Wednesday 30 April 2008

Lanois Masterclass

FÁS Screentraining Ireland is organising a masterclass with director, producer, and singer-songwriter Daniel Lanois on Saturday the 31st of May, 2008.

Called "the most important record producer to emerge in the Eighties" by Rolling Stone, Daniel Lanois has garnered praise for his work with U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan. Like his sometime collaborator Brian Eno, Lanois has shown a flair for delicate, atmospheric touches, both in producing material for other musicians and in his own projects as a composer and recording artist. Stressing emotional vibrancy over the technical aspects of making albums, Lanois has recorded in such unlikely settings as castles and dairy barns in his efforts to elicit honest, spontaneous performances. The results of this visceral approach have ranged from the soaring intensity of his Grammy-winning coproduction (with Eno) of U2's The Joshua Tree to the moody, understated passion of Lanois' solo efforts.

He has worked in the film industry as a producer and composer working on Dune (1984), Birdy (1984), Last of the Mohicans (1992), Sling Blade (1996), and Sweet Angel Mine (1996) before underscoring Million Dollar Hotel (2000), and the 2006 Pixies documentary LoudQUIETloud. He has had original master recordings featured in numerous film and TV soundtracks including Philadephia, Trainspotting, Sopranos, and The Jacket.
The day will begin at 12pm with a screening of Lanois' documentary, Here Is What Is, followed by the masterclass with Lanois, and it will cost €50.

Daniel Lanois and Brian Blade will play live a live gig for about 50 minutes at the 9.15 pm screening of the documentary in the IFI, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Admission for that event is €35.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

O'Connor Short-List 08

RTÉ announced the short-list for the P.J. O'Connor Radio Drama awards this year:

  • "Piano Lessons" by Sarah Brennan
  • "At the Hop" by Wayne Denniston
  • "Lust for Money" by Philip Doherty
  • "10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 7! 8! 9! 10!" by Kevin Gildea
  • "Get a Life" by Ciarán Gray
  • "The Lottery" by Shay Linehan
  • "Something's Been Lost" by Felim MacDermott
  • "Said the Bear to the Woman" by Martin Malone
  • "Living Room" by Andrea McCartney
  • "Will You Swap Knees With Me" by John McManus
  • "Home Is Where the Heartache Is" by Muireann Ní Aoláin
  • "Deliver Us From Evil" by Billy O'Callaghan
  • "Thinking Ahead" by Jack Olohan
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in the RTÉ Donnybrook studios on Tuesday 6 May at 6:30pm.

New Irish TV Channel?

The Irish Film Board (IFB) has announced a proposal for a new Irish television channel that will be dedicated to broadcasting the best of Irish, European and World Cinema. It has already been sent to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for inclusion in the new Broadcasting Bill, which will be launched by Minister Eamonn Ryan next month.

The proposed new channel will provide Irish audiences with an opportunity to view award winning independent Irish, European and World Cinema in prime time TV slots. It is envisaged that the new channel will be a non commercial, free to air service, available to all Irish households and to be included as part of the new multi channel digital transmission system that will eventually replace the existing 4 channel system.

The channel will fill a gap by providing a platform for Irish films and for award-winning European and World cinema that Irish audiences rarely have the opportunity to see or know about. Irish films screening on the channel are likely to have completed their own commercial cycle through theatrical, DVD and mainstream TV outlets before appearing on the film channel.

The channel will also build key strategic relationships with Irish film festivals, local film societies, schools, third level colleges and universities. The morning schedules will introduce students to new Irish and European cinema and will screen a programme of films that will complement the national syllabus and third level studies.

Monday 28 April 2008

Radio Comedy Online

The BBC's Writers Room has put a comedy radio script online: the first episode of Lenny Henry's new radio series Rudy's Rare Records, written by Danny Robins and Dan Tetsell.

Friday 25 April 2008

Listen to Terry

Culture Northern Ireland has an article about writer/director Terry George's appearance at the recent Belfast Film Festival.

It includes an audio file of the Q&A session after the screening of his new film, Reservation Road.

Thursday 24 April 2008

Light House Charity Film

The day before its official opening Dublin's Light House Cinema will host a charity premiere of The Waiting Room to benefit Threshold on Thursday, May 8th at 8pm.

Light House is delighted to support Threshold, the national housing agency, a near-neighbour, based in Stoneybatter, by hosting its charity premiere of The Waiting Room on Thursday, May 8.

A hugely entertaining debut from British writer/director Roger Goldby, The Waiting Room stars Anne-Marie Duff as a woman involved in a relationship with her married neighbour (Rupert Graves) and falling for caring man (Ralf Little), whose own life is less than perfect.

Tickets for the screening at 8:00 PM and a champagne reception on arrival at 7.30PM are €15. Tickets are available only from Threshold.

For booking details, phone 1890 929 777 or email

Wednesdays Win reports that "The Wednesdays", a short film co-written by Luke Clancy and Conor Ferguson, and directed by Ferguson, won The Ellen Jury Special Recognition Prize at the Aspen Shortsfest in Colorado earlier this month.

The short, which tells the funny, poignant tale of an elderly couple who rediscover love and adventure with the help of some ecstasy tablets, has already picked up audience awards at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival (1-9 February 2008) as well as the Chicago Film Festival.

It has also been selected to screen at film festivals in Canada, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, the UK and New York; and is set to become part of the film study programme in Columbia University, New York.
The short was funded by Irish Film Board, the Galway Film Centre, and RTÉ.

Dublin Gay Theatre 08

The Dublin Gay Theatre Festival launches on Thursday, May 1st with a reception in the Front Lounge in Parliament Street, at 8.30pm.

The festival runs from 5th - 18th of May, and features exhibitions, readings, seminars, performances, opera, and theatre.

Wednesday 23 April 2008

In Podcast

The latest edition of The Guardian's weekly podcast features a review of Martin McDonagh's In Bruges, as well as an interview with the writer/director.

Only Drama in Athlone

The Athlone Drama Festival will take place in the city form May 2 - 10, 2008, and will feature dramatic productions from theatre companies from all over the country.

RTÉ plans to offer extensive coverage and reportage on radio and television from the festival.

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Reality Bites 08

The Irish Film Board has announced the deadline for its short film scheme Reality Bites as Friday, June 13th.

Reality Bites aims to encourage experimentation and a fresh approach to short non-fiction filmmaking. We are looking for something new in the use of the documentary form, whether the projects are journalistic or creative, observational or aesthetic, objective or personal. Documentaries can be produced in either the English or Irish language.

The successful short films will premiere at the Corona Cork Film Festival next year.
Information on how to apply is available on the web site.

Fishy Tale wins

The winner of the Irish Film Board Best Film Script of the Year at the Student Media Awards was:

Conor O'Kelly from Trinity College Dublin for Fishy Tale.

Monday 21 April 2008

Digital cinema in Ireland

Last week the Arts Council launched the report Digital cinema in Ireland (available from the web site), which was commissioned by the Cultural Cinema Consortium, the strategic partnership between the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board.

The Cultural Cinema Consortium commissioned Digital Cinema in Ireland, by Ron Inglis, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the digital cinema environment and to inform policy development in this area into the future. The report details the technological advancements in the distribution and exhibition of film and it outlines a number of options for the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board to consider in order to provide new opportunities for audiences of cultural cinema in Ireland.

Friday 18 April 2008

Grindhouse at IFI

The IFI in Dublin in conjunction with Horrothon are hosting the only Irish screenings of Grindhouse: the double bill of Robert Rodriguez's zombie flick Planet Terror with Quentin Tarantino's revenge b-movie Death Proof.

The decision to separate the two halves of Grindhouse for individual European release was a spectacularly misjudged one, essentially negating the purpose of the exercise while depriving audiences of a series of hysterical faux movie trailers buffering the main features (and worth the price of admission alone), courtesy of Rob (The Devil's Rejects) Zombie, Edgar (Hot Fuzz) Wright, Eli (Hostel) Roth and Rodriguez himself. The Heaven’s Gate of the Miramax generation? A natural born cult classic? Or both?
You can watch Grindhouse on Saturday the 19th of April and Sunday the 20th of April in the IFI in Temple Bar, Dublin.

Web to TV

The Stage reports that the online drama Sofia's Diary will become the first UK-produced web show to make the transition to television after being signed by Fiver.

Fiver director of programmes Hannah Barnes described the deal as an "exciting broadcasting first in the UK".

She added: "Quality programming for 16-24s is booming on the internet, and our decision to showcase Sofia's Diary shows our commitment to 16-24s, which is part of our wider strategy in building a further connection with this group."

Sofia's Diary, produced by Campbell Ryan Productions, launched on Bebo on March 14 this year and attracted five million viewers in its first two weeks online.

It follows 17-year-old Sofia Taylor, played by newcomer Rachel Hyde-Harvey, and charts her ups and downs as she adjusts to a new life in London living with her dad, step mum and baby step-brother.

Writers on the show include Danny Stack, and Marta Gomes.
Danny Stack is an Irish screenwriter working in the UK.

Thursday 17 April 2008

Irish at Cannes 08

Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen have opened up registration for the Irish Pavilion at Cannes 08.

This year, the Irish Pavilion will retain its central position at the heart of the international village and will continue to offer vital business services to its members for the duration of the Cannes Film Festival.
Information on how to register is available online. The deadline is Friday, the 25th of April, 2008.

Guth Gafa 08

Guth Gafa (15-18 May 2008), the annual documentary film festival that takes place in the Donegal Gaeltacht, has announced its programme for this year.

There will be twenty-five Irish and international documentary premieres, with an emphasis on human rights, the Irish language, and a special Polish season of films.

There will be two seminars targeted at film industry people: 'Film-making for Social Change' with a human rights theme, and 'Get Your Film Seen - the future of distribution' with the theme on models of film distribution.

The festival will also feature a FÁS Screen Training Ireland masterclass with a top international filmmaker, a series of side-bar events including the future of Irish language broadcasting (with a representative of TG4), RTÉ's regional policy, a panel on activist/grassroots films, and a special Radharc screening.

Wednesday 16 April 2008

SOURCES 2 Events

A SOURCES 2 Script Development Workshop will be held from the 22 - 30 April 2008 in Tinakilly Country House in Wicklow with the support of FÁS Screen Training Ireland. The participants have already been selected, but as part of the workshop there will be a number of events open to the public:

  • Structures, Post-Hoc Reasoning and People Trying to Sell You the "Rules" of Filmmaking. A lecture by David Wingate, a SOURCES 2 board member, which will focus on the development process.
    Wednesday, the 23rd of April, at 6.15pm in Tinakilly Country House.
  • SOURCES of Inspiration Lecture. Given by Lenny Abrahamson and Mark O'Halloran, and preceded by the screening of their film Garage at the Gaiety Cinema, Arklow.
    Thursday, the 24th of April at 4.30pm, followed a reception at 7.45 pm at Tinakilly Country House.
  • One Thousand Reasons to Co-Produce - or Not? Berlin-based producer, Dagmar Jacobsen, will present various aspects of international co-production, and open the subject up to questions from the audience.
    Friday, the 25th of April at 6.15pm in Tinakilly Country House.
  • SOURCES 2 Round Table. Writer/director/producer Veit Helmer will screen his film Absurdistan (2007), which was developed through SOURCES 2, and premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. He will discuss the development and realisation process of his film.
    Sunday the 27th of April at 4.45pm in Tinakilly Country House.

Sligo Writer-in-Residence

Sligo Local Authorities are seeking applications for the contract of Writer-in-Residence for Sligo City and County. The Writer in Residence on this occasion will act to support activities such as creative writing and the promotion of literature as an art form with a particular emphasis, although not exclusively, on Teenagers.

At the heart of this residency is Sligo Library's main cultural objective to promote reading and in particular an appreciation of literature. The contract term will be from September 2008 to March 2009.

Please send your application in the form of a CV along with a brief proposal (500 words max.) of your vision for the Writer-in-Residence project in a sealed envelope clearly marked “Writer in Residence” to :-

County Librarian.
Sligo County Library,
Stephen Street,

The closing date for receipt of applications is: 4pm on Friday May 2nd, 2008.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Cinemagic Dublin

Teenagers, and adults with children might be interested to know that Northern Ireland's Cinemagic Film & Television Festival for Young People is setting up in Spencer Dock, Dublin from April 23 - May 1. There will be plenty to do: screenings, workshops, masterclasses and special secondary School education workshops.

Filmbase is running a competition to win 2 festival passes (each pass admits up to 5 people) for the opening film of Cinemagic Dublin on the 23rd April. All you have to do is answer the following question and email it to Filmbase by Thursday 17th April. Details are on the web site.

Rushdie at the Gate

To promote the forthcoming Dublin Writers Festival (11 - 15 June) the festival has organised a special literary event: on Sunday 20th April, internationally renowned author, Salman Rushdie, will be in conversation with Fintan O'Toole at 8pm at the Gate Theatre. Tickets are €18 each.

Monday 14 April 2008

Smedias 08

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has announced its involvement in this year's 3 Student Media Awards, which will take place in the Tripod on Tuesday, April 15th.

The IFB is official sponsor of the Film Script of the Year category, which is awarded to the most original, well-written, imaginative script showing the most insight to the cinematic form.

Entrants were asked to submit a short film script which was then subjected to the same rigorous process as scripts submitted to the IFB for funding. After being read by an external reader and short listed, each entrant received a readers report which delivered professional and constructive feedback.
The final shortlist is:
  • Fishy Tale by Conor O'Kelly
  • Baby Bump by Emma Keaveney
  • Fiddle De Dum Stores by Lorraine Harton
  • Square Eyes by Eoin Maher
  • Motive by Denis Ryan

Go French

The Franco-Irish Literary Festival will be going on from 18th and 19th April 2008 in the Coach House, Dublin Castle and on the 20th April at the Alliance Française.

This year the Festival will be composed of interviews, round tables, cafés littéraires, and readings around the theme of Secrets. Some of the writers that will be attending these events include: Colette Nic Aodha, Pedro Serrano, Anne Enright, Fred Johnston, Camille Laurens, Evelyn Schlag, Antoine Boussin, Dominique Fernandez, Dermot Bolger, Sorj Chalandon, David Park, James Ryan, and Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

Friday 11 April 2008

Krzysztof Zanussi Workshop

Filmbase is running a workshop with Polish writer and director Krzysztof Zanussi on Sunday, 20 April from 1-3pm, in The European Parliament Information Office Ireland, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

Zanussi is a world-renowned director and screenwriter known for working in 'cinema of moral anxiety'. He is the director of Polish Film Studio TOR, and is the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the David di Donatello Prize of the Accademia del Cinema Italiano, the Cavalier's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order, and the Cavalier de L'Ordre des Sciences et Lettres. His films include The Structure of Crystals (1969) A Woman's Decision (1975), The Constant Factor (1980), The Year of the Quiet Sun (1984), Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease (2000), and Persona non Grata (2004).
Places are limited, so Filmbase members should apply for the workshop via the email provided on the website before 16 April.

Polish Film Club has been set up to promote Polish movies in Ireland. The web site has the schedule for venues, dates, and times when Polish films will be shown in Irish cinemas, and also features news, film reviews, and competitions.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Mid-Ulster Film Festival 08

The 5th Mid Ulster Film Festival (2-4 May) will launch its programme in Chez Manu, Omagh this Thursday evening, 10th April, at 7pm. The festival will host a diverse range of documentaries, animation, short films, and foreign films, along with a variety of workshops, including a Scriptwriting Workshop given by Barry Devlin.

Tuesday 8 April 2008

2008 Pulitzer for Drama

The 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama has been awarded to August: Osage County, which was written by Tracy Letts, an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

August Wilson

The Guardian has a fascinating overview of the life and work of American playwright August Wilson.

Laois Film Open Exchange

Filmbase reports that the Laois Arts Office and the Dunamaise Art Centre will hold a Film Open Exchange at the Arts Centre on Tuesday 15th of April at 8pm.

"A public meeting for those already involved or wishing to become involved in film, this meeting will explore what needs to be done to encourage and develop drama, film and TV in our county. This forum may be of interest to people involved or wishing to be involved in acting, writing and filmmaking. This is an exploratory meeting to hear your views. We are interested in meeting those wishing to see film development in our county and your suggestions as how to best develop it. The forum is organised by the Arts Office and the Dunamaise Arts Centre. It will be chaired by Laois-based Film Producer, Arthur Lappin. John Conroy, will attend on the night along with numerous other local and national professionals."

8th Belfast Film Festival

A reminder that the 8th Belfast Film Festival begins on the 10th of April and continues until the 19th. It features premiers of Irish, UK, and European films, workshops, masterclasses, and special guests. Plenty to do and watch during the month of April.

Monday 7 April 2008

New Irish Comedy Sought

IFTN reports that Irish producer Adrian Devane of 2000AD Productions is looking for new Irish comedy scripts.

"What we are looking for are commercial, funny, character driven scripts," says Devane. "We have been approached by a well known studio in Los Angeles to find and co-produce a great comedy script by an Irish based writer. I have read over sixty scripts in the last four years from Irish based writers, three were good, and none of them are writing good comedy."

The new comedy scripts should be copyright protected by the writer, written in the proper script format and be between 90 and 100 pages. The films should be funny, commercial and aimed towards a production budget between $6-8million. Devane suggests titles like 'Juno', 'Little Miss Sunshine', 'The Wedding Crashers', 'American Pie' and 'The Wedding Singer' as a guide to the type of films he is looking to produce.

"If anyone feels that they can't write a script but have a good idea then put a synopsis or treatment together and send that in but we are more looking for scripts that are fairly close to shooting," states Devane. "The best advice I can give is to ask yourself three questions; 'Will your script or idea make money to cover the cost of its production? Would you go and see it? Does it make you laugh when you read it? If you are unsure of any of those three answers then forget it, you are in the wrong business."

Thursday 3 April 2008

New BBC Script Online

The BBC Writers Room continues to put out television scripts for writers to read. The most recent is the first episode from their series Ashes to Ashes.

Almodovar Blogs Film

Pedro Almodovar is blogging about the creation of his new film Broken Hugs. It can be viewed in Spanish, French and English and will offer a mixture of pictures and videos, as well as the writer/director's commentary on the process of drafting and shooting the film.

Every 1's a Critic

Every 1's a Critic was formed in 2008 by award-winning producers Declan Hill and Simon Wright, and its aim is to provide a platform for new comedy writing. The company is currently looking for funny Sitcoms scripts that can be staged, i.e. simple staging, minimal costume and lighting changes etc., and are only 15 minutes long.

If you have 15 mins of brilliantly witty, original and stageable material email it to: by August 15th.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

More Theatre for Edinbugh

The Stage reports on the line-up for this year's Edinburgh International Festival (8-31 August), which features a programme with 11 theatrical productions.

World premieres of a major new ballet by Matthew Bourne and a new piece of verbatim theatre by David Harrower are among the highlights of this August's programme, which will also see the return of Scottish Opera to the EIF. ...

Highlights of the programme include Haris Pasovic's East West Theatre Company transplanting Nigel Williams' Class Enemy from south London to Sarajevo and Harrower's 365 One Night to Learn a Lifetime, which concerns a halfway house for children leaving care homes. This EIF co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland will be directed by NTS artistic director Vicky Featherstone.

Theatre Company TR Warszawa brings two pieces - Dybbuk, which questions Poland's relationship with its Jewish population in the 20th century, and a Polish translation of Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian National Theatre's Jidariyya is an adaptation of Mahmoud Darwish's poem of the same name about finding the beauty in life.

Heiner Goebbels is currently developing another of EIF's world premieres - I Went to the House But Did Not Enter.

His collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble will use iconic 20th-century texts by TS Eliot, Maurice Blanchot and Samuel Beckett as his source material.
There is also a lively dance programme and two productions from Scottish Opera.

NI Sponsors Writers

Northern Ireland Screen will sponsor a team of writers to attend this year's Screenwriters' Festival in Cheltenham, 1st – 3rd July 2008. It's open to writers resident in Northern Ireland, but it's not for entry-level writers. Anyone who fits the following criteria can apply:

Essential Criteria

  • Screenwriters must have already had at least one feature film script(s) produced.
  • Experienced television drama writers with at least one commission or broadcast credit.
  • Experienced creative writers (theatre, fiction, poetry) with at least one third party published work or stage play credit.
Other criteria
  • Writers with previous work funded by Northern Ireland Screen
    Writers represented by an agent .
The deadline for entry is 18 April, 2008.

Tuesday 1 April 2008

IFB Launches Industry Census

The Irish Film Board is holding a reception marking the launch of the Irish Audio Visual Industry Census this evening from 6pm - 8pm at The Button Factory, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. The census will be launched by the Chairman of the IFB, James Morris.

Channel 4 Talent Search

The Stage reports that Channel 4 has launched a search for new talent for their TV series Hollyoaks.

The winning entrant will be commissioned to pen an entire episode of the soap that will be broadcast to coincide with Channel 4's forthcoming New Talent Month, which aims to give a different newcomer the opportunity to make their TV debut - whether behind the camera or infront of it - on each day of August this year.

Channel 4 commissioning editor for drama Camilla Campbell said: "Hollyoaks is a vibrant and innovative soap that appeals to its young audience. This competition gives one of those viewers a chance to write for the show that they know and love so well and in so doing, continues Channel 4's commitment to finding and nurturing new talent wherever possible."

Entrants for the competition are required to write and submit four scenes based on an old storyline from the show. One writer will then be commissioned to write their own episode and will work alongside the production team of Hollyoaks to have their script produced and transmitted on air as part of the talent initiative in August. The winner will also have exclusive access to the soap's future storylines.

Light House Online

Dublin's Light House cinema, which will re-open on May 9 in its new location in Smithfield, has a web site in place that will allow for online booking from May 1st. They are also looking for staff, and the details about how to apply are online.

The Light House also has a Facebook and a Myspace page for those who use social networking sites. There's even a Flickr site for those who want to view photos of the work in progress.