Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive is a free public access resource for teachers, students, historians and anyone who has an interest in moving images. Spanning from 1897 to the present day, the films in the Digital Film Archive cover all aspects of life in Northern Ireland and includes everything from dramas to documentaries, newsreels and features, animation to amateur footage.
This film is part of Free
The Portable Theatre
Meet the McCormick Players and experience one of Ireland’s last travelling theatres before it falls victim to the TV epidemic.
Documentary 1968 24 mins
From the collection of:
The McCormick Family find themselves in a hinterland as they compete with Bingo, showbands and TV. Thanks to Terence McDonald we can enjoy their variety show, see behind the scenes and hear their stories. Puppetry, melodrama, songs and sketches will keep you entertained between the family’s moving reflections on this vanishing tradition. The film was reportedly pulled from the RTÉ schedule as the Apollo crash put Burt’s song ‘You’ll Never Reach the Moon’ in a new light.
A Derry teacher by trade, Terence McDonald was an innovative and prolific amateur filmmaker. His remarkable body of work includes sensitive documentaries, dystopian fiction, slapstick comedy and promotional films for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the Northern Ireland Resurgence Trust. The Portable Theatre is just one of many gems by Terence McDonald that you can watch on the BFI Player. This material is courtesy of his son Peter Mc Donald.
The Arts on Film
1972 10 mins Location: Mayfair
A painterly profile of County Durham's brilliant miner-artist Tom McGuinness.
Documentary 1953 17 mins Silent Location: St Ives
A poetic portrait of sculptor Barbara Hepworth and the otherworldly Cornish landscapes which inspired her.
1978 29 mins
Impressionistic portrait of life as a dancer in London’s Ballet Rambert.
Documentary 1967 14 mins
Spend a few intense minutes with Giacometti in his Paris studio and see him at work on his striking sculptures.
Documentary 1972 13 mins
Filmed at the time Hockney was painting Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, this compelling study concentrates on the textures and light which surround the artist in his home and studio.
Documentary 1984 61 mins
Discover the 'name behind the hairstyle', in this essential portrait of the bard of Salford, aka John Cooper Clarke.
Derry / Londonderry
Documentary 21 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
Witness the changing face of psychiatric care in this hospital sponsored public information film
Drama 1978 0 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
A Derry classroom becomes an unlikely setting for this uncanny experimental film by Terence McDonald and Gerry Wills
Comedy 1965 0 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
Who is this mysterious man causing chaos in the city of a 1000 rumours? Watch tonight’s feature from Alfred Hiccup to discover Derry’s hidden world.
Sponsored film 1976 0 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
Watch Anthony and Cleopatra make a triumphant entry in the Mayor’s Parade. What will impress the judges more, good behaviour or a good float?
Comedy 1966 5 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
There is a baby and a bandit loose in the streets of Derry, but which one is the fugitive, the robber or the runaway pram?
Drama 1970 7 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
Between us is truth, let there be truth between us
Documentary 2019 16 mins
Three years after their father passed, a family of four women come together through a series of phone calls spanning over three months.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.
Drama 2018 8 mins
Samona Olanipekun explores the concepts of home, identity and belonging, from the starting point of the theme of globalisation.
Drama 2017 16 mins
Compelling story of a complex relationship between an imperious father and his son.
Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
Music video 2019 8 mins
A conceptual film following musical artist Jords’ quest to serendipity. The Tree of Life’ is the cornerstone of the film as he battles to triumph through grief.
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