When I signed up for mobile seminars in September, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) was not high on my list. It seemed like it could be interesting, but, to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. Even if I had an extensive knowledge of the BAI before choosing it is as a mobile seminar, I would still have not been prepared for what happened.
We met outside of the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in Temple Bar. I found this slightly strange because I was expecting to go to a radio or TV station rather than an eclectic film house. We were seated in a small theater that seated less than 100 people. The first person to present has been a radio personality since the 1960s. He lead us through the basic history of broadcasting in Ireland, as well as his role. The next person was from the BAI. Ironically, his roots in radio were from Pirate Radio during the 1960s and 70s. He explained the BAI’s general business plan as well as its current health. Each presenter was informative and interesting. The mobile seminar could ended there and my expectations would have been surpassed. However, once the two gentlemen were finished speaking, we were told that we would be screening a documentary that the BAI partly funded. The room darkened, the screen came to life, and for 90 minutes, I was captivated.
The Summit tells the true story of the deadliest day on K2, the world’s most treacherous mountain. In 2008, eleven international mountaineers perished while three others were seriously injured. One of the fatalities was Gerard McDonnell, an Irishman. Without giving away the story, The Summit, a winner at Sundance, was a thoroughly captivating, yet sorrowful documentary. After the movie was finished, Nick Ryan, the film’s director, walked into the theater. I was blown away. He discussed the creation of the film and what it takes to make a film in general. At the end we were even able to ask him questions. Though I did not expect it, the BAI mobile seminar has been my favorite so far.