Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan is to fly the flag for Irish film as the first-ever official ambassador for the Irish Film Institute.
The Oscar nominee from Co Carlow has agreed to a three-year commitment to promote the work of the IFI which champions Irish films going back as far as 1897.
She has agreed to volunteer her time to promote the institute’s vast archival library as well take part in its promotion of Irish film in public exhibitions and events, according to a spokesman for the IFI.
She is currently busy preparing to strut the red carpet at both the BAFTA awards in London and the Academy Awards in Hollywood next month after being nominated for Best Actress awards for her role as Jo March in ‘Little Women’.
However, she will be on hand to promote the work of Irish film at public events at venues like the Irish Arts Centre in New York when her busy schedule permits, he said.
The actress, who is not only a household name in Ireland but around the globe, said she is both “delighted and honoured” with the role.
“Film in Ireland is always something I will support. Our industry is going from strength to strength through the incredible projects being produced at home and abroad by Irish filmmakers, and by producers from across the pond also,” she said in a statement.
“IFI has always cared about great cinema, and I am honoured to play a small part in their effort to share the brilliant work that is out there with as many people as possible.”
The appointment follows on from her work with the IFI in 2011 in which she appeared in a fundraising video promoting its vast collection of 30,000 film cannisters that are stored in a special climate-controlled repository at Maynooth University.
Among the work she will be promoting will be iconic films from Irish filmmakers like John Huston, Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and Lenny Abrahamson as well as archival material, including footage of Dublin and Belfast shot in 1897 by the French founders of cinema, the Lumière brothers, inventors of the first motion picture camera and projector.