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Irish Silent Films

Irish Film & TV Research Online is making available nine dramatized films about the Irish made in Ireland and America by Sidney Olcott and others during 1910–15. While almost all the Irish-theme fiction films released in this period were produced by foreign filmmakers, during 1916–20 Irish filmmakers working mainly for the Film Company of Ireland also made innovative and challenging films.

The objective of this on-going project is to take films held in film archives to which few can travel, and whose quality often make them difficult to watch; have them restored by skilled personnel using advanced computer software; and to release the restored films on the internet.

Five of the nine films are concerned with aspects of Irish history and are set mainly during the 1798–1803 period: Rory O’More (1911); Brennan of the Moor (1913); For Ireland’s Sake (1914); Ireland a Nation (1914); and Bold Emmet Ireland’s Martyr (1915); one is the first Irish migration film, The Lad from Old Ireland (1910); there are adaptations of well-known literary works: Dion Boucicault’s play, The Colleen Bawn (1911), and Thomas Moore’s poem, ‘You’ll Remember Ellen’ (1912); and one concerns a mother–son relationship filmed in Ireland and the USA, His Mother (1912).

Project director: Professor Kevin Rockett, School of Drama, Film & Music, Trinity College Dublin.

Restoration supervisor: Professor Anil Kokaram, School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin.

Restoration: John Squires, Green Parrot Pictures, Dublin.

The restoration of this film was undertaken through funding from the Trinity Long Room Hub, the HEA’s Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 4, the ERDF and the NDP.

Supported by a grant from the Visual and Performing Arts Fund, Trinity College Dublin.

Films for restoration were supplied by the Irish Film Archive and Library of Congress.

Representations of Irish History in Fiction Films Made Prior to the 1916 Rising

Read Kevin Rockett's "Representations of Irish History in Fiction Films Made Prior to the 1916 Rising"

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Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Nov 09 2011.