An Bailitheoir” Film Bio Doc – 13 Official Selections and Accolades | Best Short Documentary at Istanbul Film Festival  Watch the captivating (Proof of Concept) documentary “An Bailitheoir” (The Collector) directed by Jason Ó Fionnáin and co-produced by Bartle D’Arcy. This film delves into the fascinating world of a renowned collector, showcasing his extraordinary journey and unrivalled collection of 1916-1923 revolutionary artefacts.  Selected for prestigious film festivals worldwide, “An Bailitheoir” has garnered acclaim, including the coveted Best Short Documentary award at the Istanbul Film Festival.  In association with The Pat O’Hagan Collection and James Connolly Centre Belfast, this thought-provoking documentary takes you on a mesmerising exploration of history and personal dedication.  Discover the collector’s story, inspired by his grandfather and propelled by the tumultuous times of Belfast. As he ventured into uncharted territories, he unearthed invaluable treasures that shaped his destiny. Known for his secrecy, the collector is both revered and feared within the active republican movement. His collection, conservatively valued at over ten million pounds sterling, attracts global interest from museums, governments, and private collectors. However, he chooses to exhibit and share his artefacts within a close-knit circle of trust.  Join us as we get a rare glimpse into the collector’s world, witnessing his prized weapons, uniforms, badges, and memorabilia. These historical artifacts, some acquired from the enemy forces, offer a unique perspective on the turbulent times of the black and tans, RIC, and auxiliaries. From Michael Collins’s army revolver to Thompson machine guns pilfered from an Ohio production line by the IRA, each piece carries a profound story.  Following the Good Friday Agreement and the restoration of normalcy in Northern Ireland, the collector realizes the significance of his life’s work. A pivotal moment occurs as the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising approaches. A powerful relationship is forged, leading to a groundbreaking nine-month public exhibition at the Ambassador on O’Connell St. Never before has such a remarkable collection been curated and showcased to the world.  In this short film, the collector shares insights into his personal collection, both within his unassuming residence and during the exhibition. He revisits significant locations in Belfast, highlighting the timeless importance of preserving our republican heritage.  Immerse yourself in the world of “An Bailitheoir” and witness the captivating journey of a collector whose passion for the past holds profound relevance for the future. Stay tuned for updates on the film’s public exhibition release, coming soon!  Produced by FIONNÁIN CreativeArts™ and Mythlands Guiding Light. Synopsis: His collection is conservatively valued in excess of ten million pounds sterling and is sought after by museums, governments, institutions and private collectors, domestically and internationally. He refuses to deal with them and only exhibits and displays items within a very small circle of trust. Take a glimpse inside the mind of the collector as he shows some of his weapons, uniforms, badges and memorabilia. Many are trophy items taken from the enemy, the black and tans, the RIC and the auxies. All are original with providence from Michael Collins’s army revolver to Thompson machine guns stolen by the IRA off the production line in Cleveland Ohio. Synopsis; After the Good Friday Agreement and the return of a normality to the North of Ireland the collector began to realize the importance of his past work. The watershed moment in republican tradition is the 1916 Easter Rising. Coming up to the centenary in 2016 two paths crossed where a relationship was founded and the power of the artifacts was finally revealed for all to see in a nine month public exhibition in the Ambassador on O’Connell St. Never before had an collection like this been curated and put on display. In the short film the collector talks about some important artifacts both in his own house and on exhibition. He revisits places of importance to him in Belfast and explains that he still collects because you can’t ever have enough stuff. His story is resonant of the past and relevant to the future and he remains the guardian of our republican heritage. SPECIAL THANKS: Music by Davy Spillane – Lament for the Dead of the North RTE Archives – footage

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