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we proudly present

Award-winning Films | Eco Activities | Local Voices in Conversation

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KILKENNY

1st and 2nd Dec

@ National Reptile Zoo 

DUNMORE EAST

8th, 9th, 10th Dec

@ The Sailing Club 

FRIDAY, 8TH DEC

Dunmore East    6 - 9 pm 

This Mortal Plastik
22 min | Jess Irish

A personal dive into the world’s most impersonal substance: plastics.

Amid the lockdown, a bereaved mother unfolds a surprising journey within and across oceans to understand the contemporary landscape of single-use synthetics. From the noble intentions behind its invention to scales of havoc it has wrought, this experimental documentary brings together art, history, science, and the everyday. Playfully crafted with hand-drawn illustrations and poetic interludes, this evocative “pause between deep time and no time” will change how you think about this ordinary “thing without thingness”

Into the Ice

90 min | Lars Ostenfeld

The Greenland ice sheet harbours a secret.

The ice at the poles is melting, which will result in enormous rises in sea level and have major consequences for the world. But how fast will it really go? In the Greenland ice sheet we can see our future. The film travels with three pioneering glaciologists on their expeditions INTO the inland ice of Greenland. Top-notch science meets breathtaking visuals when one of them descends into a 200 metre deep moulin hole to find out about the bottom of the ice sheet. What they find may sound the alarm for our planet’s climate and is a clear call to act now.

SATURDAY, 9TH DEC

Dunmore East    6 - 9 pm 

Older than Trees

20 min | Pippa Ehrlich

Hope for the future of sharks & rays

A film about hope for the future of sharks and rays. It speaks to the captivating, enigmatic nature of sharks, but also the fragility of their crucial place in our oceans, despite millennia of stability. The loss of a deep personal connection to individual sharks spurs the desire to make a difference, taking a path of science towards conservation.

Against the Tide

97 mins | Sarvnik Kaur

On relationships with the sea,

livelihoods, and change.

Bombay fishermen Rakesh and Ganesh are inheritors of the great Koli knowledge system – a way to harvest the sea by following the moon and the tides. Rakesh has kept faith in the traditional fishing methods while Ganesh has strayed away from them, embracing technology. Against The Tide is a tale of friendship and rising resentment between the two men, as close as brothers, against the backdrop of an adoring sea, which is increasingly turning hostile because of climate change.

Panel Discussion: Unpacking the Dynamics of Fisheries Today.

Fading knowledge, system cascades, battered livelihoods, political inequity, love for a craft, memories and more.

A participatory session in conservation with ...

Bertie McNamara began fishing in Dunmore East when he was 17 years old. He fished for 60 years, becoming the Dunmore East light house attendant for the last 14 years of his career. He recalls the height of the herring fishing in the late -1950’s and the bustling harbour & smoke houses that occupied the pier.

Deirdre Lane FNI, MSC, Master Mariner - Deirdre holds an MSc in Shipping Operations along with a BSc in Nautical Science and a Diploma in Port Management. Having progressed through the ranks of the Merchant navy and following eleven very happy years working with the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Deirdre was appointed Harbour Master of Dunmore East in 2018. Deirdre is a Fellow and Executive Board member of the Nautical Institute. She loves the outdoors and enjoys road running, Adventure Racing (run, kayak, cycle) and more recently taking part in "Hell and Back” -Irelands toughest physical and mental endurance challenge with her son.

Sean Doherty has witnessed change from the estuary fishery of Cheekpoint. Sean has grown up in and with this estuary, a traditional fishing village in the Waterford, and is one of the last two fishermen operating fishing weirs a ancient method of fishing once common throughout Europe. He believes traditional low-impact fisheries should have a role in fisheries management science and wider education. Sean feels personally about the importance of reassigning value to these traditional practices - ecological, cultural and wellbeing centric knowledge systems - that are rooted in ‘sustainability’.

Jane Robinson is a poet and biologist living in Dublin. Her recent poetry collection, ‘Island and Atoll’ (Salmon, 2023), ‘alternates enthralling visions of the natural world with poems that explore how the loss of our environment disorientates us at the level of sense and meaning' wrote Jessica Traynor in the Irish Times. ‘These are formally ambitious, compelling poems which refine and refresh the Irish eco-poetic tradition.’ Jane's first collection Journey to the Sleeping Whale (Salmon, 2018) received the Shine-Strong Award. Other recognitions include the Strokestown International Poetry Prize. She has also written scientific papers and essays.

SUNDAY, 10TH DEC

Dunmore East    12 - 3 pm 

Patrick and the Whale

72 mins | Mark Fletcher

An enthralling journey into the hidden world of

a whale called Dolores and her species.

For years, Patrick Dykstra has dedicated his life to travelling the globe, following and diving with whales. Over the years, Patrick has learned how whales see and hear, how they perceive other creatures in the water and how they behave at close quarters. He has a finely tuned sense and knows how to act when within touching distance of a whale – what to do, what not to do and when. This allows him to consistently get closer than anyone else alive – a truly unique skill. We follow Patrick as he travels to Dominica again to find this special whale he named “Dolores” so she can help him show us the hidden world of her species.

DUNMORE EAST - 10TH DEC

Demonstration and Discussion with Brenden Simpson 

Lobster Pots: A craft that might need reviving. 

An experienced fisherman, educator and musician, Brendan is an advocate for the sustainability and the survival of small-scale inshore fishing. His true passion lies with heritage fisheries crafts and the making of nets and traps that have been used since the very first settlers to our shores. He transfers his knowledge and skills handed down with a demonstration of traditional willow pot making.

An Intertidal Walk with Tasneem Khan

Discover the hidden wonders in our backyard!

10 - 11 am   Peg's Rock (The Strand)

This is a non-ticketed and open activity for all age and interest groups. Join Tas on an exploration of the living sand, vibrant vegetation, and pulsing rockpools around dunmore. We will explore and document the lifeforms we encounter and learn about their intricate adaptations, behaviour, and the niches they inhabit.

FRIDAY, 1st DEC

National Reptile Zoo, Kilkenny  

 6 - 9 pm 

Eco-Hack! 

16 mins 

Biologist Tim Shields has watched desert tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert plummet since the 1990s. The latest threat? Ballooning populations of ravens, thanks to increased human activity in the desert. Tired of "taking notes on a quiet catastrophe," Tim quits traditional observational biology in exchange for direct intervention. Building specialized drones, desert rovers, laser cannons, and fake exploding tortoise shells, Tim is waging a technological war on ravens in a last ditch effort to save the species, and prove that innovation, technology, and imagination may be the last hope for saving the planet.

Between Earth and Sky

25 mins

For her entire professional life, renowned ecologist Nalini Nadkarni pioneered climbing techniques to study "what grows back” after an ecological disturbance in the rainforest canopy. Now, after surviving a life-threatening fall from a tree, she must turn her research question onto herself in order to understand the effects of disturbance and recovery throughout her life.

Little Things

4 mins 

Prompted by curiosity, a little cow gets caught up in the mechanics of a giant destroyer.

Biopixels

2 mins

Biopixels explores the world of evolutionary biology on the microscopic scale. Using the latest light microscope technology, butterfly wings become micro-mosaics. Butterflies and moths comprise 12% of all species known to man (180,000 species!), and their seemingly endless biodiversity is visually translated on their wings through colour and pattern variation. The images in this film have not been altered but were animated to demonstrate both subtle and dramatic evolutionary development and variation.

Beautiful Poison 

12 mins 

After discovering the orange rivers in a former coal town poisoned by iron oxide, one artist has an unorthodox idea: to extract the chemical and transform it into pigment for paint. Not only does John Sabraw create artworks exploding with colour, he's building a multi-million dollar, carbon-neutral factory that will expand this process to create paint for industrial use, restoring miles of waterways and cutting carbon in one stroke.

Finding Solo 

16 mins

Finding Solo follows Malaysian filmmaker, Myles Storey, as he returns home in search of Solo, a white-handed gibbon believed to be the last of his kind in Bukit Serdang. With help from a primate photographer, local hikers, and Malaysia’s leading gibbon expert, Myles tracks down Solo, discovers how unique gibbons are and witnesses the direct impact that human development can have on their lives. This is Solo’s story, but what will he teach us about ourselves?

Machi (Fish) 
6 mins

The film entitled Machi, which means ‘Fish’, follows a small group from a Tharu household carrying out their traditional practices two days before the start of the Maghi festival. The Tharu are the second largest indigenous ethnic group in Nepal. Unfortunately their fishing expedition yields a very poor catch and that is reflected in the poem which provides a touching yet beautiful commentary to the film. The poem was written and recited by Sangita Guruwa, one of the group going fishing, and describes how the once plentiful and varied fish stocks have now become very scarce. Through the poem Sangita expresses the hope that fish stocks can recover and regain their place within the cultural and environmental ecosystem which are interlinked for the Tharu.

Egret River

22 mins

Among the tall buildings of the city, the lonely guard hides a beautiful field that no one knows, and meets an egret there; but the expansion of the city never stops, one day the field is destroyed, the egret escapes without a trace, the lonely guard begins to see mysterious illusions… “The Egret River” presents the spiritual connection between man and nature with a unique and delicate caring perspective, and tells gentle and meaningful stories in an exquisite art style.

Panel Discussion

Discussing the role of art and film in conservation and the climate dialogue

A participatory session in conversation with ...

Ross Stewart has been painting, illustrating, designing, and working in animation for over 20 years. He has worked on four Oscar-nominated movies: as art director on SECRET OF KELLS, concept artist on SONG OF THE SEA, in visual development on PARANORMAN with Laika Studios, and more recently as director, with fellow artist and longtime collaborator Tomm Moore, on WOLFWALKERS. As a freelance conceptual artist he has worked for many animation and film studios internationally on award-winning projects and has illustrated books and literature for a variety of publishers. His paintings are exhibited throughout Ireland and the UK and held in collections world-wide. He is a nature lover and would gladly sit under an oak tree all day long.

James Hennessy is the creator, owner, and director of the National Reptile Zoo (NRZ), Ireland's only specialist reptile education and research facility. James has been working in the conservation industry for the last 3 decades. He is involved in a range of in-situ projects in wild-species population surveys in Guatemala, crocodile conflict in Uganda, and Anaconda DNA research in Venezuela. Locally, ex-situ, the National Reptile Zoo is the public engagement facet of James' continued work. He develops best practices in captive management techniques, specialist keeper training for venomous species in captivity, and educational seminars for professionals.

Shannon Carroll is a curator researching ecological art practice, who is interested in working with like-minded artists. Her work explores and questions our relationship to the natural world and she is interested in how Ireland’s native language can offer us alternative perspectives of nature. Reading, writing, and conversation are key elements informing her practice. The outcomes of her research are project dependent, including curating exhibitions, commissioning artworks, organising events, lecturing, writing, and publishing. Shannon is the latest curator to be awarded the Emerging Curator Development Programme with Kilkenny Arts Office. She was the 2021 recipient of the ARC-LAB Curatorial Scholarship and graduated with a distinction from IADT’s MA in Art & Research Collaboration. She holds an MA from UCD in Art History, Collections & Curation and a BA from Trinity College Dublin in the History of Art & Architecture and Philosophy.

Tasneem Khan is the founder and director of SEA school, exploring the wild coastal seascape off Ireland, and cofounder of EARTH Colab, in the Indian ocean region. Educator. Photographer. Diver. Sailor. Adventurer. Zoologist - Tasneem is happiest underwater, knee-deep in the mangroves, or working under the hull of a boat. Her work ranges from curriculum development, facilitation of place-based learning programs, and educational experience design. The currents of her work have taken her from the equator to the arctic circle and her images and writing have been featured across numerous popular and scientific publications, art shows, and covers. Tasneem is passionate about facilitating interdisciplinary initiatives - uniting people and projects across ecology, conservation, education, art, science and communication. Currently she is focused on juxtaposing knowledge systems from varied sites and communities, with extensive research on how people relate to, engage with, and learn from 'place'.

SATURDAY 2nd DEC

National Reptile Zoo, Kilkenny  

 6 - 9 pm 

Path of The Panther

88 mins | Eric Bendick

Drawn in by the haunting spectre of the Florida panther, a wildlife photographer unites veterinarians, ranchers, conservationists, and Indigenous Peoples on the front lines of an accelerating battle between forces of renewal and destruction that have pushed the Everglades to the brink of ecological collapse.

DUNMORE EAST - 10TH DEC

Curated Zoo Tour

A tour of the National Reptile zoo with a focus on animals that are on the IUCN red list - species that are threatened in their wild habitats. Discussions on ecosystem degradation, human animal conflict, and possible solutions.

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