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Shinrone on camera again

Published: 19th October 2012

Offaly County Council will embark on another film project using the per cent for art scheme, this time in the village of Shinrone in South Offaly.

The film will celebrate the village of Shinrone giving the local residents and a wider Irish audience a new perspective of Shinrone as, on the one hand, a unique community with an ineffable allure that has - over many years - attracted attention nationally and even internationally and, on the other hand, as representative in many ways of modern village life in Ireland.

The 20-25 minute film combining historical footage of the village (from RTE 1963 & 1967) with contemporary footage and on-screen text to create a kind of audio-visual ‘poem’ of Shinrone. The story will emerge from conversations ‘overheard’ between the villagers themselves, rather than through question/answer interview format, to reveal the authentic voice of Shinrone.

The film will be made by Steven Goldsmith (Writer and Director) and Declan Barret (Director of Photography). Speaking of the opportunity, Steven says, “My intention is to incorporate some aspects of the RTE footage in the piece, I didn't want to simply create a 'return to Shinrone' type of documentary, but instead to find a deeper reflection of the unique spirit of Shinrone.”

There is a lot to talk about in Shinrone; in the novel The Riders by Tim Winton, the main character visits the village of Shinrone and overhears locals discussing the time in 1988 when Arlo Guthrie performed in Shinrone's Community Centre; musicians like Shane McGowan and Christy Moore have also performed; the RTE documentaries and the once-and-future hoped-for visit of Barak Obama. “My goal will be to weave these stories together with images and onscreen text to create a compelling story” says Goldsmith.

Arts Officer Sinead O’Reilly said, “we have had great success with using the ‘per cent for art scheme’ for filmmaking to date, and from our public meeting in Shinrone the idea of using old footage from RTE as a starting point really struck a chord locally. We hope that the people of Shinrone will really get into the spirit of it and we look forward to working with the filmmakers and RTE to bring it to a wider audience”

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