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The Cinema of Small Nations$
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Mette Hjort and Duncan Petrie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625369

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625369.001.0001

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(p.60) 3. Ireland
The Cinema of Small Nations

Mette Hjort

Duncan Petrie

Edinburgh University Press

As a small and relatively peripheral nation, Ireland's film industry is largely state-funded with additional support from European sources and co-production deals with the commercial industry. It produces between 10 and 15 feature films per year as well as a range of shorts, documentaries and animation films. Ireland is also a popular location for large-scale American and British film and television productions, which bring additional economic and training benefits to the local indigenous industry. Although this industry only emerged relatively recently in the 1980s/1990s, Ireland has had a presence in the American and British film industries since the earliest days of filmmaking and a range of dominant tropes has emerged in the representation of Ireland and the Irish. Much indigenous filmmaking is a response to these traditions of representation as well as a response to the rapid economic and social changes that have characterised Ireland since the 1980s. Indeed, Irish cinema has played a key role in tracking and representing these transformations so that, despite the low profile of Irish cinema internationally (with the exception of Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan) the indigenous cinema has played a key role in the cultural re-imagining of Ireland and the Irish at home.

Keywords:   Irish cinema, national cinema, indigenous production, state funding, local and the global, representation and stereotypes, cultural re-imagining

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