Friday 30 May 2008

Eden at Light House

There will be a special screening of Eden, written by Eugene O'Brien and directed by Declan Recks, at the Light House Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin on Saturday the 31st May at 9.00pm.

To mark the Annual General Meeting of FERA, the European Directors organisation, which is going on in Dublin this weekend, the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild in conjunction with the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland is organising the screening along with a discussion afterwards with O'Brien and Recks moderated by Swedish Writer/Director Birgitte Stærmose.

O'Brien and Recks will discuss their collaboration on the screenplay for Eden, explore the intricate relationship between director and writer, and how this relationship is a unique dynamic within the film-making community.

Book your seats early!

Bette in Dublin

During the month of June the IFI in Temple Bar, Dublin is running a season of films entitled: "Bette Davis: More Deadly Than the Male". It includes screenings of some of her famous films such as Jezebel, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, and All About Eve.

Jordan Interviews Ullmann

At 17.30 today the IFI will show Faithless, which is directed by Liv Ullmann from a script by the late Ingmar Bergman. The event is sponsored by FÁS/Screen Training Ireland.

After the screening Neil Jordan will conduct a public interview with Liv Ullmann.

Thursday 29 May 2008

Short Scripts Awards 08

Filmbase has announced the latest winners of the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme.

There were over 220 scripts received in January, but the three awards will go to:

  • Crossword: Hugh Travers (writer), Vincent Gallagher (director) & Claire McCaughley (producer)
  • Free Chips Forever: Claire Dix (writer/director) & Freya McKenzie (producer)
  • Star Struck: Emma Teck (writer/director) & Bryan O'Brien (co-producer)
Each successful team will receive €10,000 in cash with matching equipment deals towards their productions.

Workshops at Bantry

The West Cork Literary Festival will run from July 6 - 12 in Bantry, and features a slew of activites and events involving writers from many different disciplines.

There are two five-day workshops that should be of interest to members. Each one costs €175:

  • Writing for the Stage by Veronica Coburn, which will take place every morning from 9.30 - 12.30 in Ardscoil Phobal, Chapel Street, Bantry. The working ethos of the workshop will be that of a theatrical rehearsal room. Each session will begin with games and a physical warm up. Each session will have a particular writing focus. Participants will be required to write during the session or in their own time for the next day. Participants will also be expected to share their work and engage in group discussion. They should come prepared to write, talk, argue, discuss, improvise, play games and have fun.Applicants should send in a biography and a brief statement of why they are interested in the workshop.
  • Screenwriting by Jeffrey Caine, which will take place in Ardscoil Phobal, Chapel Street, Bantry every afternoon from 14.30 - 16.30. Students are invited to submit the opening ten pages of an original screenplay. These will form the basis of the week's discussion in an attempt to identify the desirable elements in the first ten pages of a screenplay and how they should be ordered and presented for best effect: those elements that will entice a busy reader to finish reading your script and the absence of which will cause him or her to pick up somebody else's script instead. That's all there is to it. That's all there is to getting your screenplay properly considered.
Details about how to apply for the workshops can be obtained by emailing or by phoning : +353-27-61157.

Wednesday 28 May 2008

Darklight 08

This year's Darklight Festival will run from June 26 - 29, 2008 in Temple Bar, Dublin.

The Guest Of Honour of the festival is actor, writer, and filmmaker Crispin Hellion Glover, who will perform his Big Slide Show live alongside screenings of his films It is Fine. Everything is Fine! and What is It?

There will be a focus on award-winning British filmmaking company Warp Films, and a workshop with actor Paddy Considine, who will present a screening of Shane Meadows' Dead Man Shoes and his own directorial debut Dog Altogether.

Lenny Abrahamson (Garage, Adam and Paul) will curate the festival over the weekend, and help a group of filmmakers construct the Darklight's Closing Night presentation, an experimental documentary portrait of Dublin, in only 72 hours.

The Light House Cinema will feature the 15 Second Film Festival Picture Palace, running at for the duration of the Festival. Darklight '08 also presents a retrospective of work by Irish artist and filmmaker Paddy Jolley, who will be present for a Public Interview with curator Aileen Corkery, and the premiere of a brand new work, Fall, which will screen at Meeting House Square, Temple Bar.

Other Darklight Highlights include:

  • A screening of the 1982 cult classic Tron, preceded by a workshop with Tron FX guru Ken Perlin
  • A presentation from legendary cinematographer Chris Doyle
  • The Straylight outdoor visual art trail
  • The debut of the Irish Film Board's Virtual Cinema shorts scheme
  • An exhibition of classic computer games
  • A special children's screening of classic Irish animation, along with a 'Morphathon' claymation workshop for the whole family

Tuesday 27 May 2008

DLR Residencies

The Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Public Library Service is launching a Writer in Residence programme, and writers in any genre are invited to make submissions for the part-time residency.

The 2008-2009 residency will create opportunities for the Writer to:

  • Develop his/her own work
  • Foster an environment in and through the libraries, where writers can meet local communities
  • Create opportunities for communities to meet writers
  • Provide access for library staff to creative process
The budget for the residency is €15,000, which includes the writers's fee of €13,000, materials and other related costs of €2,000.

Closing Date for application is Friday 20th June. For further information contact Mairead Owens, Senior Executive Librarian, at or 353-1-2781788

The DLR Arts Office and the IADT, with the support of the Arts Council, are also seeking submissions for the Writer in Residence programme in the IADT from September 2008 - June 2009.

The total budget for the residency is €22,000. This amount is to be fully
inclusive of the writers's fee – €20,000, and materials and other related costs of €2,000.

The Writer in Residence initiative in collaboration with IADT has been in place since 2002. Previous collaborations between IADT and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Arts Office include writers in residence, poet Caitriona O'Reilly, poet Peter Sirr and poet Katie Donovan.

Closing Date for application is Friday 20th June. For further information contact Carolyn Brown, Acting Arts Officer, at or 353-1-2719508.

Monday 26 May 2008

Hunger at Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival has announced the winners of the festival competition.

The Caméra d'Or for the best first feature film in compeition was awarded to Hunger, directed and co-written by Steve McQueen, and co-written by Edna Walsh. The film focuses on the last six weeks of the life of the Irish republican hunger striker Bobby Sands.

Friday 23 May 2008

Without Words Wins

In the Irish Times Michael Dwyer reports on the Babelgum Online Film Festival's first awards ceremony in Cannes, which was presided over by jury chairman Spike Lee.

Writer/director Brian Deane, from Cork, and a recent graduate of Galway's Huston School of Media and Digital Media, won the Babelgum Social/Environment Award for his short "Without Words". Without Words

Thursday 22 May 2008

New Screenwriting Competition

The Irish Film Board reports on the Irish Reception at Cannes, which includes a mention of the launch of the new Irish screenwriting award, Write Here, Write Now.

The DIFF website offers the following information:

The Dublin International Film Festival in association with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (Ireland) have come together to recognise the centrality of the writer to the filmmaking process in a brand new screenwriting award, Write Here, Write Now.

"Ireland is rightly famed world wide for its storytelling ability - and for its love of cinema.The Dublin International Film Festival's innovative work is vital to the growth and development of writers and filmmakers in Ireland. The Walt Disney Studios have shot many fine films in Ireland. We have also acquired and distributed many Irish-originated films, which gives us particular pleasure in the Irish office. In teaming with DIFF, WDSMP Ireland is happy to have found a new and exciting way to further encourage quality Irish screenwriting and filmmaking with this award".

Trish Long, Vice President & General Manager. WDSMP

This substantial award will acknowledge and support the creation of original and innovative scripts, through a combination of development funding, as well as extensive promotion withinthe film industry.

The winning script will receive a cash prize of €7,500 / $12,000.
The prestigious jury includes John Hurt, Lenny Abrahamson, Trish Long (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Ireland), Sue Bruce Smith (Film Four) and US Agent David Flynn.

Submissions will be accepted between July 7th and September 19th. Applicants must be Irish citizens or residents. The entry form is available to download, and each application must be accompanied by a €100 fee.

Fairs and Deals

The deadline for application to the Galway Film Fleadh's Film Fair (10 - 12 July) is Friday 6th June.

The fair co-ordinates pre-scheduled meetings between filmmakers with projects in development and invited Film Financiers, Distributors and Major Producers. Last year, the Galway Film Fair organised 560 meetings over the course of two days where 80 Irish and European producers pitched their projects to the 63 financiers who attended the Fair.
Based on the success of last year's Real Deal, the Fleadh will be running the one-day film financing seminar on Thursday, July 10th. The deadline for entry to this event is Friday 20th June. Details and application forms are available from the web site.

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Cannes Pitching

With the Cannes Film Festival running with its usual splendid glory, over on the Guardian web site actor Peter Capaldi discusses pitching to producers during Cannes, in "So here's the story...".

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Be Sharp

The BBC has launched a new screenwriting talent search called Sharps.

To apply, send us an original 30-minute TV script exploring 'the nation's health'. It doesn’t need to be a hospital precinct drama – you can explore 'health' in its broadest possible senses.

Twenty writers will be selected for a workshop, which will involve writing exercises as part of the selection process.

Eight final writers will be selected for a week-long residential, with an intensive focus on developing their work, craft, and writer’s 'toolbox', with input from BBC Drama Production and professional writers.

Each of the eight writers will also receive a £500 bursary, mentoring from in-house development teams at the BBC, and a showcase rehearsed reading with professional actors.
Details about the application process are on the web site, and the deadline for entries is noon, 16 June 2008.

Monday 19 May 2008

RTE 3 by 2012?

According to the Sunday Business Post RTÉ aims to launch a third television channel - provisionally titled RTE 3 - as part of a free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT) service which should be broadcasting by 2012.

The new channel will run material from the RTE archive and other material that is in RTE's possession but is not being aired on either RTE 1 or RTE 2. The public service broadcaster is also planning to offer a fourth television service that transmits RTE 1 programming with an hour's delay, to facilitate anyone who has missed a particular show.

The four channels will be part of a package that will also feature the new Oireachtas TV channel and an Irish film channel, both of which are government-backed initiatives. The eight-channel service will also include TG4 and TV3, as well as all RTE's radio output and an upgraded interactive text facility.

All households will be able to access these channels by buying, or renting, a set-top box, which is expected to cost less than €100, according to RTE. Payment of the licence fee (€160) will also be required.

Conor Hayes, chief financial officer of RTE, said that the broadcaster's plans remained somewhat tentative pending the enactment of the Broadcasting Bill, which was launched last week by communications minister Eamon Ryan.

The bill provides for the switching off of analogue television and the launch of the two new government-backed digital channels.

The timing and precise detail of RTE's digital television strategy depends on the outcome of the competition to win the licence to manage commercial DTT services. RTE has made a bid to operate these services, in tandem with Liberty Global.

TV3 is part of a rival consortium, and plans to launch digital entertainment and news channels if it is successful.

Friday 16 May 2008

Gate Tours Godot

The Stage reports that the The Gate Theatre in Dublin will celebrate its 80th anniversary with a production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, directed by Walter Asmus, which will tour 40 towns and cities on both sides of the border.

First seen in 1987 and revived on several occasions, the production was last seen in Dublin and London in 2006 as part of the Gate’s Beckett Festival. Its latest incarnation has been made possible with funding from the Irish Arts Council, the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism and longtime sponsors Ulster Bank.

The cast of the original production have been reassembled for the tour and includes Stephen Brennan as Lucky, Barry McGovern as Vladimir, Johnny Murphy as Estragon and Alan Stanford as Pozzo.

The eight-week-long tour will assume a “hub-and-spoke format”, with the company travelling on a nightly basis to individual venues from a central location where it will stay for one week at a time. It is believed this is the first time this touring model has been employed in Ireland.

The tour will begin on September 2 in the Co Wexford town of Enniscorthy, where the Gate’s founders, Micheal MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards, first conceived the idea of the company, and end in Enniskillen, where Beckett attended school from 1920-23, in Co Fermanagh on October 26.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Africa Day at the IFI

RTÉ reports that the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar, Dublin and Irish Aid will host an Africa Day Film Festival on the 25th of May.

Four feature length films, 'Daratt (Dry Season)', 'Waiting for Happiness (Heremakono)', 'Africa Unite' and 'Bunny Chow', make up the festival programme.

Wednesday 14 May 2008

NFS Screenwriting Workshop

The National Film School at IADT is holding a free, one-day Interactive Screenwriting Workshop at the MediaCube on Tuesday the 27th of May.

The aim of the workshop is to introduce writers to interactive narrative scriptwriting principles, with a special emphasis on Internet series, such as the popular Sofia's Diary. Campbell Ryan Film Productions, the team behind Sofia's Diary, will be speaking about the creation of the series and the scripting process. The workshop will enable participants to create a sample of their own interactive script. Following the workshop, there will be an opportunity to win a commission on an interactive script project.

Interested applicants are invited to send an email to Helen Doherty at, with the subject line 'Interactive Scripting, and with the following information:

  • Name
  • Contact email
  • Mobile phone number
  • Describe your involvement with scriptwriting
  • What is, for you, the key question about interactive media?
  • Why do you want to take part in the workshop?
The deadline to apply is the 19th May.

2008 Broadcasting Bill

RTÉ reports that the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has published the 2008 Broadcasting Bill.

This new piece of legislation will see the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland take over the functions of the RTÉ Authority, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission

The legislation - which runs to well over 300 pages - is also expected to provide for a new, low cost and accessible method whereby members of the public can make complaints about broadcast material and it will allow for the setting up of a new Irish film channel and Oireachtas TV.
Those who want to read the document in its entirety can download it as a .pdf document from the government web site.

GFC Awards 08

The Galway Film Centre has announced the 2008 winners of the RTÉ/GFC Short Script Awards:

  • 'Can U Hear' writer: Keith Bogue; director: Pat Comer; produced by: Lucky Dog Films (Pat Comer & Keith Bogue)
  • 'Carpark' writer: Diarmuid Goggins & Kevin Lavelle; director: Diarmuid Goggins; producers: Rosai McCarthy & Clodgagh Ni Bhric
  • 'Losing Memories' writer/director: Orlagh Heverin; producer: Paddy O'Connor

Tuesday 13 May 2008

In Focus in Kildare

FilmBase reports that the Arts Service of Kildare County Council will host "In Focus", a forum for film industry exchange, discussion, and screenings on Thursday 22nd May at 8.00pm in the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge.

The lineup includes director Aisling Walsh, whose film Song for a Raggy Boy will be screened at the Riverbank at 5pm, prior to the evening discussion. Local filmmaker David Freyne will show his short musical "The Man in 301". There will be an opportunity to meet and network with members of the Kildare Screenwriters Guild.

Bridge the Gap

Northern Ireland Screen is running a 3-day course (June 9-11) called "Bridging the Gap in the Market", which aims to aid screenwriters who already possess a feature script to market it.

The course covers:

  • The feature film spec market
  • How to present projects
  • Meeting strategies
  • An assessment of online submission sites, competitions, development funds, new writing schemes
  • Alternative marketing strategies
  • Key companies to approach (per participant / project)
  • How to build a career strategy (per participant)
The course is limited to 10 screenwriters, and costs £150. Details on how to apply are available on the web site.

Monday 12 May 2008

FilmmakersNetwork AGM is holding an AGM on Saturday 17th May from 14:00 - 17:30 in Filmbase in Temple Bar, Dublin. All those who are members of the online forum are welcome to attend.

Friday 9 May 2008

Short Films Shortlist

The shortlist for the January Round of the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award has been announced. Eight teams have been chosen for interview from over 220 entries.

The shortlisted projects are as follows:

  • "Crossword" by Hugh Travers (writer)
  • "Free Chips Forever" by Claire Dix (writer/director)
  • "The Mill" by David Freyne (director)
  • "Photographic Memory" by Dave Boyle (writer/director)
  • "Puppy Love" by Trish Groves (writer)
  • "Rebuilding the Broken" by John Quinn (writer)
  • "Star Struck" by Emma Teck (writer/director)
  • "That Late Summer" by Martin Maguire (writer/director)

Light House Shines Again

Today, after an absence of twelve years, Dublin's Light House Cinema opens its doors to the public again.

The Light House Cinema at Smithfield is a four-screen, 600-seat commercially operated cultural cinema which presents a diverse and individual programme of the best Irish, independent, foreign-language, arthouse and classic cinema.

O'Connor Playwright 2008

RTÉ has announced the winners of this year's P.J. O'Connor Radio Drama Awards.

The overall winner was Kevin Gildea from Dun Laoghaire in Dublin with 10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 7! 8! 9! 10! a black comedy in which the caller at the door could be a visitor or a visitant! Kevin is a comedian, writer and actor. Last year Kevin came second in the PJ O'Connor Awards with his play Story which was broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 last September. Kevin received a cheque for €3,000.

Last night's second prize winner was The Lottery by Shay Linehan also from Dun Laoghaire in Co. Dublin. Misfortune is a lottery but when an Alzheimer's patient scoops the jackpot fate seems to favour her. Shay Linehan, based for many years in Zambia, has written and produced a number of stage plays that have toured southern Africa.

Thinking Ahead by Jack Olohan from Rathfarnham in Dublin was the third prize winner at last night's ceremony. Thinking Ahead is a comedy in which a hypochondriac ruminates on all his possible ills. Jack started work in theatre while still at school as a production assistant in The Gate and The Abbey

Ana Leddy, Head of RTÉ Radio 1 said:

"The RTÉ Radio 1 Drama Awards are a fantastic opportunity for us to tap into the wealth of creative talent amongst our listeners.10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 7! 8! 9! 10! by Kevin Gildea is a fascinating black comedy with unexpected twists, he is a well deserved winner. Reading Kevin's work is both entertaining and inspiring, qualities that are at the heart of RTÉ Radio 1 programming."

Thursday 8 May 2008

2008 Theatre Forum Conference

Theatre Forum's 2008 Annual Conference will take place from June 12 - 13 at Cork's UCC.

The focus of the conference is the question "Is it worth it?", curated by Ronan Smith, and will feature an array of high profile Irish and international speakers.

Wednesday 7 May 2008

SAG Talks Breakdown

The 18-day contract negotiations between Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the AMPTP have not been fruitful. Today the Associatied Press reports that the AMPTP has broken off the talks stating that SAG's demands in relation to DVD sales and online content was "unreasonable". For anyone that followed the negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP six months ago this is a familiar scenario.

"With SAG's continued adherence to unreasonable demands in both new and traditional media, continuing negotiations at this time does not make sense," the producers said in a statement.

The guild responded in a statement by saying the producers' decision to end talks after 18 days was unfortunate.

Both sides have said they sought to avoid a repeat of the 100-day writers strike that ended in February. The union's contract for films and prime-time TV shows expires June 30.

"We made significant moves in their direction," Doug Allen, the guild's executive director, told The Associated Press. "We're trying to get the deal done and we're not the ones who walked away."
In the meantime, the Los Angeles Times reports that the AMPTP will open negotiations immediately with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Both AFTRA and SAG's contracts run out on June 30th.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Online Content Guidelines

The Writers Guild of Great Britain has produced guidelines for its members who are writing online drama:

The Writers' Guild is aware that its members are increasingly being commissioned to write online drama and other literary content for 'new' or 'non-traditional' media, particularly as part of initiatives like the BBC's 'Multi-platform Commissioning' drive.

This content may be developed to compliment existing radio or television programming or as standalone new media content. It can be almost anything ranging from fixed diary entries, interactive blogs, daily character blogs, biographies, single voice 'vox pops', audio diaries, in-vision blogs, online games and a myriad of other types of short-form audio, audio-visual or literary content intended as existing programme support material or as standalone on-line only propositions.

We hope that these guidelines will give members some idea of how they might be approached, contracted and paid for this kind of work. As with all our rates, these are minimums and members may be able to negotiate upwards of these. As with any commission, the writer is at liberty to accept the fee and terms offered, or not. If you are a Guild member and you need further advice as to a particular commission or deal you are offered, please contact the Guild office.

Friday 2 May 2008

New Boy Wins

The Irish Film Board reports that the short film "New Boy", written and directed by Stephanie Green, has won Best Narrative Short Film at the Tribeca Film Festival, and a $5,000 cash prize.

Commenting on the film the jury said that "New Boy took us on a complete emotional journey. It was moving, funny, and powerful."

Galway African Film Festival

The Galway African Film Festival will take place from June 1 - 2 in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway.

Galway One World Centre, Galway Film Society and The Huston School of Film are delighted to announce a new free festival; Galway African Film Festival. It will take place on June 1st and 2nd in the Town Hall Theatre in Galway. Our film festival will screen a selection of films from various countries in Africa. We hope they will showcase the wealth of talent the African film industry contains. Our programme will demonstrate the rich complexity and diversity of the contemporary African cultural landscape. All the screenings will be free and open to the public. The programme will include feature films, children's animation, and documentaries.

Thursday 1 May 2008

Pygmalion Plus

Pygmalion Plus is a MEDIA-funded European programme for professional writers to develop a project, be it feature film, animated or live-action TV series, or interactive/cross platform.

Applicants for Pygmalion Plus may be screenwriters and also people accomplished in an allied field, including theatre or fiction, wishing to write for the screen for the first time. The programme will also consider applications from directors or producers developing projects in close collaboration with a writer, and from animators with animation or interactive projects.

There are four places for team support participants who are usually producers, script editors or readers. They are attached to a specific group (ie feature film, animated TV series, interactive media etc) and work with the writers, and the mentor offering support and assistance. This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience of the development process and a greater understanding of the writer's task.

Participation in Pygmalion Plus also results in building networks of potential colleagues and collaborators from amongst fellow participants and programme mentors. There are also opportunities to participate in the Cinekid Festival and BUFF film festival pitching forum.

Dates and Sessions:

  • 1st Lab: 8-day residential Lab: August 31- September 7, 2008
  • 2nd Lab 3-day residential session: late November 2008 (Date TBC)
There will be Internet support from the programme mentors after both sessions up until December 2008

The deadline for receipt of applications is 2nd June, 2008. Application details and forms can be dowloaded from the web site.

Participants pay their own travel costs but all board and lodging is provided. The working language for the programme is English. The programme is subsidised but there is a fee of €750 (+ VAT) per participant.

June 08 Filmbase Deadline

Filmbase has announced that the deadline for the next round of the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Films Awards is 5pm Friday 28th June 2008.

Applications will only be accepted 2 weeks prior to the deadline, which means that submissions sent into Filmbase before the 13th June will not be accepted.

Details about the Award and the application process are available on the web site.