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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Bespoke screening of sheep farming film at Kerry-based mart

Kerry International Film Festival (KIFF), with the support of Creative Ireland, is set to showcase a bespoke screening of ‘Hungry Hill’ in the unique surroundings of Kenmare Co-operative Livestock Mart on Saturday, August 12th, 2023, at 7 pm.

‘Hungry Hill’ is a non-fiction feature film co-directed by Kerry Filmmaker in Residence, Mieke Vanmechelen and artist and researcher Michael Holly.

The film premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh this month to “resounding success”, and the screening at the Kenmare Livestock Mart promises to be an “exceptional” event for the local community, guests, and attendees.

Originally from Belgium, Mieke moved to the Beara Peninsula in 1981 at the age of six. Her father was a sheep farmer who moved to South Kerry to try a new way of farming, and Mieke has grown up loving both sheep farming and the local area ever since.

‘Hungry Hill’ is a compelling cinematic experience, offering an insider’s view of the lives of hill farmers in southwest of Ireland.

The film aims to give the sheep farmers’ voices a platform and raise awareness about sustainability.

Hungry Hill

It showcases the experiences of brothers Connie and John Doyle, offering insights into the joys and challenges of the sheep farming community.

The film also explores personal, political, and environmental themes, and demonstrates the impact of industrial expansion and the lost traditions of sheep farming.

Immediately after the screening there will be a Q&A on ‘The Future of Hill Farming’ moderated by Dan McCarthy (auctioneer/manager at Kenmare Co-operative Mart, as interviewed by us in this news article) with Mieke Vanmechelen, Michael Holly, and farmer, Connie Doyle. This will be followed by light refreshments and networking.

‘Hungry Hill’ was funded by an Arts Council Film Project Award, and the event is supported by Creative Ireland in partnership with Kerry International Film Festival.

Speaking about the film, Mieke said:

“I wanted to document Kerry sheep farmers and their day-to-day life in this remote community.”

“Part of the aim of the film is to capture something that may not be here in the future. It is also about showcasing the impact that globalisation has had on farming and the impact this has had on our invaluable farming traditions,” Mieke added.

In a statement, a spokesperson for KIFF said: “KIFF is immensely grateful to Creative Ireland as well as their title sponsors, Kerry Airport Ireland, and for the invaluable sponsorship and support received from The Arts Council, Kerry County Council, The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA), Tower Records Ireland, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Randles Hotel, the Plaza Hotel, the Great Southern Hotel Killarney, Fáilte Ireland and Kerry Broadband, as well as a wealth of local businesses and stakeholders.”

Entry fee: €5, and tickets are available from Kenmare Mart or online via Ticket Tailor.

Live musical performance at Kenmare Mart

Earlier this week, we shared footage of Effie Neill (Aoife O’Neill), who took centre stage in Kenmare Livestock Mart’s cattle sales ring on Thursday, August 27th, 2023, ahead of the release of her debut single, Country is Best, written by Niall O’Brien.

At the mart’s general cattle sale, she performed the nineteenth-century Irish ballad, ‘The Rose of Tralee’, which the internationally famed Rose of Tralee festival takes its inspiration from.

A spokesperson for the mart said:

“A Cork girl wishing both Kerry teams all the best on Saturday and Sunday from Kenmare Mart.”

“Effie Neill is bringing out her debut single on August 1st, 2023, so please go check it out,” the spokesperson added.

Read more on this news article.

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