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Margaret Currivan being awarded First Prize at the Dublin Amateur Film Society's Annual Dinner for "Up the Canal," 1961

Margaret Currivan

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First Place, Dublin Amateur Cine Society 'Film Shows Cup' for "Up the Canal," 1961.
Founder's Cup, Dublin Amateur Cine Society for "A Day to Remember," 1963.


Photography and Camera Shop Co-Owner

Biographical Notes:

Margaret Currivan (neé Meagher) was an avid amateur filmmaker, with the majority of films in her Irish Film Archive collection dated from 1954 to 1966. Currivan also had an interest in photography and she and her husband owned Currivan’s Photographic Service in the Dublin suburb of Crumlin, where they also lived, which processed and sold film, projectors, cameras and equipment. Currivan was a member of the Dublin Cine Club and entered her films into Dublin Amateur Cine Society competitions, winning awards for her 8mm documentaries during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
A number of the 24 films in the Irish Film Archive’s Margaret Currivan Collection bear a degree of technical accomplishment not typically attributed to home movies. Her films capture her family and many are concerned with periodising their lives through key events like birthdays, holidays, visits with relatives and visits to holiday homes and other popular tourist locations across Ireland. Many of the films are highly choreographed with scenes carefully staged for the camera and most show evidence of a developed postproduction and editing practice. In a 2013 interview with her son, Dan Currivan, he notes, “my mother did all the editing herself – that I remember – as she did explain to me how she did it, running the film on a manual reel to reel device with a viewfinder, then cutting and splicing the film as she went.” Almost all of her films utilise intertitles and title cards, and a few of her more polished films also ulitlise handmade fades and accompanying voiceover and soundtracks.
Currivan had two award-winning films, which were entered into annual Dublin Amateur Cine Society competitions. In April 13th 1961, the Irish Times recorded her as winning first prize in the ‘Film Shows Cup’ run by the Society for her film Up the Canal. Her award was also documented in the Evening Herald, which included a photo of her. Again at the Dublin Amateur Cine Society’s annual event in 1963, Currivan won in a wider body of entries, this time in the Founder’s Cup, for her film A Day to Remember which documents the First Communion of her daughter, Helen, with a voice over narration from Helen describing her experience of the day.

Bibliographic Resources:

de Bréadún, Deaglán. 2004. ‘I like to think he was asleep.’ Irish Times. September 11. [Online] Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/i-like-to-think-he-was-asleep-1.1157234 [Accessed on 30th November 2022].
Evening Herald. 1961. “All In Processing Service,” September 29, p. 17.
Evening Herald. 1961. “Mrs M Currivan, who won the Film Show Cup, and Mr. W.D.E. Robinson, winner of the Gevaert Cup at the Dublin Amateur Cine Society annual dinner in C.I.E. Club, Dublin,” April 13, p. 6.
Irish Film Archive. 2021. Currivan Collection Filmographic. Dublin, Ireland.
Irish Railway Record Society. 2015. GNR(I) – Harmonstown Station opens (1957). [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzcnUhYxo5E [Accessed on 30th November 2022].
Irish Times. 1961. “Cine Society Awards Presented,” April 13, p. 7.
Irish Times. 1963. “Winning Films Shown at Dinner,” April 25, p. 6.
O’Connell, Kasandra. 2020. Archivally Absent? Female Filmmakers in the IFI Irish Film Archive. In Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, no. 20, pp. 12–27.
Young, Gwenda. 2014. Glimpses of a Hidden History: Exploring Irish Amateur Collections, 1930–70. In Laura Rascaroli, Gwenda Young & Barry Monahan (Eds.) Amateur Filmmaking: The Home Movie, the Archive, the Web. London: Bloomsbury.
Irish Independent. 1955. “Photography,” Saturday, March 12, 1955, p. 12.