GUTH GAFA Director, David Rane vowed last night that an alternative cinema would be created in time for the film festival in three weeks time.

His comments come following the shock announcement that the festival’s flagship Cinemobile venue has just ceased trading.

A statement issued yesterday morning by the Irish Film and Television Network(IFTN), on behalf of the board of directors and staff of Cinemobile Ireland, said it was “impossible to make up the deficit caused in recent years by the gradual erosion of Cinemobile core public funding”.

The 100-seater mobile cinema was due to travel to Headfort House in Kells, Co Meath  for the tenth anniversary Guth Gafa International Film Festival (3-7 August).

Rane confirmed that the mobile cinema was provisionally reserved as far back as last November and the booking confirmed in March of this year.

“This is a huge body blow for us. The Cinemobile has been our flagship venue for ten years, and was due to host approximately one third of our screenings, including some of our key films and visiting filmmakers. 

“We bring the world’s best new documentary films to rural audiences where there are no cinemas and the Cinemobile was an integral part of that infrastructure alongside other cinemas that we build from scratch.”

He added that Guth Gafa had received no advance notice before last weekend that the Cinemobile was in financial difficulty or about to cease trading.

“We have been left in a really difficult situation. Guth Gafa gets underway on 3 August and will screen over 60 documentary films from all over the world and host visiting filmmakers from as far away as Australia and Canada.

“If we can’t find a knight in shining armour, we will have just three weeks to build a 100-seater flagship venue that will do justice to the work of these filmmakers. But we will do it,” he said.