Irish Film New York (IFNY) played host to Irish President Michael D Higgins at a screening of the Oscar-winning movie, “The Shore” at the Lincoln Center.

As a writer, a poet, and Ireland's first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, attended the event which was very close to his heart during his first official visit to New York.

The President took part in a panel discussion on Irish storytelling with filmmakers Macdara Vallely, Marion Quinn and IFNY Director Niall McKay after the screening.

President Higgins shared his views on many issues of contemporary Irish filmmaking, including its portrayal of immigration within an Irish context, the balance between creating art and achieving commercial success, and the importance of an organic creative process.

Terry George, director of “The Shore”, said he was heartened to see Michael D Higgins in the Áras, considering his support and passion for the arts.

He said, “It’s a great reflection on our country that a poet, writer, and humanitarian is now President and I hope that his Presidency will mark a turning point away from the materialism of the past.”

The IFNY, in association with the Consulate General of Ireland and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, hosted the presidential delegation, including Ireland's Ambassador to the US, Michael Collins, and the Consul General of Ireland to New York, Noel Kilkenny.

IFNY aims to help Irish films and filmmakers find a market in the United States by fostering partnerships between Irish, and US-based, film institutes.

It connects producers and directors and holds many film screenings and Q&As with filmmakers throughout the year. IFNY hosted its inaugural annual Irish Film Festival at NYU’s Cantor Film Center in September 2011.

For more information please visit

Here’s the trailer to Terry George’s “The Shore”:

Michael D Higgins on a panel Irish Film New YorkGoogle Images