Time Line

THE IRISH FILM GUIDE

TIME LINE OF IRISH FILMS

man sneezing: among first motion picture sequences

first moving picture shown to a paying public (Feb. 20)

first film shown in Ireland: (April 20)
(shown at Dan Lowry's Star of Erin Theater of Varieties
on Dame St in Dublin)
(in the main these first films in Ireland were current
affairs shorts that dealt with meetings, exhibitions,
races, and visits of prominent people)

first film shown in England

"Dreyfus Affair" & "Cinderella": first french films

Possibly first Irish newsreel of significant length
(state visit of Queen Victoria in 1900)
Other early Irish films (turn of the century)
"Fire Brigade Going Out on a Call"
"A View From the Train on the Blackrock line"
"Demolition of a Building"
"The Gordon Bennett Motor Race in Kildare"

"Trip to the Moon": among best recalled early french films

"Great Train Robbery": first major American film

A film of major events of 1904 in Ireland (Jan. 2)
(shown in Rathmines by the Irish Animated Film Company)

first color films (quality not good though)

"Irish Wives & English Neighbors":first Irish fiction film
Note: Irish-Canadian Director Sidney Olcott, while working
for the American production company Kalem, directed
scores of films on location in Ireland for showings in
Ireland and in Irish-population centers abroad.

"A Cattle Drive in Galway":first Irish documentary

films were shown in music halls in Ireland until

first film theatre opened in Ireland(Mary Street, Dublin)
(The Volta was co-founded by novelist James Joyce)
Note: Although many early Irish films were nationalistic
in theme, Irish films of this early period were filled
with foreign-born, non-Irish, or half-Irish actors,
directors, writers, producers, etc.

first U.S. film company to travel out of the U.S. to
film on location
(The Kalem Company had been founded in 1907 by Frank
Marion, Samuel Long, and George Klein, and in 1910
Marion asked Kalem's top director where in the world he
would like to make a film. Sidney Olcott, whose mother
was Dublin-born, pointed on a map to Ireland.)

(Olcott's 1st film in Ireland: "The Lad from Old Ireland")
From about 1913 onwards, most of the major events in Ireland
were filmed. Sadly, a lot of this film was either lost
or destroyed. A portion of what was preserved was used
in "Mise Eire" and "Saoirse?," two documentary films by
George Morrison

"Ireland, A Nation" (banned in Ireland for several years)

"Birth of a Nation": first true screen epic (U.S. film)

The Film Company of Ireland established (March)
(by James Mark Sullivan, an American lawyer and diplomat)

The General Film Company of Ireland established
(headed by Norman Whitton)

Newsreel laboratories are established in Ireland
-The General Film Company of Ireland (Pearse Street)
-The Irish Animated Picture Company (Pearse Street)
-The Gaumont Company (Lord Edward Street)

The Irish Film Company announces that it has a library of
10,000 feet of Irish scenery

Ireland's first cartoon: "Ten Days Leave"

William Power sets up a Dramatic Society on Novara Road

William Power forms the Celtic Film Company

Charles McConnell chairs Irish Photoplays, Ltd

Filmic isolationism begins in Ireland
(Many American features were, in effect, banned.)

silent films in the U.S. until

"The Jazz Singer": first film with speech (U.S. film)

After "Gone with the Wind," public demands more color

Period Irish film industry languished
(reasons: foreign competition, lack of private capital,
lack of government support, & censorship)

During the 1930s, the Abbey Company of Irish actors made
several tours of the U.S., and many stayed to play in
U.S. films
(Among these actors were: Barry Fitzgerald, Sara
Allgood, Denis O'Dea, F.J. McCormick.)

"The Voice of Ireland": first Irish film with speech

"Juno and the Paycock": seized & burned at screening

Ardmore Studios opens in Bray, County Wicklow
(Before this time, film-making in Ireland had almost all
been location shooting.) (Previous attempts at opening
studios in Ireland had collapsed for financial reasons.)

Ardmore Studios goes into receivership (Nov)
(Irish electricians and English electricians had been
warring over who would be the film technicians at
Ardmore. This row, especially during the filming of
"Of Human Bondage" put off potential customers of the
studio, causing the studio to go idle for 12 months
and then into receivership.)

John Huston chairs committee that reports on the need to
set up an Irish Film Board and what the goals of such
a Film Board should be (Nov)

Ardmore Studios is purchased by New Brighton Enterprises,
an English company
(The new studio chief is Englishman Lee Davis)

Motion Pic. Ass. of Amer. starts ratings (G, PG, R, X)

Foreign directors use Ireland for location filming
(Irish-American Director John Ford: Quiet Man, 1952;
American Director Tay Garnett: The Night Fighters, 1960;
American Director Joseph Strick: Ulysses, 1967;
British Director David Lean: Ryan's Daughter, 1970.)

RTE purchases Ardmore Studios

Ardmore becomes a state-sponsored company known as the
National Film Studios of Ireland (NFSI)

Commercials become the main income at Ardmore Studios

Arts Council presents its first annual film script award

Asso. of Independent Producers of Ireland (AIPI) formed

Irish Film Board established by Irish Government

Significant private Irish investment is beginning
to be found
Anne Devlin (Dir: Pat Murphy)
-only 200,000 of 600,000 punts in costs are from the
Irish Film Board
Pigs (Dir: Cathal Black)
-only 90,500 punts are from the Irish Film Board
Note: Despite their artistic achievements, these two films
did not do extremely well with the critics and
audiences and had only limited releases. So, they did
not further encourage private investment.

Ardmore Studios (NFSI) closed by the gov't on (April 3)
film projects transferred from or lost by Ardmore:
The Jigsaw Man (Michael Caine/Laurence Olivier thriller)
Educating Rita (Trinity College location still used)
Little Nemo (J. Boorman cancelled plans to make the film)
Never Say Never Again (James Bond film)

Ardmore purchased by Ardmore Completion Communications (Sept)

Sec. 25 of Finance Act gives tax cuts to film investors

Ardmore purchased by Pakistani-born American Mahmond Sipra
film projects announced and then later deferred:
Khyber Horseman
Gun Bus
Buried Alive (scheduled to star Peter O'Toole)

Liquidator appointed for Ardmore, who puts it for sale (Jan)

Strongbow Film and TV Productions founded (Feb)
Helped by the new tax law, Strongbow's first project,
"Eat the Peach," finds 1,000,000 punts in private
investment along with funds from the Irish Film Board
and Channel Four. It's second effort, "When Reason
Sleeps," was a 4-part TV series costing 2,000,000 punts

Dublin Film Festival founded

Radio & TV personality Mike Murphy helps start three
production companies
(1) "Emdee Productions" set up with Cameraman Seamus
Deasy was to concentrate on TV productions
(2) On "Little Bird Productions" board were Murphy,
James Mitchell (maker of "The Irish R.M."), Michael
Colgan (of the Gate Theatre).
(3) In "New Irish Film Productions," Murphy was the
executive producer for their first film:
"The Fantasist". Murphy had raised a large portion
of the 1,800,000 punt budget for this first film.

Mary Tyler Moore Enterprises (MTM) buys Ardmore
(purchase was contingent that NBC would pick up a
new series called "92 Grosvenor Square," starring
Hal Holbrook and David McCallum. The pilot dealt
with intelligence work during the Second World War.)
Although MTM had had successes with "Hill Street Blues,"
"Lou Grant," and "Remington Steele" the pilot was
screened on both sides of the Atlantic in December 1985
but the final decision expected in January was postponed
by NBC. In March 1986, the liquidator turned down MTM's
request for an extension because NBC had delayed its
decision.

Ardmore is placed for sale again by the liquidator

Ardmore is purchased by a consortium of MTM,
Tara Productions, and the Nat'l Development Corp (Sept)
-Within two months of the purchase, three episodes of
MTM's Remington Steele were filmed at the studio)

Irish-born directors begin to gather international audiences
(Irish Director Pat O'Connor : Cal, 1984;
Irish Director Neil Jordan : Mona Lisa, 1986;
Irish Director Jim Sheridan : My Left Foot, 1989.)

Irish Film Board abolished (Arts Council assuming role)

Tax break enacted for film firms incorporated in Ireland

New box office champion in Ireland: My Left Foot

Irish Film Centre established

Irish Film School established

New box office champion in Ireland: The Commitments

Irish films begin to proliferate
(Director Jim Sheridan : The Field, 1992;
Director Gillies MacKinnon : The Playboys, 1992;
Director Neil Jordan : The Crying Game, 1992.)

Irish Film Board Reestablished (in Galway)

New box office champion in Ireland: I Went Down

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