The Kerry International Film Festival has just completed its 21st Edition, 15 -18 October 2020, and are proud to announce that it has been one of their most successful years of celebrating film to date. Despite facing their most challenging year thus far due to Covid 19 restrictions, KIFF has been overwhelmed by the immense support and interest gained not only at a local level but also both nationally and internationally.
To ensure the safety of KIFF audiences everywhere during an international pandemic, KIFF chose to present an exclusively online festival in 2020. Shifting to a fully digital programme was a new process for KIFF and it presented some interesting challenges along the way, however, a state of the art festival was successfully delivered due to support from local business, the determination of a remarkably dedicated team, and via the invaluable backing from key funding partners such as The Arts Council, Kerry County Council and Creative Ireland. As a result of going entirely online, KIFF are delighted to say that they have reached a wider audience base and have grown interest and participation in the festival far beyond The Kingdom.
General Manager of KIFF, Sean Mulchinock said: ‘We are overjoyed with the positive feedback we have received on every level this year. Filmmakers, audiences, sponsors and local businesses alike have all come out in support of KIFF 2020. This support has made a significant difference to us as a festival and it reiterates the value that people place on KIFF, both regionally and nationally. We are privileged to be associated with all of our supporters and we cannot thank them enough for boosting up our festival, particularly during these challenging times’.
As well as presenting an online film festival for the first time, KIFF 2020 also saw the introduction of their inaugural TRUA award, an award that celebrates compassionate filmmaking that promotes positive change. The recipient of the 2020 Trua Award went to This Land. Upon receiving the award, Director, Zithelo Bobby Mthombeni said: ‘I wanted to start a conversation. I wanted to get people talking, not only about how people in Ireland have suffered racism but also the positive impact immigration has had on Irish culture, whether that’s through food, music, media or activism. It was also an opportunity to talk about how Ireland’s culture has changed in the last 10 years. The creative community in Ireland is quite inspiring right now, and it is important to showcase what we in Ireland have to offer in terms of talent and diversity’.
Due to the immense success of KIFF 2020, the team are already making plans to incorporate a permanent digital element to the festival going forward. However, they are also excited to have the opportunity to work with partners in October 2021 and to welcoming audiences back to physical screenings. Whatever the future may bring, KIFF have showcased that they are here to stay and that they are dedicated to delivering their bespoke festival to worldwide audiences next year and beyond.