ENNIS BOOK CLUB FESTIVAL has appointed a new artistic director who holds strong links to Scariff and West Clare.
Martina Durac who was the director and producer of the acclaimed TG4 documentary series on The Burren succeeds Dani Gill in the role, the Galway woman has joined the board of the EBCF following her two year stint.
Although a native of Limerick City, Martina has strong ties to Co Clare, her father Vincent Dcame from Scariff, and many of her childhood summers were spent in West Clare. In recent years she had the chance to celebrate this with the making of an award-winning documentary series, An Bhoirinn/The Burren which she directed and produced for TG4.
2023’s festival has been set for the first weekend of March with Martina and the committee now beginning the preparations.
“It is a great honour to have been appointed as the new Artistic Director of the Festival. Not only does it afford me the opportunity to deepen my relationship to Ennis and Clare but also to take up the mantle for a wonderful festival that champions both readers and writers alike. It is with great enthusiasm that I join with the committee in planning for the next festival and look forward to meeting all the readers and writers who will join us on the journey,” Martina commented of her appointment.
For over twenty five years, Martina has been a documentary film maker, curator, designer and lecturer. With a particular interest in art, nature and community she has explored these in her projects, whether observing the lives of coastal communities and wild landscapes, the work and lives of writers, musicians and painters, drug-free environments, or musical gatherings.
She was the originator and series producer on a long-running weekly books programme on RTÉ called Imprint which featured many memorable interviews with writers such as Eavan Boland, Brendan Kenneally, Joe O’Connor, Gore Vidal and Maeve Binchy.
Durac also made the weekly arts programme, Soiscéal Pháraic, for TG4, which ran for five years and featured many writers. Her work has been intimately connected with the world of the arts and writing for many years. She directed a documentary on the writer Hugo Hamilton and produced a documentary on Patrick Kavanagh.
A member of the Documentary Alliance of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland where sits on its board, Martina also served on the board of the European Documentary Network (based in Copenhagen) for two years. She is a member of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA) and Women in Film & Television (Ireland). She was a member of the jury for best documentary series of 2020 for the International Documentary Association.
Chairperson of the EBCF, Cora Gunter noted Martina’s “wealth of experience in the arts, both literature and film making so we are very excited about how the Festival develops under her stewardship. Martina is also very interested in exploring events that appeal to all readers but especially with book club groups who are our key audience”.