Monday 30 June 2008

Lights Out! 2008

Lights Out!, the Irish Film Institute's new national film festival for young people, which will take place from July 12-26 all around Ireland, has announced its programme. It will offer a selection of films aimed at young people in locations around the country, as well as seminars and masterclasses on working in the industry. Perfect for those looking for shelter from our Irish summer during their holidays.


The Guardian interviews Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, during which he discusses his collaboration with writer Mark O'Halloran, and how they approach filmmaking together.

Friday 27 June 2008

Fleadh 2008

The Galway Film Fleadh (8-13 July) has announced its full programme online.

There is a fine selection of international and Irish documentaries and features, short film screenings, and special guests including Peter O'Toole, Jessica Lange and Bill Pullman. On top of this there will be masterclasses for actors, directors, and screenwriters, industry seminars, the pitching award, and the film fair. There will be plenty to do and see during the Fleadh.

Thursday 26 June 2008


SÍOL is a new initiative aimed at writers/directors to develop a script that will be broadcast as a part of a drama series on TG4. SÍOL will give 6 writers or writer/directors from the Gaeltacht, or those similarly fluent in Irish, the opportunity to write, develop, and produce a television script.

SÍOL is open to all Irish writers nationwide, whether they have experience writing for television or not, and to directors who wish to gain experience in TV drama.

The central theme will be Family. This can be a general reading of the word and not necessarily the traditional nuclear family.

Six proposals will be chosen from the submissions. The selected writers and directors will participate in a series of writer/director master classes before bringing the series to production and broadcast.

Application forms, guidelines, and further information are all available on the web site. The closing date for script entries is 13th August 2008.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

AGM Reminder

A reminder that the 6th Annual General Meeting of the Irish Playwrights' and Screenwriters' Guild will take place this coming Saturday June 28th at 2.30pm at the Light House Cinema, Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7.

Nominations to vacant places on the Board of Directors, proposed by a member entitled to attend the AGM, together with a note of consent to be so nominated from the nominee, should reach the Company Secretary at Art House, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 no later than 5.00pm, today.

Only full members may nominate or vote in the AGM. All full members of the Guild should have received a notice about the AGM, and a proxy form in case they are unable to attend the AGM. Completed proxy forms should reach the Company Secretary at Art House, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 by 5.00pm tomorrow.

If you are entitled to vote, and have not received the forms, please contact the Guild on: +353-1-6709970.

The Guild staff look foward to meeting IPSG members on Saturday!

Archivist Scholarship

The IFI in association with the School of History and Archives, University College Dublin, is offering a full-time one-year Studentship for the period 1st September 2008 to 28th August 2009.

The post is intended to provide relevant work experience for a graduate who intends to apply for the MA (Archives and Records Management) at U.C.D.

The post will require the student to work on the paper and photographic collections of the Irish Film Archive with tasks selected to familiarise the student with basic archival theory and practice.

Candidates should have a third level qualification or expect to obtain one this year. The value of the Studentship will be €15,000.

Information on how to apply is on the web site and the deadline is Friday 18th July 2008.

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Summer Challenge

RISE films and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates, together
with Sight & Sound, have issued a Summer Film Challenge: write a script during the summer, and have it made.

We will bring your film from the page to the screen and give you the opportunity to secure representation from a leading literary agency.

Whether it's comedy, action, horror, sci-fi, or thriller, we want to read your work. So, if you've been carrying around that big idea but don't know where to put it, unburden yourself this summer.

We will select one script and develop it further with the writer, eventually to be financed and produced.

Writers must have the right to work in the UK on the project, and should not have literary representation. The script needs to be feature length (70+ pages), and there is no entry fee.

The application form can be downloaded from the web site, and the deadline for entries is 26th September 2008.

Signatures 2008

The Irish Film Board has announced that its deadline for its short film scheme, SIGNATURES, is August 15th.

SIGNATURES is a short film scheme for the making of live-action, fiction films that act as a proving-ground for Irish creative talents which aims to encourage strong, original storytelling, visual flair, and production values appropriate to the big screen. Films can be made in Irish or English.

The scheme is a fantastic opportunity for producers, directors and writers to work in a professional environment that will allow them to further their experience.

The successful short films will premiere at the Corona Cork Film Festival next year.

Details on how to apply for the scheme are available on the IFB's web site.

Friday 20 June 2008

Fleadh Writers Masterclass

The Galway Film Fleadh has announced details about its Screenwriter's Masterclass with Martin Daniel & Ted Braun on Thursday 10th July.

Martin Daniel is a professor at the University of Southern California, on what is regarded as America’s most prestigious screenwriting programme. He combines his American education and professional experience with a European sensibility derived from his Czech origins and decades of work as an international script consultant. In this session, he will share his unparalleled experience with Irish professionals at the Fleadh.

He will present a specially designed masterclass, which offers an overview of the Frank Daniel approach to storytelling on the screen, followed by a detailed, practical session on constructing and rewriting scenes. This masterclass is designed to be of benefit to experienced screenwriters, producers and script editors.

Martin Daniel says he is delighted to be returning to Galway this year. "I always enjoy working with Irish writers; I see a lot of parallels between the Irish and the Czechs, not least that they are natural writers and storytellers. They have both used language and creativity to survive with a strong cultural identity despite centuries in the shadow of a neighbouring empire."

The session will be moderated by Irish screenwriter and script consultant Mary Kate O Flanagan and will include opportunities for Q&A.

Martin Daniel Biography

Martin Daniel is a script development expert and teacher. He is a member of the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Cinema/Television (Writing Division), where he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses since 1996.

Martin is also a founding faculty member of the Maurits Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and was a core faculty member of the international screenwriting program North by NorthWest. He has taught screenwriting workshops and classes all over the world for over twenty years, including a one-year Fulbright lectureship at FAMU, the film school in his native Czech Republic. His students’ many critical and professional success stories include an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

For the past fifteen years, Martin has been on the script development team of European Audio-Visual Entrepreneurs, a European Union Media Program Initiative for the training of independent producers. He has consulted independent producers on the development of over two hundred feature film scripts.

If you would like to attend this Masterclass, download the application form from the web site, and return it with the payment to the Fleadh. Places are limited so please book early.

Thursday 19 June 2008

Frameworks 2008

The Irish Film Board has announced this year's successful applicants for the Frameworks short animated film project:

  • "Donkey", writer/director Louise Bagnall, and producer Niamh O'Donoghue in Barley Films.
  • "Monsieur Critique", writer/director Teemu Auersalo, and producer Nicky Gogan at Glimpse Digital.
  • "Twas a Terrible Hard Work", writer/director David Quin, and producer Steve Woods in Cel' Division.
  • "The Polish Language", writer/director Alice Lyons, and producer Steve Woods in Cel' Division.
  • "Guns, Bees and Tadpoles", writer/director John McCloskey, and producer Pearse Moore in Raw Nerve Productions.
  • "Old Fangs", writer/director Adrien Merigeau, and producer Ross Murray in Cartoon Saloon.

Fleadh Peek

The Galway Advertiser has advance information on this year's Galway Film Fleadh (8-13 July). The programme will be announced next week, but the Advertiser tells us:

Over the six days there will be 70 feature, 120 short, and 25 documentary screenings, actors and directors' masterclasses, debates, discussions, public interviews, workshops and launches. Special guests will include Peter O'Toole and Jessica Lange and films starring both will also be screened.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

10 Top 10

The International Herald Tribune reports on the American Film Institute's "10 Top 10", which is the AFI's top 10 films in each movie genre: Animation, Epics, Courtroom Drama, Fantasy, Gangster, Mystery, Science Fiction, Sports, Romantic Comedy, and Westerns.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Euro Filmmaking

EuroNews has an interesting interview with Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu, whose film 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days won last year's Palme d'Or. Cristian discusses European filmmaking and what it has to offer compared to mainstream blockbuster movies.

Monday 16 June 2008

Tonys 2008

The 2008 Tonys were handed out in New York last night, and the winners are listed on the web site.

The Best Play award went to: August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Irish actor, Jim Norton, best known as Bishop Brennan in Father Ted, won the Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Richard in Conor McPherson's The Seafarer.

Friday 13 June 2008

Spies on Wednesday

There will be a public preview of the new French film, Les femmes de l’ombre ( Female Agents), at Dublin's Light House Cinema on Wednesday June 18 at 6.30pm.

The World War II thriller follows female agents who were trained in England and deployed in France to gather intelligence about the Nazis.

A sublime cast of French actors, including Sophie Marceau, Julie Depardieu and Déborah François, conduct a daring operation to rescue a wounded British geologist from the clutches of the Nazis. Making this dangerous mission even more urgent is the geologist’s knowledge of the secret Allied plans for D-Day, which German counter-agents are only too keen to extract from him.

After the screening the writer-director Jean-Paul Salomé and star Déborah François will take part in a Q&A session.

Get Edgy

The Louth, Newry & Mourne Film Commission, in association with the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism and the Irish Film Board, has a new funding scheme for residents of the border counties called "The Edge".

The funding is open to all genres – from documentary, short film, pilot, to new media projects. We are particularly keen on seeing pilots for format TV or TV series with the potential of further production taking place in the border region if the pilot is picked up. There will be one award of €10,000.

There are a number of criteria to meet in order to qualify for the award, but the most important is the ulitisation of local crew and talent, plus the project must be shot in County Louth, or the Newry & Mourne region.

The deadline for applications is July 15th, and all information on how to apply is available on the web site.

Thursday 12 June 2008


The 6th Annual General Meeting of the Irish Playwrights' and Screenwriters' Guild will take place on Saturday June 28th at 2.30pm at the Light House Cinema, Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7.

Nominations to vacant places on the Board of Directors, proposed by a member entitled to attend the AGM, together with a note of consent to be so nominated from the nominee, should reach the Company Secretary at Art House, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 not later than 5.00pm on the 25th June, 2008.

Only full members may nominate or vote in the AGM. All full members of the Guild should have received a notice about the AGM, and a proxy form in case they are unable to attend the AGM. Completed proxy forms should reach the Company Secretary at Art House, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 by 5.00pm on the 26th June, 2008.

If you are entitled to vote, and have not received the forms, please contact the Guild on: +353-1-6709970

Wednesday 11 June 2008

Celtx 1.0

Celtx, the free open-source all-in-one media pre-production software, has just hit Version 1.0, and is now available to download for a variety of platforms.

Multi-Media Friendly
Celtx helps you pre-produce all types of media - film, video, documentary, theater, machinima, comics, advertising, gaming, music video, radio, podcasts, videocasts, and however else you choose to tell your story.

Unlike scriptwriting software, you can use Celtx for the entire pre-production process - write scripts, storyboard scenes and sequences, develop characters, breakdown & tag elements, schedule production, and prepare detailed and informative production reports for cast and crew.

Fully Integrated
Celtx is designed to help your entire production team work together on a single, easy to share project file - eliminating the confusion of multiple project files, and the need for 'paper and binder'.

For those new to Celtx, you can check out the 7-minute video by Mike Jones, Head of Technological Arts at International Film School Sydney, who explores some of the product's new features:

Ireland on Sunday

This week the IFI in Temple Bar, Dublin launches a new strand of monthly Irish Film programming called Ireland on Sunday.

This is a curated programme of recent Irish material which has not yet been released theatrically or seen outside the film festival circuit. In a regular sunday lunch time slot, audiences will have an opportunity to critically engage with directors and producers in post-screening discussions. The programme will be varied—including documentary and fictional material which has been made for cultural, theatrical and broadcast exhibition.

The first screening with be Johnny Gogan's art documentary The Adventures of Flannery: A Portrait of Cathal Coughlan, which examines the life and work of the Cork-born singer, songwriter and enfant terrible who created one of the highlights of Cork's Capital of Culture celebrations in 2005 with his musical-theatre presentation 'Flannery's Mounted Head'.

There will be a post-screening Q&A with director Johnny Gogan and producer Gary Sheehan.

Co-Production Agreement

Screendaily reports that the North Rhine-Westphalia's regional film fund, Filmstiftung NRW, and the Irish Film Board have signed a co-production agreement to aid producers from each region who wish to work together on feature films and documentaries.

An agreement based on reciprocity was signed in Cologne on Monday afternoon during this year's Medienforum NRW conference by the Irish Film Board's CEO Simon Perry and his opposite number at Filmstiftung NRW Michael Schmid-Ospach.

The goal is to "intensify the cultural and economic collaboration of production companies in NRW and Ireland, thereby contributing to a strengthening of the creative and economic potential in Europe."

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Pitch in Galway

Details about this year's Galway Film Fleadh Pitching Award have been announced.

Applicants write and submit a 500-word story idea for screen, all received applications are read by a panel selected from the Irish film industry - and the best five are shortlisted. The five writers are contacted and invited to present their pitch to a panel of judges. This takes place in front of an audience during the Galway Film Fleadh. The Galway Film Fleadh presents the winner with a cheque for €3,000.

The deadline for submissions is the 20th June 2008. The application form can be downloaded from the web site, and each entry must be accompanied by a €25 fee.

Monday 9 June 2008

LA Irish Festival

According to The Hollywood Reporter the inaugural Los Angeles Irish Film Festival will take place from October 2 - 5, 2008 in the Clarity Theatre, Beverly Hills. The festival hopes " act as a launch-pad for Irish films and filmmakers by bringing them visibility within the Hollywood community."

Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman and Niall McKay will serve as the fest's directors. Its advisory board includes film directors Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan and Mary McGuckian, screenwriter and critic F.X. Feeney and THR international editor Steve Brennan.

In advance of the fest, programmer John Lyons will offer monthly screenings of Irish films at the Clarity Theatre, with the next program set for June 29.

Dublin's got Talent

The Dublin Writers Festival runs from 11-15 June, and features a diverse array of literary talent and a big selection of events:

Over the four days, Dublin will host over 40 Irish and international writers and poets, journalists, political commentators, and even lawyers for a series of readings, discussions, debates and public interviews. The Festival will explore the themes such as war, loss, national identity, Irish values, childhood, crime, and the art of the short story.

Of particular interest should be the rare appearance in Ireland of playwright Tom Stoppard at the MacNeill Theatre in the Hamilton Building, Trinity College on Friday 13 June at 6.00pm. Frank McGuiness, the respected playwright, will discuss his poetry in the company of American poet Thomas Lynch in the Irish Writers' Centre at 3.30pm on Sunday 15 June. Also on Sunday screenwriter Colin Bateman will be in conversation with novelist Ian Rankin at the Gate Theatre at 7.30pm.

Friday 6 June 2008

Edinburgh's Fringe

The Stage reports that the programme for this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe (3-25 August) has been announced. There is the usual mixture of plays, comedy, and musical events. Theatrical highlights, include:

Comedian Michael Barrymore is to make his Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre debut this summer when he stars in a new play about Spike Milligan.

Surviving Spike by Richard Harris, which will be produced by Bill Kenwright and run at the Assembly Rooms, is one of the highlights of this year's fringe 2008 programme, unveiled today.

Meanwhile, two plays at the fringe this year will address massacres in US schools.

The Boy from Centreville, staged at the Pleasance Courtyard, is a piece of verbatim theatre concerning last year's events at Virginia Tech University, while Columbinus bills itself as a "sensitive docudrama" about the Columbine High School massacre.

Welsh theatre company Sherman Cymru will bring Deep Cut to the Traverse Theatre, a play about the soldier who died from gunshot wounds while training at Deepcut Barracks.

The Traverse will also host Pornography - the latest play from Simon Stephens, which "captures Britain as it crashes from the euphoria and promise of the 2012 Olympics announcement into the devastation of 7/7."

Thursday 5 June 2008

Universal Loss

According to the LA Times the recent devastating fire at Universal Studios in Hollywood has destroyed hundreds of classic 35-millimeter film prints. The original masters were safe in their vault in Philadelphia, but it takes $5,000 and several months to produce just one quality print. The studio had not yet assessed the total nature of its loss, but it's likely to affect several upcoming screenings of classic films at museums, festivals, and theatres.

The fire also ruined 5% of Universal Music Group's recordings: mostly big band and jazz recordings on the Decca label, and video copies of Universal movies and television shows. Universal Music Group is no longer part of the NBC, but it rents storage space from the studio.

Abbey Progress

The Stage reports that the Irish government has awarded a €450,000 contract to British theatre consultants Charcoalblue to advise on the planning and building of the new Abbey in Dublin's docklands.

According to a spokesman for the Office of Public Works, which has charge of the project, the competition details are still being finalised. He was unable to say when that part of the project would be completed, but felt the appointment of the consultants would speed up matters.

The lengthy delay has reopened the controversy over the location of the new Abbey, with some critics urging the government to look again at the Carlton site on O'Connell Street, where a major development is about to get under way, and which many feel would be a more suitable home for a national theatre.

There have also been concerns about the impact of the credit crunch on the project. The theatre is to be built under a public/private partnership arrangement, aimed at limiting state expenditure. But some developers have been pulling out of such schemes, citing the changed economic climate.

However, in awarding the Charcoalblue contract, the government is seen as signalling it is confident the project will go ahead.

New Romanian Cinema

The IFI in Temple Bar, Dublin, in conjunction with the Embassy of Romania, Dublin, and the Romanian Cultural Institute, is running a season of New Romanian Cinema at the IFI from June 6 - 15.

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Sports Shorts

Filmbase, in conjunction with Setanta Sports, have launched a new Short Documentary Awards Scheme called Sports Shorts.

Filmmakers can submit proposals suitable for the short documentary format on any one of five topics corresponding to discussion topics to be covered in the Sports Matters series. The topics are fox hunting, horse racing, 'Charlton's Children', Munster Rugby and women's participation in sport. The scheme welcomes a wide variety of approaches to the suggested topics and surprising or unusual treatments of the subject matter are encouraged.
The finished films will be broadcast as part of the new Sport Matters series due to air on Setanta from next January. Each film selected will receive €10,000 - €15,000 towards the production of their project film.

The deadline for entries is 5.00pm on Tuesday 15th July. All projects must be fully completed and delivered to broadcast requirements by December 5th 2008, and post production facilities will also be made available to the successful projects.

Information on how to apply for the award is on the Filmbase website.

Tuesday 3 June 2008

From Play to Film

The Sunday Business Post has an article about Enda Walsh, Martin McDonagh, and Conor McPherson, Irish playwrights who have turned to film and scored recent successes. All three writers are interviewed for the piece, and discuss their experiences in both theatre and film.

Ireland on Screen

The Irish Film Board reports that RTÉ has launched an Irish film season entitled "Ireland on Screen".

The season consisting of 13 Irish films, eight of which are premieres will run for five weeks. The films will be broadcast on RTÉ One and RTÉ Two during the month of June giving viewers an alternative to Euro 2008 coverage. Goldfish Memory, Headrush, H3, Dead Long Enough, Dead Bodies, Trouble with Sex, Country and Love and Rage are all Irish Television premieres.
For the precise dates of airing check out RTÉ's television schedule.