For nearly four decades, in words and images, Bob Quinn has recorded life in the west of Ireland. The Conamara Gaeltacht has inspired his work through its landscape, linguistic identity and local controversies, serving as a microcosm of Irish society in general. Under the name, Cinegael, Bob’s artistic projects have also extended far beyond home, bringing him to film in North Africa and the Middle East, India, Russia and the United States. Cinegael, has evolved into a maker of one-off film documentaries and dramas which have been screened on RTE, the BBC, Channel Four, S4C, SBC etc. and which have achieved other international recognition.
Bob Quinn’s film catalogue includes Poitin (1977); The Atlantean Trilogy (1981/1984); The Buddawanny/Bishop’s Story (1987/1994) and Vox Humana (2008). His written works include Atlantean (1986); An Tir Aneol Photography (1996); and ‘The Atlantean Irish’ – Ireland’s Oriental & Maritime history (2006).
Having previously filmed a short documentary on Clare Island in 1967 for the Horizon series on RTE, he returned to the island to film Budawanny, – shot in black and white and silent – twenty years later staring Donal McCann and a cast of islanders.
In 1988 he became the first filmmaker elected to AosDana and in 2001 the Irish Film Institute awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 2013 Clare Island Film Festival celebrated the work of this maverick filmmaker and reaffirmed his longstanding connection with the island.
We were delighted to host Bob as a guest of honour at the 2014 event and we will endeavor to continue the work he started many years ago of bringing film to rural communities in the West of Ireland.