From October 24-26, 2000, snuggled nicely into the doc calendar – two weeks after MIPCOM and one month before the IDFA Forum – is Doclands, Ireland’s first documentary festival and market. Backed by investors that include the Irish Film Board, RTE, Dublin-based post house The Yard and Irish-language broadcaster TG4, organizers of the US$60,000 event hope to raise the profile of docs in Ireland and provide business opportunities for both local and international filmmakers. Says Rod Stoneman, chief executive of the Irish Film Board, ‘I think the strengthening of documentary-making in Ireland over the past five or six years has brought the sector to a point where it’s ready and desirous of [such an event]. Doclands is international because that’s the right and open way of doing it, but frankly the whole focus and the whole motive is for Irish filmmaking.’
Doclands is being organized by Dublin’s Ion Entertainment. Company co-founder Sara Corcoran elaborates on the event’s goals: ‘Doclands is both an industry and a public thing: it’s a support structure for the industry and it’s a general promotional tool for documentary. And people want to come to Dublin for a few days – that’s turned out to be a good selling point for us.’
The festival will open with Travelers (w/t), a feature-length documentary by Irish prodco Little Bird, which is based on the work of Irish photographer Alen MacWeeney. As a compliment to the film, an exhibit of MacWeeney’s work will be held in the Temple Bar area, Dublin’s cultural quarter and Doclands’ home base. Approximately 20 films will be screened at the festival, and consideration is being given to awarding a prize for emerging talent. Films can be submitted until the end of July and entry forms are posted on the Doclands’ website.
According to Corcoran, the market will be a low-key event. At press time, no attendees had been confirmed.