Paulo.

A follow up event, back in the UK, was a screening of Jack B Yeats: Assembled Memories (1981) and The Woman Who Married Clark Gable (1985) – as part of the Irish Arts Foundation (IAF)/Leeds International Film Festival in Leeds in November 2013.This was part of the IAF’s annual month long ‘Gathering’ Irish culture event and strengthens the growing relationship between CIS and IAF.

What’s Next?

Arising from the publication, the South American festival and screenings, the Irish Film Institute (IFI) has collaborated with St Mary’s University to curate and re-master a series of five films made between 1974 and 1985 by O’Sullivan, including a rare biographical film treatment of the Irish painter, Jack B Yeats, made for the Arts Council UK in 1981.

Mr O’Sullivan’s work was honoured at the Embassy of Ireland in London at a book launch in March 2014 and the next book in the bilingual series will be the Road to God Knows Where (1988) by Alan Gilsenan, due for publication in 2015.

St Mary’s continues to develop a strong relationship with the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. The two organisations will be delivering a series of lectures closer to home, in London, throughout 2014, and are working together on some exciting research-related plans for 2015 and beyond.

Did You Know?

Thaddeus O’Sullivan was born in Dublin but moved to London in 1966 where he has lived ever since.

The Woman Who Married Clarke Gable (1985) was nominated for a BAFTA.

You can see The IFI is Ireland’s leading cultural institution for cinema collection online.