Thursday 23 August 2007


Due to vacation the blog will be on hiatus until mid-September.

Come back next month for regular supplies of news and information about the film, radio, television and theatre industry.

Montreal WC

Liam O'Mochain, a guild member, and writer and director, has informed us that his second feature film WC has been selected to screen at the 2007 Montreal World Film Festival (August 23rd - September 3rd). It will feature in the focus on world cinema section of the festival. O'Mochain says on hearing the news "I was delighted, Montreal is a great festival, with a particular strong emphasis on world cinema. It will be a great international platform for the film". WC received its world Premiere at the 2007 Dublin International Film Festival in February, where it sold out. It also screened in July at the 2007 Galway Film Fleadh in the WILDCARDS strand.

WC is a quirky drama set in and around the toilets of a Dublin Jazz bar, it follows a day and in the life of two toilet attendants, Jack (Liam O'Mochain - The Book That Wrote Itself), an Irish guy who has recently been released from prison and Katya (Julia Wakeham - The Tudors), a Russian girl who has come to Ireland to find a better life. As Jack and Katya deal with argumentative customers, an interfering bar manager and an inept thief, they find an unlikely friendship with one another in the last place one would expect - the toilets. Described by the director as a "social drama", the film examines topical issues like racism, social integration, sex trafficking and low paid workers in a every day setting. In making WC O'Mochain has drawn inspiration from the films of Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Michael Winterbottom.

Wednesday 15 August 2007

Hallam in Dublin

On August 19 at 6.20pm the IFI in Temple Bar, Dublin will screen a preview of Hallam Foe, the new film by Scottish director David Mackenzie, which he co-wrote with Ed Whitmore based on a Peter Jinks novel.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with David Mackenzie conducted by Michael Dwyer of the Irish Times.

Regional Support Increases

According to IFTN the Irish Film Board (IFB) has increased its Regional Support Fund by 100% to encourage film and television production outside of Dublin.

The Fund's 2:1 spend requirement means that in order to attain the €250,000 award, the production must spend over €500,000 on costs such as cast, crew, local goods and services, location and post-production, in the designated region.

Tuesday 14 August 2007

Farce Wins

RTE reports that The Walworth Farce, a play written by Enda Walsh and directed by Mikel Murfi for the Druid Theatre Company, has won a Fringe First award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Monday 13 August 2007

RTE Autumn Line-up

The Stage reports that RTÉ has grand plans for its autumn schedule.

Investment in television drama in recent years has increased substantially and alongside returning favourites Fair City and The Clinic, are Prosperity, a major four-part series written by Mark O’Halloran looking at life on the margins of the Celtic Tiger economy, romantic comedy No Laughing Matter by Barry Murphy and Stuart Carolann, and a feature-length adaptation of Eugene O’Brien’s award-winning play, Eden.

New entertainment shows on the way are I Dare Ya, another variation on the hidden camera format, youth talent show Class Act and a spoof documentary series looking at The English Class.

The Arts Lives profile series also returns featuring programmes devoted to novelists John Banville and Patrick McCabe and Father Ted creator Graham Linehan.

Friday 10 August 2007

Cinecitta fire

The BBC reports that a fire broke out last night at the famous Cinecitta film studios in Rome, and destroyed over 3,000sq m.

It started in a warehouse that stored sets - such as those used in the HBO/BBC TV show Rome - and spread. Luckily, it did not reach the historic areas where Federico Fellini filmed, or where Ben Hur was shot. No one was hurt or injured.

Thursday 9 August 2007

Hollywood Strike Jitters

LA Times reports that the on-going contract negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are fraught at best.

Reuters notes that the rush to stockpile scripts before October 31--when the writers' contracts expire--and to complete production on films before the actors and directors' contracts expire next summer could result in poorly-executed and mediocre cinema fare.

At least they'll have an excuse next year...

Wednesday 8 August 2007

Notes on Funding

Those of you who were unable to attend the recent Information Session on Arts Council Funding in Dublin, organised by the Arts Council and Filmbase, will be happy to know that Filmbase has published notes from the meeting online.

Irish Women in Film

Filmbase notes that the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris will host the 1st Festival of Irish Women's Film in conjunction with Women in Film & Television (WFTV) Ireland, and WFTV France, on the 29th of September, 2007.

Women in Film & Television was established in 1973 and is an international network composed of 37 chapters worldwide and over 10,000 members dedicated to protect and enhance the status, interests, and diversity of women working at all levels of the film, television, and digital media industries.

The programme of events for the Festival of Irish Women's Film can be downloaded from the WFTV Ireland web site.

Tuesday 7 August 2007

Daft Punk it

The IFI in Dublin is showing Electroma, the visually ravishing science-fiction fable from Daft Punk duo Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, on August 10th and 11th.

The film is without dialogue and doesn’t feature any of Daft Punk's music. Instead, it boasts some stunningly beautiful imagery and an evocative soundtrack featuring numbers from Brian Eno ("In Dark Trees"), Curtis Mayfield ("Billy Jack"), Sebastian Tellier ("Universe") as well as pieces by Chopin and Haydn. The cinematic references range from George Lucas' THX 1138 to Gus Van Sant's Gerry.

07 Theatre Festival

The Stage announced that the Dublin Theatre Festival has launched the programme for its 50th anniversary season.

Highlights this year include Sankai Juku's Olivier Award-winning production of Hibiki, the 28-strong Young@Heart Company (who range in age from 72 to 93) from Massachusetts, a production of Chekhov’s Ivanov from Budapest's renowned Katona Jozsef Theatre Company and, in their first visit to Dublin in 11 years, Pan Pan will give the first performance in English of their adaptation of the Lars Von Trier film, The Idiots.

Works receiving world or Irish premieres during the 18-day festival include new plays by Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr and Christian O'Reilly, and an updating to contemporary Dublin of The Playboy of the Western World by novelist Roddy Doyle and Nigerian actor and drummer Bisi Adigun. The Gate Theatre will also mount a new production of Brian Friel’s version of Uncle Vanya, one of three Chekhov plays to be featured.
The programme is "designed to deepen and enhance the relationship between Dublin audiences and artists and the international performers visiting the city", according to artistic director Loughlin Deegan. The festival runs from September 27 to October 14.

Friday 3 August 2007

Make it Short

The deadline for the Irish Film Board's Short Shorts scheme is Friday, August 10th.

Scripts for live-action or animated films up to 3 minutes in length are eligible. Up to six films will be selected for support, and production budgets must not exceed €15,000.

Information on how to apply is available on the web site.

Thursday 2 August 2007

Who's Who in Film

The Independent features an article today that profiles the top movers and shakers in the UK Film industry, which contributed £4.3bn to the British economy in 2006.

First Virtual Musical

Further evidence that we live in a science fictional world is supplied with an article by The Stage that informs us that the first online musical--Joined at the Heart--will be staged in the Internet-based virtual world, Second Life. The production will be streamed live on August 4 at 7.30pm, and any of the seven million "residents" of the system will be able to watch it.

Mark Duffy, 3D manager of Fusion Unity, told The Stage: "It [Second Life] is a business tool - this proves it. People from all around the world can attend a premiere or a launch event, and actually be able to see it without invitations, travel or costs. This is the first musical to be streamed, and it just shows what is possible.

"You can log in, see the play and see people's reaction to it. They will be able to turn round at the end and say it was a classic, or it was rubbish, and you’ll get that interaction the same way you would with an audience."

Joined at the Heart is an original musical by Graham Brown and Geoff Meads, based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. In the real world, the production has a 30-strong cast and will run at The Junction in Cambridge from August 1 to 4. It will then play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from August 12 to 18.

Wednesday 1 August 2007

The Queer Lion

The Venice Film Festival has announced a new award, according to the BBC.

The Queer Lion award will be bestowed upon the best full-length film featuring a gay theme or character.

Films entering the main competition are eligible for the award, as are other films being shown at the festival, which runs from 29 August to 8 September.

A small international jury will select the winner, who will be presented with a gold plaque featuring the Venice Lion winged logo with the rainbow colours of the gay pride flag on the wings.

The Berlin International Film Festival has been handing out a similar prize, the Teddy Award, for the past 21 years as an offshoot of its Golden Bear award.

Kings Crowned

RTÉ reports that Kings, the first bilingual feature to be short in Ireland, has been chosen as the 2007 winner of the Directors Finders Series.

Kings was written and directed by Tom Collins, and adapted from Jimmy Murphy's award-winning play Kings of the Kilburn High Road, which is set in contemporary London.

The Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, in association with the Directors Guild of America, will showcase Kings in September to an audience of American distributors with the aim of securing a US distribution deal for the film.