Born in Tramore, Co Waterford, in 1922, Mr Morrison is widely recognised for his filmmaking during the 1950s and 1960s, a period in which he made Mise Éire (1959) – the first feature-length Irish language film – and Saoirse? (1961), which together tell the story of Ireland’s revolutionary period from the late 19th century through to the Civil War. He made his first film ‘Dracula’ in 1942 and since then has worked mostly in documentary films – his most recent documentary on Joyce’s Dublin was ‘Dublin Day’ (2007).
His contribution to Irish film was honoured with membership of Aosdána and the receipt in 2009 of the Industry Lifetime Contribution Award from the Irish Film and Television Academy. He has a long list of work, which includes 42 films, and the publication of 11 books several based on his photographic archive.
At the Imagine Arts Festival, George will be honoured with a Mayoral Reception which is to be held in his hometown of Tramore at the Coastguard Cultural Centre. This reception will be followed by a screening of three films including ‘ These Stones Remain’ at Garter Lane Theatre shot in 1971. In this beautiful documentary, George looks at the artistry of stone sculpture and engraving from earliest times to the Middle Ages.
This is followed by a screening of ‘Waiting for the Light’ at Garter Lane Theatre made by director Ciarin Scott and is a frank, funny and an intensely moving portrait of 96-year-old George Morrison; pioneer and innovator of Irish Cinema. Following this screening George and Ciarin will participate in an audience Q & A and the evening will close with the screening of ‘Mise Éire’ which tells of events leading up to and immediately after 1916 using original footage and newsreels with the score by Sean O’Riada.
Just last week George also donated his archive to the National Library of Ireland. The archive reflects a career spanning more than sixty years and shows a remarkable commitment to Irish film. The donation comprises photographs, ranging from lantern slides to photo albums, as well as production notes, scripts and correspondence relating to Mr Morrison’s work in film; all of which paint a comprehensive picture of his creative practice.
Speaking of the honouring of George Morrisson and his participation at the 2018 Imagine Arts Festival festival director Ollie Breslin says, “We are delighted to honour and welcome Mr George Morrisson at the Imagine Arts Festival. His lifetime of work is tremendous, he was a pioneer in his field and he has captured and created a body of work which richly deserves honouring.”
The 10-day Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford, which takes place from October 18th to October 28th promises an exceptional programme for everyone to enjoy. The 2018 festival is an exciting multi-disciplinary series of events that promote the best of local arts mixed with top national and international work. Some festival highlights include the John Dwyer Trad Weekend, the inimitable Spraoi’s latest production ‘Wicked Woods’; Stomptown Brass’ ‘Requiem for Truth’ featuring a raucous New Orleans style jazz funeral and Waterford Youth Arts’ ‘Horribly Historical Trails. The Waterford Writers Weekend this year which will be hosted by RTE’s Rick O’Shea and features interviews with some of Ireland’s leading literary luminaries including Authors John Boyne and Cecilia Ahearn.
A rare live recording of RTE’s Sunday Miscellany which celebrates 50 years this year; ‘Terakaft’ a Tuareg Rock Band from Mali; ‘Meeting Mr Ruckle – a retrospective exhibition of the work of American Artist Ernest Ruckle who resided in Waterford from the 1980’s until his recent death; David McSavage’s new show ‘A Terrible Want’ and a Mayoral reception for esteemed Irish filmmaker and Waterford native George Morrison featuring screenings of his movies including the powerful and iconic ‘Mise Eire’ plus the biggest flour fight to ever take place as clans of Vikings and festival-goers prepare for ‘Blaa-Mageddon’ plus lots more.
The Imagine Arts festival is packed with over 130 acts & performances for all tastes and ages, join in the fun this October in Waterford from the 18th to 28th – see Imagineartsfestival.com