The Guinness Film Society Film Group Collection
The Guinness Film Society Film Group was an amateur filmmaking group set up in February 1968, when Mike Lawlor, then Chairman of the Society, proposed its establishment to the Committee. The Guinness Film Society, in existence since the early 1950s, was one of a number of film societies that brought independent and auteur cinema to Irish audiences. At its next public screening, Lawlor addressed the audience and invited anyone interested in making films to join the Group. Core members of the Guinness Film Society Film Group included Guinness colleagues John Gleeson (editing and camera), Tony Corcoran (research and sound) and Mike Lawlor (producer), aswell as Ries Hoek (director of photography), a Dutch commercial artist with an interest in filmmaking and a 16mm Bolex camera. They completed four films in four years: Liffey Faces (1969), a charming film following the journey of a toy yacht down the length of the Liffey to Dublin Bay; Ciall Cheannaigh (1969), a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the first suburban shopping centre in Ireland; The Birth of the Emerald Star Line (1970), a promotional film about a new Guinness subsidiary offering cabin cruisers for hire on the River Shannon, and Emerald Shannon (1971), which follows a family on their cruise along the river.
In 2022, the IFI Irish Film Archive meticulously restored three of the group’s four films. This restoration programme has been supported by the Heritage Council and Dublin Port Company.