Archive for July 26th, 2010

Dublin: City of Literature

26th July 2010 by Maura McHugh

Today it was announced that Dublin will become the fourth city to be honoured by UNESCO as a City of Literature. It joins Edinburgh, Melbourne and Iowa City as Cities of Literature within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Formal notification was received by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gerry Breen, who said

‘‘I am absolutely delighted about this achievement – which confirms what Dubliners have known for years – this is a city that has always produced – and continues to produce – great writers’.

The sought after accolade was bestowed by the Director General of UNESCO and recognises Dublin’s cultural profile and its international standing as a city of literary excellence.

Detailed application was made to UNESCO last November by a steering and management group led by Dublin City Council’s library service and was subject to a rigorous vetting procedure. Partners in the submission included representatives from literary-related organisations as well as culture, arts, tourism, government, media and educational institutions across the city and country.

The designation as City of Literature, part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network, provides a unique platform for Dublin’s literary community and enables the city to increase its market share as a destination for business and pleasure – and Ireland as a creative, exciting, and vibrant nation. Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature has enormous potential for beneficial cultural and economic impacts not alone in the capital city, but in communities across the country. Fáilte Ireland has steadfastly supported the application from inception to achieving the designation, recognising the importance of Dublin and its literary heritage in promoting cultural tourism.

UK Film Council Axed

26th July 2010 by Maura McHugh

UK Film CouncilShocking news today from the UK as reported first on the Deadline London blog, and repeated on the BBC and The Guardian web sites.

British Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to inform the House of Commons at 2:30pm this afternoon that the UK Film Council will be abolished.

A recently-released statement from Tim Bevan, Chairman of the UK Film Council, appears to confirm the news:

“Abolishing the most successful film support organisation the UK has ever had is a bad decision, imposed without any consultation or evaluation. People will rightly look back on today’s announcement and say it was a big mistake, driven by short-term thinking and political expediency. British film, which is one of the UK’s more successful growth industries, deserves better.

“Our immediate priority now is to press the Government to confirm that the funding levels and core functions that are needed to underpin British film are locked-in, especially at a time when filmmakers and film companies need more support than ever as they make the challenging transition into the digital age. To that end, we will work with the DCMS over the summer to identify how they can guarantee both continuity and safe harbour for British film.”