Trust activities since 1996
The production of Radharc Documentaries ceased with the death of Fr. Joe Dunn in 1996. The Radharc production team set up their own independent production company under the title Esras Films and they make documentary, educational and commercial films on a contractual basis.
The Radharc Archive
The most important ongoing work of the Trust is the overseeing of the preservation of the films which are in the archives of the Irish Film Institute and RTE. There is also cataloguing to be done on the paper work attached to each film and on a library of over a thousand still photographs. There is an ongoing need to maintain a public awareness of the Archive and to promote it in every way possible. It is a wonderful record of life and times in the latter half of the twentieth century, not only in Ireland but also in many of the 75 countries in which Radharc made their films.
The Trust sponsors a number of media educational projects. The first one was the sponsoring of students for a specially designed tuition course in the International Academy of Broadcasting in Montreux, Switzerland. The course consisted of training in the production of documentary films.
More recently and in conjunction with Media Forum the Trust sponsored a survey of the state of Critical Media Literacy in Ireland. The report was prepared by two PHD students – one from Dublin City University and one from The Dublin Institute of Technology and was published in November 2007.The report has been well received and is the basis for ongoing discussions between Media Forum and educational bodies with a view to having its recommendations accepted.
Radharc has been one of the sponsors of the Guth Gafa Documentary Film Festival in Gortahork Co. Donegal since it began in 2006. During the festival a Radharc film is screened and another of the same ethos as Radharc is sponsored.
The Radharc Awards
In 2002, with the encouragement of George and Mary Waters the Radharc Awards were initiated in honour of Fr. Joe Dunn. The purpose of the Awards was to promote excellence in documentary film production and to award current films that reflected the same ethos as the Radharc ones. These awards have been accepted by the industry as coveted trophies and the event has continued on a biennial basis since then.
The Radharc Award at Fresh
In 2006 the Trust commenced a Partnership with the Fresh Film Festival in Limerick. This festival caters for junior film makers aged 8 to 18 years and has been running very successfully for many years now. Preliminary heats are held in Limerick, Cork and Dublin and the finals take place in Limerick in the spring of the year. The addition of a Radharc Award for films of the same ethos as Radharc has added an interesting dimension to this vibrant youthful festival.