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Lives we Love: Irish Folk Furniture at Sundance Film Festival

24th January 2013

'Irish Folk Furniture' kicks off a new Blip Blog feature, Lives we Love, a look at some of our favourite and most interesting stories from around the world

The beautiful stop motion animation film by Tony Donoghue - shot on a camera bought on eBay for 150 Euros - took the Sundance Film Festival by storm this week.

Irish Folk Furniture brings new life to the culture and social history of Irish farmhouse furniture. The documentary about repair and recycling in rural Ireland is a stop-motion story of the handmade furniture found in Irish farms in Tipperary.

The short documentary was chosen to feature at the famous Sundance Film Festival 2013 in Utah from more than 8,000 films sent in for consideration.

Tony Donoghue spent a decade researching and interviewing people in the rural community where he grew up on the topic of folk furniture.

He found that people's attitudes towards their old furniture wasn't always positive: seeing the furniture as functional rather than something special.

However, he also found that there was almost nowhere else in the world that families knew the whole history of their furniture, and set out to make the film that celebrated this tradition.

Irish Folk Furniture, Lives that We Love.<br />stop motion animation, Tony Donoghue, Sundance Film Festival

In the course of the film 16 items were restored and given back to the farmers. It was all shot within two miles of Donoghue's house using a camera bought for 150 Euros on EBay.

"It's a totally community-based project," said Donoghue, who also created the film in an environmentally-friendly way - the company transport is a bicycle and only natural light was used during filming - and utilised the skills of local people in its production.

Irish Folk Furniture was produced by Cathal Black under the IFB Frameworks animated short film scheme. It was funded by The Irish Film Board, RTE, The Arts Council.

The Sundance Film Festival runs until 27 January, and its closing night will feature the debut of the Steve Jobs biopic 'jOBS', which stars Ashton Kutcher as the Apple co-founder.

We think it's a beautiful piece of art. And a fascinating look into the life of the furniture (as well as its owners).

Irish Folk Furniture, Lives that We Love.<br />stop motion animation, Tony Donoghue, Sundance Film Festival

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