Young Irish Film Makers celebrating 30 years of young people making movies!

Celebrating the 30th birthday gathering in Kilkenny for Young Irish Film Makers were members of the company with special guests: John McGuinness T.D, Mike Kelly (YIFM), Minister Malcolm Noonan T.D, Gary McHugh, Director YIFM, Minister Roderic O’Gorman, Mayor Andrew McGuinness

What started out as a local youth club with cameras in 1991 in the heart of Kilkenny, has grown to become a national centre of excellence for young people interested in filmmaking and animation. Young Irish Film Makers are celebrating their 30th Anniversary as the national organisation responsible for training and supporting generations of young filmmakers and animators both locally in Kilkenny and across the country through several creative programmes.
Over the past 30 years, YIFM has worked with thousands of young people making films and become such an important part of Kilkenny’s creative heritage, as well as a key player in the national youth arts landscape. The starting point of many a creative career, YIFM are best known for their role in helping Cartoon Saloon set up their first studio on their premises (before they went on to winning awards and Oscar nominations). Founder of YIFM, Mike Kelly (Creative Director) and Angela Walsh (Operations) helped so many young people over the decades who have gone on to do amazing things on screen and stage.
YIFM Alumni
Over the years Young Irish Film Makers have had the pleasure of working with some very talented young people. Some of those grew up to do some amazing work in the creative industries. The most famous being Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart from Cartoon Saloon who were members at YIFM, before returning after college to start their animation studio along with Nora Twomey & Paul Young within the walls of Young Irish Film Makers.
Oscar nominated director Tomm Moore says this of the organisation: ‘Young Irish Film Makers inspired me to become a filmmaker. The easy going, yet disciplined, atmosphere introduced me to the joys of teamwork and storytelling at an early age. I have carried those lessons through my whole career.’
Other YIFM alumni include:
Rory Fleck Byrne began his acting career with YIFM taking part in numerous film making projects and has starred in movies with Pierce Brosnan & Jackie Chan in “The Foreigner”
Laura Gaynor attended the National Youth Film School, went on to study film at IADT and is now working for the BBC as a producer.
Ferdia Shaw is one of our younger members who has just recently signed up with Disney to play Artemis Fowl in a series of movies alongside Dame Judy Dench and directed by Kenneth Branagh.
The celebrations involved a trip down memory lane for YIFM Friends, Alumni and many people who have worked with them over the past 30 Years. Those attending enjoyed film screenings from the archive, photo galleries, a display of old costumes and a wander through the studios and workshops at their national headquarters here in Kilkenny.
‘Young Irish Film Makers are entering a new era as it turns 30,’ says Garry McHugh (Director of YIFM) ‘and we are now working with almost 2000 young people each year nationwide. Training them in the skills they need to make films, produce animation and kick start a career in the screen industry. With amazing support from funders like Kilkenny Carlow ETB, the Arts Council, Screen Ireland and the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth, they are looking forward to many exciting years ahead working with young people all over Ireland and beyond.’

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