But the economic downturn has had no impact on the event, with ticket sales 40% ahead of the same period last year and some of the 27 shows to be staged over the 18 days of the festival already sold out.
"We are one of the few sectors of the economy where revenue and sales are growing," said Loughlin Deegan, festival artistic director and chief executive. "It would be interesting to know why, when times are bad, people return to the theatre."
Perhaps, he suggested, it was that holidays abroad were being cancelled because of the credit crunch, with the money being spent on home entertainment instead.
He described the box office queues on opening day as unprecedented. Among the shows for which there is already a waiting list for tickets are The Year of Magical Thinking at the city's Gaiety Theatre, with Vanessa Redgrave, directed by David Hare, and Black Watch, the award-winning show from the National Theatre of Scotland, which is running at the Royal Dublin Society's Shelbourne Hall. Strong ticket sales are also reported for the National Theatre's production of Happy Days, with Fiona Shaw, at the Abbey.
Tuesday 30 September 2008
Monday 29 September 2008
Dublin Valentines is a series of twice-yearly public conversations at the axis:ballymun between Dermot Bolger and well known writers, who are from or live in Dublin, about their work and relationship with the city.
On Monday October 6th at 8pm, Paul Durcan and Brian Keenan will join Dermot for an evening of readings and talk about Dublin.
Paul Durcan is one of Ireland's finest living poets. His works include The Berlin Wall Café (1985); Daddy, Daddy (1990); Cries of an Irish Caveman (2001) and The Laughter of Mother (2007). His popular radio talks for The Pat Kenny Radio Show were published as Paul Durcan's Diary and he has held the Ireland Chair of Poetry.
Brian Keenan became headline news when he was kidnapped by fundamentalist Shi'ite militiamen and held in Beirut for four and a half years. He explored this experience in his autobiographical book, An Evil Cradling (1992), and has since gone on to forge a career as an author with Turlough (2000), and his travelogue/memoir, Four Quarters of Light: An Alaskan Journey (2004).
Dermot Bolger is Playwright in Association with axis, who have staged his works in Ballymun as well as Britain, America, Poland and Belgium. The final part of his Ballymun Trilogy, The Consequences of Lightning, will be staged by axis this November/December.
The Sunday Business Post reports that the Irish Revenue Commissioners has set tighter regulations for companies that want to use the Section 481 tax relief in the production of television and film.
Revenue has traditionally requested information from producers before a film is made. However, there was no legal requirement for film producers to hand over certain information.
This has now been changed, and the new regulations "give legal certainty to Revenue's practice of requesting the submission of specific information currently contained in guidelines," according to a statement from the Revenue Commissioners.
The guidelines also require the "provision of more detailed certification by the auditors of the qualifying company".
Applications for Section 481 tax relief must now be made 21 days before production is due to begin.
Section 481 relief was meant to finish at the end of this year, but was extended until the end of 2012 in the last finance bill. Individuals may invest up to €31,750 annually, with a minimum of €250.
Tax relief on 80 per cent of their investment is available to individual and corporate investors.
Friday 26 September 2008
The deadline for applications for the Berlinale Talent Campus 2009 (7-12 February) is the 8th October, 2008.
Since 2003, the Berlin International Film Festival has encouraged young filmmakers from all over the world and all professional fields to apply to the Berlinale Talent Campus. Over 350 of them are invited to Berlin each year to reflect on their ideas about film in lectures, ateliers and panel discussions, and to work on their projects in specialized hands-on workshops.
Tapping into the unique atmosphere of a great film festival, the Campus takes place simultaneously with the Berlinale. It brings together aspiring talents and experienced film professionals for a six-day program that touches on essential issues of filmmaking such as story development, cinematographic styles, production models and new markets.
To qualify you must be able to answer yes to the following questions:
- Have you worked on a short film that was awarded a prize?
- Has your work screened at an international film festival?
- Have you worked on a film of at least 60 minutes in length?
- Are you a film student in your final year or in a post-graduate programme?
This is a hands-on training programme for screenwriters participating in the Berlinale Talent Campus To be considered for this project, complete the online application to the Berlinale Talent Campus here. The application deadline is October 8, 2008.
For the Script Station, 10-12 feature film projects are selected. The screenwriters participate in one-on-one feedback sessions with internationally renowned script consultants. During the Berlinale Talent Campus, personal sessions with these experts are arranged to provide you with concrete feedback and guidance and help you to further develop your script and its presentation.
The application process is entirely online, and further information is available on the Berlinale web site.
Dublin City Council, in association with the Arts Council, is inviting submissions of interest in the position of Film Maker in Residence.
The Residency is open to all creative filmmakers with a recognised qualification/ track record. The emphasis of the Residency will be on supporting the Filmmaker to develop his or her own practice. However, s/he will also be required to suggest ways in which s/he might interact with new audiences/ communities in Dublin City Neighbourhoods in a manner which best suits the skills of the residency holder (this may involve an equivalent time commitment of 100 hours in the year).
The Film Maker in Residence will be engaged for a period of one year on a Contract for Services basis and will be paid a fee of €25,000
To apply send:
- A C.V. and supporting material.
- A 2 page proposal of what you wish to achieve through the residency.
- An outline of ways in which you might interact with new audiences/ communities in the Dublin City Neighbourhoods. A specific and detailed work plan based on the concept or possible approach for the year will be devised upon commencement.
The BAFTA / Rocliffe New Writing forum is both a platform for new writing, and a networking event. Created in 2000, the original format selects three 7-8 minute script extracts - feature film, short film, television drama, sitcom, theatre, radio or sketches. The pieces are cast by a casting director, and rehearsed by professional actors and directors on the evening. A narrator sets the piece in context and the extracts are then performed to an industry audience of producers, development executives, directors, actors and literary agents.
Only two submissions per person will be accepted, and applicants must be able to attend the session in November. Send a hard copy of the following to Alex - Rocliffe Submissions, BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN:
- 10 minute Script extract (14 pages maximum) - each page must list your name, script title and page number. The script can be short film, feature, or television – please note we are not accepting theatre or radio scripts on this occasion.
- Long synopsis - min 350 to a max of 500 words.
- Short synopsis - max 50 words
- Cast break down and outline of each character that appears in extract.
- Introduction to provide context, outlining where the extract fits into the overall story and must clearly state whether the script is a feature, short, or television drama.
- A short writing/industry relevant biography - 150 words max.
- Only standard script formats will be accepted.
- Please include your full contact details i.e. name, email and a contact telephone number on your biog page.
Thursday 25 September 2008
The Write Here, Write Now International Screenwriting Competition, which is organised by the Dublin International Film Festival, has extended its deadline, and will now close to submissions at 5pm on the 10th of October.
Applications forms can be downloaded from the web site.
TG4, the Arts Council, and Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board have opened for submissions for Splanc! 2008.
Splanc! 2008 will take an intimate look at film making in Ireland as a visual expression of Irish culture and will celebrate contemporary film makers, both in the Irish and English language. It will aim to take a broad and inclusive view of the art of film making and the evolution of film as an art form while bringing real artistic and cultural value to primetime television audiences. Submissions are invited for a series of films that will take an intimate look at all forms of storytelling on film in Ireland. Feature film, short film, TV drama, documentary, live action and animation works and all other forms of creative film work should be included.
The series is open to creative interpretation and might for instance take a chronological or thematic journey through the evolution of film making in Ireland. The art of the visual treatment of stories should be to the fore in all episodes to include extracts from the films and other works. Material should remain highly accessible for both festival and TV audiences.
Application forms are available from the TG4, Arts Council, or IFB web sites, and the deadline for entries is 5pm, 17th of November, 2008.
Wednesday 24 September 2008
The Stage reports that in the UK Culture secretary Andy Burnham has announced a new £2.5 million scheme that will give out a million free theatre tickets to under 26-year olds in 95 venues across England over a two-year period.
Launching the programme, Burnham said that it would mean "a whole new audience will get the chance to enjoy the best our theatre has to offer". He added: "Theatres up and down the country will get the chance to work with us to provide a million free tickets to productions over the next two years. So it will be good for theatres, who will see their audience broaden, and it will be good for actors, who play at their best when performing to a full house."
The programme, which has been developed from initial proposals for a free week of theatre suggested by the McMaster Report into excellence in the arts, will be operated by ACE.
The Irish Film Board reports that Irish animation company Cartoon Saloon won the Europe Cartoon Tributes, which is the Best Production Company Award, at the Cartoon Forum in Ludwigsburg, Germany this weekend.
The European Association of Animation Film selected Cartoon Saloon as their Producer of the Year over stiff competition from production companies from the UK, Germany and France. The Cartoon Tributes recognizes companies that have had a positive influence on the European animation industry over the last year.
Cartoon Saloon is a multi-award winning animation company based in Kilkenny. Their television series Skunk Fu!, directed by Aidan Harte has been sold to television stations all over the world, while their next project, a feature film called The Secret of Kells, will be released in Irish cinemas by Walt Disney Studios Ireland early next year.
The Cartoon Forum is neither a fair nor a festival, but rather a co-production forum, where European producers can negotiate financing for new animation projects. The purpose of the Cartoon Forum is to foster co-productions and accelerate financial arrangements.
Tuesday 23 September 2008
The film - about a couple who try to resurrect their dead daughter - stars Timothy Spall and Aidan Gillen.
It is the first feature from the cult British company since it was bought last year by a Dutch consortium.
The screenplay was co-written by Brendan McCarthy and David Keating. Keating is also directing the film.
The Wake Wood received funding from the Irish Film Board, and is scheduled for a UK release in autumn 2009.
Monday 22 September 2008
The 60th Prime Time Emmys were handed out last night in L.A. A full list of all the winners is available on the web site.
Here are the results of the writing awards:
Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program
The writing team behind The Colbert Report, which airs on Comedy Central, and consists of: Tom Purcell (head writer) Bryan Adams, Michael Brumm, Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Peter Grosz, Peter Gwinn, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Michael Koman, Laura Krafft, Frank Lesser, Meredith Scardino, and Allison Silverman.
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Tina Fey, for the "Cooter" episode of 30 Rock on NBC.
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special
Kirk Ellis, for the "Independence" episode of the John Adams miniseries on HBO.
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Matthew Weiner, for the pilot episode "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" in the series Mad Men on AMC.
Friday 19 September 2008
The Irish Film Board reports that thirteen new film projects, with a combined overall budget of over €42 million, have gone into production in Ireland this year.
James Morris IFB Chair said "The encouraging level and quality of film production in Ireland this year is the result of intense marketing and negotiation by a growing band of internationally experienced Irish producers supported by the Irish Film Board and backed up by a consistent and focused government policy of support for the Irish film industry."
"In terms of maintaining growth into the future, the industry is experiencing the same intense competitive pressures as every other sector of the economy. The IFB is committed to pursuing every avenue to ensure that the momentum created by investment in prior years is not set back in the short term, so that the film industry can make a meaningful contribution to restoring growth to the economy" Morris continued.
Thursday 18 September 2008
The 12 finalists of 11th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival will tour cinemas around the world for one week (21 -28 September), and those audiences will vote for the overall winner.
One short from Ireland features in the line-up: "New Boy", which was written and directed by Stephanie Green.
The only screening in Ireland of the shorts will be on September 28 at 3pm in the Galway Town Hall. Filmgoers will be handed a voting card upon entry, and their votes will be sent to the festival's Manhattan headquarters.
The winner will be announced on Sunday, September 28 on the festival's web site.
Wednesday 17 September 2008
Want to keep up with this year's Dublin Fringe Festival, but can't get to the city?
Check out RTÉ Radio 1's coverage of the Fringe, which includes interviews, reviews, and live recordings.
The Fringe finishes on September 21st.
More than 6,000 full-length feature films including classic movie Some Like It Hot and TV shows like Heroes and 24 are available to watch.
First episodes of new series like Knight Rider and 30 Rock will also be available for free viewing before their first television broadcast.
The service is currently only available to US users due to licensing issues.
Monday 15 September 2008
The Sunday Business Post reports that Dublin company Jam Media will produce a new €5 million BBC animation series.
The BBC will provide over the half the funding, with additional money coming from Irish sources.
John Rice, managing director of Jam Media, said that the series should air on RTÉ in 2010. He added:
"The big advantage with producing the series in Ireland is that you can go to the BBC, for example, and tell them that you could get between 30 and 50 per cent of the necessary funding in Ireland yourself with initiatives like Section 481, the BCI and Irish Film Board."
Principal photography work for Badly Drawn Roy began last week. The series will debut on the BBC next March.
"This is our most ambitious project so far," said Rice.
"We'll be producing the series in Ireland and contracting in 90 writers, crew, actors and animators to work on the project in addition to our own staff. We're looking at a 12week live action shoot and 30 weeks in animation production."
The BBC picked up the series following Jam's short film release of the same name in 2006.
Produced under the Frameworks Scheme with funding from RTE, the Arts Council and Irish Film Board, the original film was presented as a mock documentary about an animated character called Roy and his life as part of an ordinary live action' family in a Dublin suburb.
Rice said the format for the new BBC series had been re-jigged to appeal to a pre-teen audience.
"It was commissioned by BBC drama, which is really unusual for a kid's TV series," he said. "The idea is that it might appeal to children on the verge of puberty who often feel kind of different - Roy is a cartoon boy living in the real world.
The original short film upon which the series is based was co-written by Alan and Frank Shannon, and directed by Alan Shannon.
The Toronto International Film Festival ended at the weekend and announced the winners of its competitions.
People's Choice Award winner is Slumdog Millionaire, written by Simon Beaufoy, and co-directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan.
Hunger, which is co-written by Steve McQueen and Edna Walsh, and directed by Steve McQueen, won the Diesel Discovery award.
Wednesday 10 September 2008
The Red Kettle Theatre Company, based in Waterford, is looking for new playwrights to contribute to the 2nd Waterford Festival of New Plays, to be staged in 2010.
Red Kettle Theatre Company has been producing theatre in Waterford and throughout Ireland for twenty three years, with over 60 productions including 25 new plays and 24 national tours. We have also played in London, New York, Edinburgh and Japan.
We welcome submissions of plays with a running time of ten to fifteen minutes from writers who have not previously had their work professionally produced.
Closing date for submissions is Friday, October 31st, 2008.
Information about where to send your work is on the web site.
Tuesday 9 September 2008
The Last Laugh: Women Create Comedy is the new comedy feature film development initiative from Warp X and Birds Eye View with the support of Skillset. The companies plan to champion brilliant female comedy talent in the UK, and to bring female led comedy feature films to the screen, by creating a new programme of development.
Last Laugh will select 15 women with exceptional talent from a performance or writing background in different disciplines: radio, television, comedy theatre and stand-up. We believe this creative cross-pollination is key to discovering exciting new voices with the potential to create fantastic comedy films. All participants will have considerable professional experience in the comedy field plus a real ambition to create smart, low-budget, commercial feature ideas for the international marketplace.
Recent UK data shows that women aged 35 plus make up the biggest single part of UK cinema audiences and that comedy is the most financially successful film genre. We are also struck by the noticeable lack of woman-made feature comedy and that the continuing lack of women filmmakers in the global and British film industries is an anachronistic anomaly that is overdue for change.
The deadline for applications is 26 September, and all information on how to apply, plus the relevant forms, are available on the web site.
Monday 8 September 2008
At the weekend the Venice Film Festival Awards 2008 were handed out.
The Wrestler, written by Robert D. Siegel and directed by Darren Aronofsky, won The Golden Lion.
The Special Jury Prize went to Teza, which was written and directed by Haile Gerima. Gerima also won the Best Screenplay award.
Hunger, which was co-written by Steve McQueen and Edna Walsh, and directed by Steve McQueen, won the Gucci Group Award.
A full list of all the awards can be viewed here.
On Wednesday, the 10th of September at 6.45pm, the Light House Cinema in Dublin is showing a special preview of Unrelated, the new film written and directed by Joanna Hogg.
Joanna Hogg will be in attendance at the screening and will introduce the film. Afterward Joanna will participate in a Q&A session with the audience, facilitated by writer and critic Mary Rose Doorly.
Friday 5 September 2008
- "Sunshower" (Neal Rowland)
- "The Grave Robber" (Nicholas Wilkinson)
- "A Blood Coloured Moon" (Marc-Ivan O'Gorman)
- "Mother's Maiden Name" (Gary Bermingham)
- "Riders to the Sea" (Orla Walsh)
- "In Salutem Omnium" (Denis McArdle)
- "Harry Goes to the Bank" (Rory Dungan)
- "Falling Man" (Thomas Martin)
- "The Pool" (Thomas Hefferon)
- "The Mill" (David Freyne)
Over the coming three days a bevy of writers are taking part in events around Dublin as part of Books 2008. There are simple "meet the writers" panels, as well as seminars on creative writing, and a series of talks aimed at those interested in Crime fiction, and children's books.
Some of the authors who will be discussing their work and the writing process are: Martin Amis, Benjamin Black, John Connolly, Joseph O'Connor, Rebecca Miller, Marian Keyes, Anita Notaro, Declan Burke, and Derek Landy. It should be a diverting way to pass a wet weekend.
Thursday 4 September 2008
Filmbase welcomes feedback from all members. It is only from hearing directly what our members want that we can provide the best possible range of services to meet those needs. The Filmbase AGM provides an opportunity to discuss the comments, suggestions and concerns from members on all aspects to the organisation. It is also an opportunity for the Filmbase staff and Board to outline current and future plans for the organisation.
A full agenda for the meeting will be notified to members in advance. If any member has an item they would like to have added to the agenda they are requested to contact Alan Fitzpatrick at md @ filmbase.ie with details by Wednesday 17th September at the latest.
The AGM will also include the election of new members to the Filmbase Board of Directors. Filmbase members are eligible for election to the Board of Directors. Any member interested in standing for election is advised to contact Alan Fitzpatrick for more information. To be eligible for election a member must be proposed and seconded by two Filmbase members.
Nomination forms can be downloaded from the Filmbase website from Friday 5th September, and completed forms must be returned by Wednesday 17th September.
The Cheltenham Screenwriters Festival hasn't decided which of the first two weeks in July it will select for the 2009 festival, but information about next year's pitching competition has already been announced.
The 2009 competition is called Son of a Pitch, and will be run in association with 4Talent. It will be open for entries from 5.00pm on Monday 8th September until 5.00pm on Friday 31st October 2008.
Ten finalists will be chosen from the entries (to be announced the week commencing the 10th November 2008). They will receive tickets to attend SWF'09 where they will receive a pitching tutorial with agent Julian Friedmann, before standing up in front of a live audience to pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts. The panel will select three winners, and the audience will also choose one winner.
To enter you must write your pitch for a movie or TV drama (in any genre) in under 25 words, and on a separate page expand the idea into a 150-word synopsis.
Email the information to the address on the SWF web site, where you can read the full terms and conditions of the competition.
All shortlisted entrants will also be interviewed and featured on the 4Talent website within a special Festival editorial piece.
Wednesday 3 September 2008
Among the groups taking part in 1st Irish 2008 is the Tir Na Theater Company of Boston; it is presenting the New York premiere of the Northern Irish playwright Owen McCafferty's "Mojo Mickybo," the story of two boys, one Protestant and one Catholic, in 1970 Belfast. The Washington company Solas Nua is bringing New York its first production of Enda Walsh's "Disco Pigs," about two characters who were born on the same day. Mr. Walsh's most recent play, "The New Electric Ballroom," was a critical hit at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. That play, Charles Isherwood wrote in The New York Times, "affirms Mr. Walsh's growing reputation as a contender to take his place in the long, distinguished line of great Irish playwrights."Check out the 1st Irish web site for the full listing of all the events.
Liam Heylin's "Love, Peace and Robbery," a three-hander about two men adjusting to life out of prison, is being presented by the Keegan Theater, also from Washington. "Ireland is changing," said Kerry Lucas, the play's director. "These plays need to be seen because there is a whole global thing happening. If the Irish are grappling with an American-type dream of success, still there are a lot of people that is not happening to."
John P. Waters, director of graduate and undergraduate Irish Studies at New York University, said, "We need to see new theater, because we have a new Ireland." Mr. Waters will participate in a panel on contemporary Irish theater at Glucksman Ireland House at New York University on Sept. 11.
"Ireland has been blessed with rapid, bewildering challenges in recent years, and drama is guiding the conversation," Mr. Waters said.
Tuesday 2 September 2008
The Irish Writers' Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, is hosting a new series of fortnightly events called the hourglass readings.
This unique and intimate series of hour-long public readings has been curated by leading novelist and poet Dermot Bolger. In conversation with Bolger, writers will read from and discuss their work in the beautiful surroundings of this Georgian building in Parnell Square in Dublin overlooking The Garden of Remembrance. The second series kicks off on 23 September with acclaimed author Patrick McCabe, with Anne Enright among the authors due to read during this second series.
Tickets - €7 or €35 for 6 readings when booked together.
Information about booking tickets is available on the IWC web site.
Monday 1 September 2008
In another article from The Sunday Business Post the Irish Film Institute (IFI) reported a 7.5% increase in turnover, and took in €4.3 million last year.
The institute, which shows arthouse and less mainstream films, had a surplus of more than €121,000 for the year, up from just under €104,000 in 2006. Annemarie Gray, acting director of the IFI, said that more than 300,000 people visited the centre for screenings and other activities each year.
"We are reinvesting the end-of-year surplus in current and future cultural activities, including our education and archive programmes, alongside a significant cultural development project," Gray said.
The IFI had €1.1 million in cash on its balance sheet last year, including more than €500,000 that it is obliged to spend on future projects.
On September 19 at 6.30pm the IFI in Temple Bar, Dublin will screen an episode from the final series of the American hit crime television series, The Wire.
It will be followed by an on-stage interview with its creator, David Simon.
Widely hailed as one of the greatest television series ever, The Wire has gained a reputation as challenging, urgent and uncompromising drama. Set in Baltimore, it is a rich, sprawling portrait of the city and documents the war on drugs being waged by local police. After spending a year with the city's Homicide Unit, David Simon went on to write Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, a true crime classic that led to the creation of The Wire. This event provides a unique chance to see an episode from the last series of The Wire on the big screen and meet the man behind the phenomenon.
The Sunday Business Post reports that TV3 has invested €10 million in Irish-made programmes this autumn, which is the company's largest development in local production.
The output includes TV3's first foray into home-made drama, a two-part series set in Dublin 4 called The School Run, a crime series headed by Maura Derrane that hopes to follow the success of Dirty Money, the series fronted by crime reporter Paul Williams which ran last year.
There is also a new midday news show - billed as "a mix of loose women and Joe Duffy" - that will placeTV3 news anchors Alan Cantwell, Martin King and Colette Fitzpatrick into less tightly scripted roles, talking about the news of the day.
McRedmond conceded that sport would not be TV3's strongest suit this autumn, but said this was the second year of a three-year plan to create a strong schedule atTV3. From next May,TV3 will have exclusive terrestrial TV rights to the Champions League.
"We're building a stock of regular programmes. You can see that in the shows that are returning, like Xposé and Nightly News With Vincent Browne," McRedmond said.