Dr Robert A. Mitchell
Irish amateur filmmaker
The man now documented as the first Irish filmmaker may be so only through the survival of his films, which he had the foresight to donate to the National Film Library (now the National Film and Television Archive) in the 1930s. There may well have been other people in Ireland who purchased cine cameras for personal use at this time, but Mitchell's films have survived. So far as is known they were never shown commercially and were not intended to be. He was a lawyer from County Down, working in Belfast, who took his films in 1898, in which year he made a visit to South Africa. His films, which are singularly uninteresting, show scenes at sea and in South Africa, and indicate a personal interest in yachting.