Friday 27 February 2009

RTE Seeks Story Editor

RTÉ is looking for a new Story Editor for its popular soap opera Fair City.

RTÉ's flagship drama series, Fair City, is the cornerstone of RTÉ One's schedule and the primary series in the channel's drama output. Now in its 19th Season, Fair City is a primetime serial drama broadcasting 208 episodes throughout the year and receiving in the region of a 40% audience share on RTÉ One.

The Story Editor is a key member of the production team, responsible for implementing the story generated by the Executive Producer and Series Consultant. The main responsibilities of the postholder include:
  • Leading the development of stories across a number of story strands
  • Working closely with the writers, researchers and story associates, to ensure continuity and accuracy
  • Ensuring that the story fits episode units and meets contractual and logistical obligations to cast; ensuring effective use of sets, facilities and locations
  • Managing long arcs across each season
  • Compiling weekly story documents for the Executive Producer and Series Consultant and editing to reflect their input
The successful candidate will have experience of story writing and/or editing on a television drama series, or significant equivalent experience. S/he will be able to write clear, concise and unambiguous prose. In addition, s/he will have a strong sense of story and an enthusiasm for and interest in popular entertainment, especially Fair City. S/he must also have the ability to lead a team and work on his/her own initiative. Candidates will possess a third level qualification, preferably in a related discipline.

This position is graded at Script Editor with a salary range of €45,228 to €68,343 gross p.a.

This post will be offered on a fixed-term employment contract for a period of two years.

Applicants are invited to submit a Curriculum Vitae together with cover letter (attach as one document, preferably in Word 2003 or earlier version)

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 6th March 2009.

Further information on how to apply for the position is available on the web site.

Rent Movies Via Consoles

Yesterday The Guardian reported that Microsoft brokered a content deal with NBC Universal that will offer a selection of the studio's movie portfolio for rental via the Internet to its Xbox 360 customers.

The deal, which is specific to UK and Ireland, adds considerable value to the Xbox 360's burgeoning video-on-demand service. Currently around 300 movies are available to UK users, with Paramount, Warner Bros and MGM already supplying content.

Customers pay around £2.50 to download a movie, which remains on their console's hard drive for 14 days – but once you start playback, you have 24 hours to watch the film before it expires. Many of the titles are available to rent in either standard or high definition formats.

Microsoft sees the provision of a movie service as a key element in expanding its market beyond the traditional gamer demographic.

"We're looking at how we can grow Xbox as a core entertainment hub," said Thompson "There's a phenomenon at the minute where more and more people are staying at home to consume their entertainment – we're really offering a convenient one-stop shop for them."

Consoles like the X-box and the Nintendo Wii are increasingly marketed as "entertainment hubs", which allow their customers to download content, and to interact with other players around the globe using broadband connectivity.

Film Offaly Award

Filmbase reports that Film Offaly has announced a new funding initiative to foster creative, resourceful filmmaking in Offaly.

One original story will be funded, as long as the subsequent filming takes place in Offaly.

The winning applicant will receive:

  • €8,000 towards the cost of their production
  • A premier in Tullamore Omniplex Cinema
  • One year's Filmbase membership to the Writer, Producer and Director of the winning film
  • A 50% discount on production equipment and/or editing facilities from Filmbase for the project
  • Filmbase's production insurance to cover the shoot
To apply for the the award, applicants must submit a script, and a 500 word synopsis of the film project.

Screenplays/treatments from any genre, style, topic or perspective will be considered and judged on its merits regarding the quality of the material along with interviews and re-writes with/by the applicant/s

The closing date for submission is: Friday April 3rd at 3pm.

Information on how to apply is on the website.

Moss 2009 Blackburn Winner

The Stage reports that playwright Chloe Moss has won this year's Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which recognises women from around the world who have written works of "outstanding quality" for the English-speaking theatre.

Moss was presented with a prize of $20,000 for her play This Wide Night, which focuses on two women trying to start their lives again after being released from prison.

It was commissioned by Clean Break and first performed at the Soho Theatre in London.

Moss beat competition from nine other finalists - comprising one Indian writer, four US writers and a further four British playwrights - to win the award, which was presented by Sigourney Weaver at a ceremony in London last night.

Lucinda Coxon, who penned Happy Now?, which premiered at the National Theatre, received a special commendation award of $5,000 for her work.

Thursday 26 February 2009

Writing Contemporary Ireland

Filmbase, in partnership with Create - the national development agency for collaborative arts - are hosting the Continuing Professional Development Workshop: Writing Contemporary Ireland, on Wednesday 11th March 2009, from 10am-3pm, in Filmbase.

The workshop is aimed at emerging and established writers, theatre makers and filmmakers who are interested in exploring approaches to representing culturally diverse communities and creating new work that reflects the diversity of contemporary Ireland.

The workshop is co-hosted by actor, writer and filmmaker Mark O'Halloran, and writer/director for theatre and film Madani Younis.

Please note places are limited. Please ensure booking is made by Friday March 6th to ensure a place. The cost for the workshop is €40. To reserve a place please contact events[AT] at Filmbase. Please put 'Writing Contemporary Ireland' in the subject line of the email.

Virtual Cinema 2009

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board has announced the recipients of this year's Virtual Cinema short film scheme.

Over 150 applications were received, and from them the following filmmakers have been awarded €2,000 for their project:

  • Satellite of Love / Director - Bill Tyson
  • Paranoid Fat Chick goes swimming / Director - Cecilia McAllister
  • Alley Cat / Director - Niamh Kennedy
  • Someone Not like You / Director - Traolach O Murchu
  • One Hundred Happy Faces / Director - Robin Murray
  • Action Evader / Director - Padriag Mannion
  • The True Story of Bono and my Ex / Director - Ross Whitaker
  • Club Foot 2020 / Director - Claire Roche
  • Solo Duet / Director - Sophie Merry
  • Smugglers / Director - Liam Nolan and Agnieszka Reczkin
There is no information available that indicates who wrote these projects.

The finished films will screen at the Darklight Film Festival in October and will be available online immediately.

Frameworks 2009

The deadline for submission to the short animation scheme Frameworks, co-funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, the Arts Council and RTÉ, is Friday, April 24th.

Frameworks is an established scheme for the making of animated short films which BSÉ/IFB considers to be so successful in stimulating ground-breaking new work from Irish animators that it intends to continue the scheme in its present form.

Projects selected for funding will combine creative exploration with an ability to appeal to a broad audience.

Further information on the scheme, as well as guidelines and application form, are available from the web site.

New IFB Board

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) had announced the new IFB Board members, as appointed by Martin Cullen, the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism.

The Minister has re-appointed current Chairman of the Board, James Morris, to this position for a twelve month period. Current board members Lesley McKimm, Kevin Moriarty, Tristan Orpen Lynch and Kirsten Sheridan have been reappointed to the Board for the next four years.

In addition Minister Cullen has appointed two new Board members, composer Barry Grace who has worked on a range of TV commercials and TV programming including DEAR DAUGHTER for RTE and film director/producer Johnny Gogan, whose credits include THE LAST BUS HOME and MAPMAKER.

Welcoming new board member appointments Simon Perry IFB Chief Executive said "In these uncertain times, it is tremendously reassuring that our Chairman James Morris is remaining with us for another year. We are also delighted to welcome two new Board members and to welcome back the majority of a Board which has always been nothing but supportive of the IFB's work to date."

Wednesday 25 February 2009

No Over 40s Please

Today The Stage reports that leading British screenwriters have alleged that UK television broadcasters are biased against drama that feature female characters over the age of 40.

This information has come out as a result of the Equity petition on gender/age imbalance in television drama in the UK, because people pointed out that writers needed to do more to portray a variety of roles for women.

But writers have argued that they often have little say over characters' ages.

One, who did not want to be named, said: "The problem lies with commissioners, who only want to appeal to the young. A case in point might be the BBC's Mistresses, which would arguably be all the more interesting for having a range of mistresses of all ages and backgrounds, as in real life."

The writer continued: "Writers would love to have free rein to portray any age, sex, class, but are constantly getting the message from broadcasters that if you do want to get your script made, the only women they want to see are under 40."

Another writer said commissioners favour male writers, who tend to write about men.

L.A. Inishmore Postponed

The Los Angeles Times reports that the L.A.-based Center Theatre Group is postponing until next year Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, part of its 2009 season at the Mark Taper Forum. The CTG artistic director Michael Ritchie explained the reasoning to the newspaper:

"It is a show that is for us to do it right would cost us an extra $750,000 above what we could expect in income from ticket sales," Ritchie said of "Inishmore." "It's in this season, but it's in next fiscal year. So we're planning the next season and we decided the move made more sense."

Wilson Milam, who staged the 2006 Broadway production of the eight-character "Inishmore," will direct at the Taper when the play goes up in 2010. No cast has been attached, Ritchie said, and that fact was taken into account when making the decision to postpone. Patrons holding tickets to the play can receive a refund or will be given a credit that they can use toward the purchase at any show at the three CTG theaters.

Ritchie emphasized that while the move was precipitated by concerns about the economy, CTG is financially stable — "and we want to keep it that way."

Sales have been off by about 5%, he said, but CTG's $20 ticket program has given box office a boost. "It's been a great benefit to us. People who normally wouldn't be coming to our shows because of the economy are buying, and yet it doesn't seem to be drawing down from our regular priced tickets."

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Write Here, Write Now Winner

IFTN reports that the inaugural Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and Walt Disney Studios Motion (Ireland) 'Write Here, Write Now' screenwriting award has gone to Sonya Gildea for her script Faith.

Gildea will receive at least €7,500 in development funding, as well as extensive promotion within the film industry.

The Judging Panel were: Lenny Abrahamson (Director), David Flynn (United Talent Agency), John Hurt (Actor), Trish Long, (Walt Disney Motion Pictures, Ireland), Sue Bruce Smith (Film Four), and Irvine Welsh (Writer).

The panel also praised Rodney Lee for his script Do Not Pass Go.

Sony Gildea previously wrote and directed the short film "Bua" (Victory), which was a Blindside Production produced by Kirsten Sheridan, and has been behind the shorts "Bodyblow" and "Godless".

JDIFF '09 Winners

The Jameson Dublin Film Festival has ended and the Audience Award went to the American documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil.

The Dublin Film Critics Circle (DFCC) also announced their Awards for the festival:


Tom Hardy - Bronson (Winner)
Toni Servillo - Il Divo
Clint Eastwood - Gran Torino
Meryl Streep - Doubt


Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Winner)
Chris & Don: A Love Story
American Teen
Encounters at the End of the World


The Secret of Kells (Winner)
Five Minutes of Heaven
The Yellow Bittern: The Life and Times of Liam Clancy
The Daisy Chain


Paolo Sorrentino - Il Divo (Winner)
Laurent Cantet - The Class
Werner Herzog - Encounters at the End of the World
Tomas Alfredson - Let The Right One In

Let the Right One In (Winner)
Il Divo
In the Loop
The Class

Monday 23 February 2009

Ocars 2009

Last night the winners of the 81st Academy Awards were announced in Los Angeles.

A full list of all the winners can be read on the web site, but here are the categories of most interest to our membership:

Best original screenplay: Milk, written by Dustin Lance Black

Best adapted screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire, written by Simon Beaufoy; based on the novel by Vikas Swarup.

Slumdog Millionaire went on to win another seven Oscars, including Best Film, and Best Director for Danny Boyle.

2008 ZeBBie Awards Ceremony

Highlights from the second annual ZeBBie Awards Ceremony in Dublin, staged on the 26 November 2008.

Voted on by the members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild, the ZeBBies honour outstanding writing for Radio, Stage and Screen by Irish writers.

The winners of the 2008 ZeBBie Awards:

  • Best Television Script: Mark O'Halloran for Prosperity (Episode 3, "Georgie's Story")
  • Best Radio Script: Lucy Caldwell for Girl From Mars
  • Best Theatre Script: Christian O'Reilly for Is this about Sex?
  • Best Film Script: Martin McDonagh for In Bruges
  • Honorary Services to Writers Award: Writers' Guilds of America

Friday 20 February 2009

BAFTA New Writing Forum

Filmbase reports that the next BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum will take place at BAFTA in London in April.

The closing date for submissions is 20 March 2009 at 17.00 GMT.

If you would like your script to be considered, please send a hard copy of the following to

195 Piccadilly
London W1J 9LN

  1. 10 minute Script extract (12 pages maximum) - each page must list your name, script title and page number. The script can be short film, feature, theatre or television – please note we are not accepting theatre or radio scripts on this occasion.
  2. Long synopsis - min 350 to a max of 500 words.
  3. Short synopsis - max 50 words.
  4. Cast break down and outline of each character that appears in extract.
  5. 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.
  6. A short writing and industry relevant biography - 150 words max – please be specific with titles etc.
  7. Only standard script formats will be accepted.
  8. Please include your full contact details i.e. name, email and a contact telephone number on your biog page.
  9. You should only submit work if you are able to attend on 29 April 2009.
  10. We will only accept a maximum of two submissions per writer.
  11. All writers will be notified within three weeks of the closing date.
  12. No email submissions will be accepted.
  13. Please include a stamped addressed envelope if you wish to have your submission materials returned.

Home Nominated

The feature documentary Home, written by Irishman Alan Cooke, received three nominations in the New York Emmy Awards, and Cooke has signed a deal with Cinetic Media of New York to bring it onto Digital platforms like iTunes and Amazon Worldwide.

Home is a view of New York from the perspective of recent Irish Immigrant, and features interviews with actors Liam Neeson, Mike Myers, Susan Sarandon, Rosie Perez, Alfred Molina, as well as writers Fran Libowitz and Frank McCourt. The low-budget film shot was shot on various dates from 2004 -2006.

It has been nominated for: Best Documentary - Dawn Scibilia and Alan Cooke; Best Photography - Dawn Scibilia; Best Writing - Alan Cooke. The winners will be announced on the 29th of March in New York City.

Home has already picked up numerous awards including Best Documentary at the Magners Irish Film Festival 2006, Best Documentary award at the 2006 Boston Irish Film Festival and winner at the Chashama Film Festival, New York City 2008.

Thursday 19 February 2009

7 on 7

The BBC Writersroom is looking for writers for a new topical sketch show, called 7 on 7, that will be transmitted on BBC Radio 7 in May 2009.

The show gets comic mileage from the news on each of the last seven days - political, cultural, sports, and trivia. We'll take one day at a time and examine what happened on that day. Or we might use the events on a particular day to talk about a related topic. If a story develops over the week then we can revisit it in the show.

We'll have a regular host and a cast of performers who can recreate the names who've made the news in the last week and play the ones that we invent.

The tone will be lively, satirical, and distinctly irreverent.

The show will be thirty minutes long and initially have a run of ten weeks. We want an array of writers who can extract the maximum comic potential out of what's happened in the news and put some satirical spin on events. We'll use some established writers but we're particularly interested in introducing new writers to radio comedy.

Deadline: 10am, Friday 27 February 2009

Successful applicants will be invited to a masterclass with David Mitchell on Monday 9th March 2009.

Information on how to apply is on the web site.

eQuinoxe Workshop

éQuinoxe Germany is looking for applications for its next screenwriters' workshop taking place during the 26 April - 5 May in Norway. The deadline for English language submissions is 2 March 2009 (the date éQuinoxe communicated to us directly).

An international jury selects 10 talented screenwriters to participate in the workshop. The screenwriters participate in the one-week workshops and masterclasses, and meet for one-to-one discussions with ten advisors from all over the world - internationally known and experienced writers, directors and producers -, who share their knowledge and experiences without remuneration. There is no participation fee.

The workshop will take place from the 26 April - 3 May. The masterclasses occur from 3 - 5 May and are available to the participants, their producers and the local film community. It is not mandatory to have a producer attached, but it helps as éQuinoxe encourages the producer to attend the workshop.

All information on the application process is available on the web site.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Stage Survey Women's Roles

The Stage has created an online survey querying people's perception of the quality of roles available to women and minorities in television and theatre drama.

It only takes a moment to fill in, so please take part.

Equity Petition Grows

The Stage reports that the Equity petition launched last week in the UK to improve the quantity and quality of roles for women in drama broadcast on the BBC, Channel 4, and ITV has already hit 1,000 signatures, and includes celebrities like Playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker, producer Jenny Topper and actor Imelda Staunton. Equity claims that for every female character in a TV drama there are two male characters.

It also says that leading parts are "frequently played by male actors over 45", but argues that women in this age group "start to disappear from our screens", and calls on the major UK television channels to "take action to correct this imbalance".

Staunton was joined in signing the document by fellow actors Maxine Peake, Roger Lloyd Pack, Harriet Walter and Charles Dance.

Peake, who most recently appeared in the BBC drama Little Dorrit, said she agreed "whole heartedly" with the petition and added she would like to see more "female-driven dramas".

Lloyd Pack, best known for playing Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, said he had supported it "in the interest of equal rights" and added: "On a practical level, I'm aware of how difficult it is for my female colleagues to find work and on a cultural one, I don't understand why a whole generation of women should be excluded from story lines as if they don't exist. What I hope would be the result of this petition is that writers would be encouraged to include more older female characters in their scripts."

The petition was created by a new steering group within Equity, dedicated to highlighting the issues regarding female performers.

It includes Equity vice-president Jean Rogers and actress Kate Buffery, who, with other members of the group, took the cast lists of all dramas shown by the major terrestrial channels over a week and found that of 4,565 roles, 2,899 went to men and 1,666 to women.

Buffery, 51, admitted it would be "difficult to shift the status quo" but added: "This petition is saying to broadcasters over 50% of your viewers are women and there is a big voice out there, and that's what we are trying to tap into. The fact most TV is aimed largely at young male viewers is not okay, and it says something rather shallow about our society."

She said that most TV dramas feature young, "nicely-packaged" female performers and claimed more interesting parts for younger women would lead to older women being taken more seriously.

The petition follows a Europe-wide survey conducted by the International Federation of Actors, which found that female performers have shorter careers than male ones and that 60% of women do not feel TV represents them in a realistic way.

Buffery said that although the petition is specifically about television, she hoped it would pave the way to open up discussions about other areas of the performing arts.

Anyone can sign Equity's petition, which is online here.

SOURCES 2 2009

SOURCES 2 is an advanced training programme offering intensive script development workshops in Europe for professional scriptwriters and teams of writers with cowriters, producers or directors with a specific film project for cinema and television.

It's offering seven-day Script Development Workshops in the coming months:

Application fee: €100.
Participation fee: €1,800 per project/writer and €900 per second person committed to the project. Includes the seven-day session (accommodation and meals included, travel costs excluded), supervision during rewriting period, and the second session of one day per project (accommodation, meals, travel costs excluded).

For the workshop at the FilmCamp/Norway, 11th– 19th June 2009, applicants should be focused on feature film projects and creative documentaries.
Submission deadline: 1st March 2009.

For the workshop in Graz/Austria, November 2009, applicants should be focused on feature film projects and creative documentaries.
Submission deadline: 1st July 2009.

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

Tuesday 17 February 2009

2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Finalists

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced the ten finalists for its 2009 playwriting awards, which are given annually to recognise women from around the world who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. This year over 100 international plays were submitted for consideration.

The finalists are:

Anupama Chandrasekhar for Free Outgoing (India)
Anupama is a runner-up for the London Evening Standard's Charles Wintour Prize 2008 for the Most Promising Playwright for Free Outgoing. The play was also short-listed for the Peter Wolff-John Whiting Award in the UK.

Lucinda Coxon for Happy Now? (England)
Lucinda has worked at the Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, and the National Theatre in London. Happy Now? won the Writer's Guild of Great Britain 2008 Best Play Award.

Ann Marie Healy for What Once We Felt (U.S.)
Ann Marie is a five-time finalist for Actors Theater of Louisville's Heideman Short Play Award and a finalist for The Perishable Theater's International Women's Playwriting Festival. She is a member of MCC's Playwrights Coalition.

Michele Lowe for Inana (U.S.)
Inana recently premiered at the Denver Center Theatre. Her play String of Pearls received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play. Her work appears in New Playwrights/The Best Plays of 2005 (Smith & Knaus, 2006), The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2005 (Smith & Knaus, 2006) and Monologues for Women by Women (Heinemann, 2004).

Elizabeth Meriwether for Oliver! (U.S.)
Elizabeth is a recipient of the Newsday Oppenheimer Award for her play Heddatron. She is currently working on commissions from the Yale Repertory Theatre, Ars Nova, and Manhattan Theatre Club.

Chloe Moss for This Wide Night (England)
Chloe is a previous Blackburn Prize Finalist for her play, How Love is Spelt. A graduate of the Royal Court young writers programme, she has been a writer-in-residence at the Bush Theatre and Paines Plough and also writes for television.

Lynn Nottage for Ruined (U.S.)
Lynn has been honoured with a MacArthur Foundation 'Genius Grant' Award, the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels award for Literary Excellence, two ATT Onstage Awards, a Heideman Award, and numerous best play awards, including the OBIE. She is a previous Blackburn Prize Finalist for her play Mud, River, Stone. Ruined is currently running at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

Kaite O'Reilly for The Almond and the Seahorse (Wales)
Kaite has won various awards for her work, including the Peggy Ramsay Award for YARD (Bush Theatre, London), Manchester Evening News Best New Play of 2004 for Perfect (Contact Theatre Dir. John McGrath) and Theatre-Wales Best Play of 2003 for peeling (Graeae Theatre, dir. Jenny Sealey).

Amy Rosenthal for On The Rocks (England)
Amy has been a playwright-in-residence at the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre and was a resident writer at the Royal National Studio. Her play, Henna Night, received a Sunday Times Drama Award.

Esther Wilson for Ten Tiny Toes (England).
Esther is best known as lead writer on the hard-hitting docu-drama Unprotected, which premiered at the Liverpool Everyman in March 2006. It raised the national debate on proposed safety zones in city centres for street sex workers and went on to win the Amnesty International Award for Freedom of Speech at the Edinburgh Festival that summer.

The 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize awards will be marked with a ceremony in London on February 25th. Star of stage and screen and Blackburn Prize Judge, Sigourney Weaver, will present the awards. The winner will be awarded $20,000, and will also receive a signed and numbered print by renowned artist Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. A Special Commendation of $5,000 may be given at the discretion of the judges, and each of the additional finalists receives $1,000.


All members of the Guild are invited to attend The Year of Women in Theatre: a catalytic project that aims to unite the theatre industry in a permanent redress of gender-balance in the onstage artform.

The 2010 PROJECT Development Meetings will take place in two locations:

The Twenty-Ten Group – a pro-active, non-producing organisation - is promoting the 2010 PROJECT. It aims to make contact with every artistic director, associate and freelance director, producer, programmer, playwright, publisher, agent, casting director and other industry professionals across Ireland to inspire a concerted, creative response to this challenge.

The industry needs to redress the imbalance of the employment of women actors, directors and writers, and to create full and fair representations of women and womanhood in society.

If you wish to attend the Dublin Project Development Meetings please RSVP at info @

Otherwise email (twentytengroup @ Helen Alexander, the 2010 PROJECT Director, or phone her on: +44-20-8543-4085 / +44-7876-128-418

Monday 16 February 2009

Business to Arts Awards 09

The closing date for the receipt of applications for the Allianz Business to Arts Awards is 5pm, Friday 20 March 2009.

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise businesses, artists and arts organisations that bring the arts and artists into the workplace to respond to real business challenges, as well as important sponsorship relationships.

We invite you to share the stories of your success with your peers, to demonstrate your pride in what you have achieved and to seek to join a prestigious list of winners which represent the very best of the arts and business worlds in Ireland.

Winning projects demonstrate that working together, the arts unlock opportunities for business whether it’s the promotion of their brand, encouraging creativity amongst their employees or supporting their local community. Partnership, collaboration and creativity are the key words describing a success story.

Peacefire Wins Jury

Nothern Ireland Screen reports that the Northern Irish film, Peacefire, from first time feature writer-director Macdara Vallely, won the Prix du Jury award at the Annonay Film Festival.

IFTA 2009 Winners

The winners of the 6th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards were announced at a ceremony on Saturday night. The full list of the winners is available online, but here are the categories of most interest to our members:

Best Script Film
Martin McDonagh, In Bruges - (Focus Features/Universal Pictures)

George Morrison Feature Documentary Award
Margo Harkin, Joel Conroy, Waveriders - (Besom Productions Ltd)

Best Script Television
Graham Linehan, The I.T. Crowd - (talkbackTHAMES)

Best Short Film
Juanita Wilson, The Door – (Octagon Films)

Friday 13 February 2009

Register for PLR

The Galway Library blog reported yesterday that Mr. Michael Kitt T.D. — Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government — recently signed Regulations which provide for a Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) Scheme in respect of the public library service.

The Scheme, which will be administered by An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council) with the co-operation of the local authority library service, will provide that qualifying authors, whose books are loaned by public libraries, will receive remuneration in respect of such loans.

Under PLR, a payment will be made to registered authors, resident in the European Economic Area (EEA), in respect of books registered with the PLR and loaned by public library authorities.

Authors are required to register with An Chomhairle Leabharlanna, providing an address and bank details, etc. Details of books registered will be entered into an author/title database and checked against bibliographic databases for accuracy. Authors are required to register each title and each edition of each title for which they are claiming payment.

Public library authorities will provide An Chomhairle Leabharlanna with loans data, giving details of the number of times each book in their collections is issued during a specified period.

At the end of the PLR period, the loans data from each authority will be matched to the author/title data and a list of authors whose books have been loaned, and the number of issues of each, will be produced. Authors will then be notified of the amount they are to receive and payments will be made.

Payment will be made to authors in respect of their contribution to the work for which the payment is due. The scheme will allow for the percentage of the payment to be made for various levels of contribution, which include, inter alia, contributions such as sole author, joint author, editor, translator, and illustrator.

The rate of payment will be set each year and will be the product of the total number of loans for which a payment is due, divided by the total amount available. Illustrators, photographers, editors and translators may all register for PLR (providing they are named on the title page of a book).

Dublin Film Maker in Residence Selected

Dublin City Council in association with The Arts Council has announced that Joe Lee has been selected as Dublin City Council's Film Maker in Residence.

Joe grew up in Artane, in Dublin 5 in the 1960s and 70s and has lived for the best part of the last thirty years in Marino, Dublin 3.

Joe studied Fine Art at the NCAD and graduated in the early 1980s. On graduation he specialised in film and video making. Through the late 80s and 90s he worked as a freelance director completing projects with Irish, British and German broadcasters. Central to his work from early on is an exploration of the city of Dublin, its multiple identities and the shifting narratives of place.

From the late 1990s onwards he has worked as a film maker on a series arts based projects with Dublin communities. The focus of these projects has been to work with local people to tell stories of local relevance.

"This residency programme will facilitate me to continue to develop an approach to film making that I have been working on since the mid 1990s. That is, to permit story and actuality in the film process to arise out of a dialogue with people about the reality and experience of place... The Irish urban story is still a relatively new phenomenon. This is the first generation to experience a reflection of contemporary Irish urban life in film, music, literature and visual art. What emerges from these reflections of the contemporary is that there is no single way or approach to telling these stories. What I aim to do in my work is to work with people on the basis of mutual trust, in an attempt to find an authentic voice, to articulate or reveal the reality and patterns of life in places that are, for the most part, just a few miles from where I was born" - Joe Lee

Joe has three objectives for the filmmaker residency. The first is to complete The Markets film, which he has been working on for the past year. Footage already filmed includes 13 interviews with local residents. These interviews range from long time street traders, to archaeologists and community activists, to interviews with younger and older people- including John Giles (who grew up in Ormond Square) and the late Tony Gregory, local TD.

The second is to create new work with communities in the South and South West inner city. This work builds on previous work in these areas and will be completed in the second part of 2009.

Thirdly to disseminate his film and video work of Dublin from the last 25 years. In that time he has made and filmed a great deal about and around the city. The Film Maker Residency programme will allow him to explore ways of making his work more accessible to the general public by linking with the Dublin City Council, Archive Unit, Pearse Street Library.

Record Applicants

Filmbase reports that a record number of 343 applications were received for the January 2009 round of the popular Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Awards.

The number is significantly up from the 2008 applications and represents a threefold increase on 2007. Given the volume of scripts received Filmbase have announced that there may be some delays in processing the applications which are usually announced in April of each year. All applicants will be kept informed by email. ...

Commenting on the round Alan Fitzpatrick, Director of Filmbase, said "The steady rise in applications to the Filmbase award schemes shows the incredible interest that exists at the moment in making shorts. It's encouraging to see so many new people applying for the first time to the scheme which has always tried to uncover and support new Irish filmmaking talent. This will obviously be an incredibly competitive round of the awards and we look forward to seeing the eventual winners."

Three awards will be made in this round, each consisting of €10,000 in cash and a matching level of production equipment and editing facilities supplied from Filmbase. The awards are run twice a year and the next application deadline will be June 26th.

Thursday 12 February 2009

RIP Hugh Leonard

The Irish Times reports that Irish novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and journalist Hugh Leonard has died at the age of 82.

His plays included The Big Birthday , A Leap in the Dark, Stephen D , The Poker Session , The Patrick Pearse Motel , The Au Pair Man and Da.

Da ran for nearly two years on Broadway and earned Leonard a Tony Award in 1977. It was later turned into a film starring Martin Sheen.

He published two hugely popular volumes of autobiography, Home Before Night (1979) and Out After Dark (1989).

He also adapted a number of classic novels for British television, including Nicholas Nickleby and Wuthering Heights, and until recently penned The Curmudgeon column for the Sunday Independent .

Irish Bear

Yesterday the award winners of the Berlinale Shorts 2009 were announced.

The Golden Bear went to the 10-minute animated short film "Please Say Something" by Irishman David OReilly

On his web site David said:

It's crazy, I think what honours me most is that something so small, made on a single computer in my tiny apartment is considered in the context of world cinema. Also because it was judged side by side with live action films. It's a big step for me but a even bigger one for independent 3d.

Irish Women's Film Festival

Paris Voice reports that the Centre Cultural Irlandais in Paris will host the 2nd Irish Women's Film Festival in Paris on September 29th.

The debut festival was hosted by the Irish Chapter of Women in Film and Television in Dublin last October

The one-day Festival, which begins at 10:30 A.M. on September 29th, will feature films and filmmakers from WFTV Ireland and aims to bring together the European film community as well as aid women filmmakers in finding ways to collaborate in the future. The festival is part of the celebration of "le Cinéma au Feminin" and will be opened by Irish Ambassador Ms. Anne Anderson. Writers and directors will have the opportunity to introduce their work as well offer workshops to current film students.

Wednesday 11 February 2009

P. J. O'Connor 2009

RTÉ Radio 1 is looking for radio plays under 28 minutes for the 2009 P. J. O'Connor Radio Drama Awards.

The 2009 competition offers prizes of €3,000 for the overall winner, with €2,000 and €1,000 for the second and third prize-winning plays. As well as the prize money, the winners receive the professional production of their play, the chance to take part in a writers' workshop and, the winning and short listed plays are broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1. Short listed entrants will be invited to an awards' ceremony at RTÉ Radio's studios in Dublin in May 2009.

The closing date for entries is 13 March 2009. Rules of the competition, entry forms and further information are available on this website

Tuesday 10 February 2009

Once-Off Award 09

The Arts Council Once-off Project Award is looking for applicants from the following categories:

  • Architecture
  • Arts participation
  • Dance
  • Film
  • Music
  • Visual arts
The focus of the award is on audiences and engagement.
The primary purpose of this award is to support ambitious, high-quality, stand-alone initiatives that specifically deliver a presentation to or an engagement with an audience or public. The award prioritises projects which have the potential to reach new audiences or participants, or which create new opportunities or contexts for engaging with one of the relevant artforms.

Applications can only be accepted for once-off initiatives. This means projects must be clearly distinguished from any other ongoing programmes; they must also be self-contained and finite in nature.

Information on how to apply is on the website and the deadline for submissions is 12 February 2009.

Writers Guild Awards 09

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) announced the winners of the 2009 Writers Guild Awards last weekend:



Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black, Focus Features


Slumdog Millionaire, Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, Based on the Novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup, Fox Searchlight Pictures


Waltz with Bashir, Written by Ari Folman, Sony Pictures Classic



Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Jane Anderson, Rick Cleveland, Kater Gordon, David Isaacs, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Marti Noxon, Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner; AMC


30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Donald Glover, Andrew Guest, Matt Hubbard, Jon Pollack, John Riggi, Tami Sagher, Ron Weiner; NBC


In Treatment, Written by Rodrigo Garcia, Bryan Goluboff, Davey Holmes, William Merritt Johnson, Amy Lippman, Sarah Treem; HBO

EPISODIC DRAMA – any length – one airing time

"Pilot" (Breaking Bad), Written by Vince Gilligan; AMC

EPISODIC COMEDY – any length – one airing time

"Succession" (30 Rock), Written by Andrew Guest & John Riggi; NBC

LONG FORM – ORIGINAL – over one hour – one or two parts, one or two airing times

Recount, Written by Danny Strong; HBO

LONG FORM – ADAPTATION – over one hour – one or two parts, one or two airing times

John Adams, "Episode 1, Join or Die," Teleplay by Kirk Ellis, Based on the book by David McCullough; "Episode 2, Independence," Teleplay by Kirk Ellis, Based on the book by David McCullough; HBO

ANIMATION – any length – one airing time

"Apocalypse Cow" (The Simpsons), Written by Jeff Westbrook; Fox


Saturday Night Live, Head Writers Seth Meyers, Andrew Steele, Paula Pell, Writers Doug Abeles, James Anderson, Alex Baze, Jessica Conrad, James Downey, Charlie Grandy, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, John Lutz, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Paula Pell, Simon Rich, Marika Sawyer, Akiva Schaffer, Robert Smigel, John Solomon, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Kent Sublette, Jorma Taccone, Bryan Tucker, Additional Sketches by Robert Carlock; NBC


2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards, Written by Billy Kimball, Aaron Lee, Jennifer Celotta, Rainn Wilson; IFC/AMC


As the World Turns, Written by Jean Passanante, Leah Laiman, Courtney Simon, Lisa Connor, David A. Levinson, Peter Brash, Richard Culliton, Susan Dansby, Cheryl Davis, Leslie Nipkow; CBS


"Elmo's Christmas Countdown" (Sesame Workshop), Written by Joey Mazzarino; ABC


"Polar Bears" (The Naked Brothers Band), Written by Polly Draper; Nickelodeon


"Bush's War: Part One" (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk; PBS


"Secrets of the Parthenon" (NOVA), Written by Gary Glassman; PBS


ABC Weekend News, Written by Joel Siegel, Karen Mooney, David Muir; ABC


"Yankee Stadium and the New Gilded Age" (Bill Moyers Journal), Writers Bill Moyers & Michael Winship; PBS



Black History Month, Written by Anthony J. McHugh; CBS


World News This Week, Written by Marianne J. Pryor; ABC


Tributes, Written by Gail Lee; CBS

Promotional Writing


Jericho: Two-Minute Drills, Written by Eric Jacobson; CBS


"Medical Animations" (CBS Evening News), David Rosen; CBS



Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Writers Haden Blackman, Shawn Pitman, John Stafford and Cameron Suey, LucasArts

Monday 9 February 2009

New Joint Initiative

Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board has reported on a Danish-Irish-Scottish initiative to develop eight new films.

Scotland's Sigma Films, Denmark's Zentropa and Ireland's Subotica Entertainment are forming a partnership under the banner of Advance Party II to develop eight new films from some of the most exciting filmmaking talent emerging from the UK and Ireland.

The writer/directors taking part in Advance Party II which is backed by Scottish Screen, the Irish Film Board, Zentropa and the UK Film Council's Development Fund are Paul Wright, Enda Hughes (Northern Ireland), Rory Bresnihan, Ciaran Foy (Ireland) Steph Green (Ireland/ U.S.A) Adrian McDowall (Scotland), Esther May Campbell and Daniel Mulloy (England).

Tristan Orpen Lynch, Producer, Subotica Entertanment said 'There is a highly creative, dynamic and diverse mix of talent on board this ground breaking project and it is the only first time director scheme of its kind in the world'.

Gillian Berrie of Sigma Films says, "The combination of these talented filmmakers and the intriguing and challenging constraints of the Advance Party project is creating an environment for eight memorable and ground-breaking debut features."

Advance Party II (APII) builds on the success of Andrea Arnold's RED ROAD, and Morag McKinnon's forthcoming DONKEYS, which were produced under the innovative conditions of Advance Party I. Taking a lead from the competitive, creative community of the Dogme movement (which spawned films such as FESTEN and THE IDIOTS), Advance Party I imposed new rules on its filmmakers. These primarily concerned the use of a pool of pre-determined characters, which had to be played by the same actors in all the films.

A new set of rules are central to the structure of APII, and will be given to the filmmakers in a workshop at the Berlin Film Festival on 7 February. The rules will reflect the creative challenges of Advance Party I and Dogme, but will also incorporate the filmmakers' tastes and wishes, tailored to both their strengths and their weaknesses.

Zentropa's Peter Aalbaek says, "We are very interested in the establishing collaboration between Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia because we feel there is a mental solidarity between these countries. Advance Party is a great step in that direction"

The filmmakers will take part in a week-long series of workshops during the festival focussing on creating the 'Advance Party community' and the business elements of filmmaking. They will be working with visiting directors, writers and actors as well as lawyers, sales agents, distributors and development gurus, with the aim of arming the eight filmmakers with as much information and inspiration as possible.

The selected filmmakers have a wealth of experience in making distinctive and successful short films and between them have won more than 100 awards, and two are nominated for Oscar® and BAFTA awards.


The Winners of the British Academy Film Awards in 2009 were announced last night, and a full list of all the winners is available from the web site.

The two pertinent categories for our members:

Best Original Screenplay:
In Bruges – Martin McDonagh

The other nominees:
Burn After Reading – Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Changeling – Joe Michael Straczynski
I've Loved You So Long – Philippe Claudel
Milk – Dustin Lance Black

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Slumdog Millionaire – Simon Beaufoy; based on the novel by Vikas Swarup

The other nominees:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Eric Roth; based on the short story by F Scott Fitzgerald
Frost/Nixon – Peter Morgan; based on the play by Peter Morgan
The Reader – David Hare; based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink
Revolutionary Road – Justin Haythe; based on the novel by Richard Yates

Friday 6 February 2009

Shakespeare 13

The Guardian reports that the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has established a Shakespeare Hall of Fame, to celebrate Shakespeare's status as one of the world's most read and performed authors.

Those honoured in the Hall of Fame are performers, directors and artists inspired by the playwright, and those who championed his work.

The first twelve members have been chosen:

  • Ben Jonson
  • David Garrick
  • Charles Dickens
  • Ellen Terry
  • Laurence Olivier
  • Judi Dench
  • Kenneth Branagh
  • Patrick Stewart
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Sam Wanamaker
  • Paul Robeson
In a special poll Guardian readers are being asked to vote, from a selection of ten candidates, for the thirteenth member of the Hall of Fame (the number of actors traditionally required for a Shakespearean production).

Go, and pick your player.

Thursday 5 February 2009

Wexford Awards 09

Wexford County Council's Arts Department is accepting applications from artists resident in County Wexford for the 2009 Artist Bursary Award Scheme.

Six Artform Awards, valued at €5,000 each, are available in for the following disciplines: Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Literature, Drama & Theatre studies, Film.

Wexford City Council is also offering two Education / Training Awards valued at €5,000 each open to artists practicing in any artform.

The deadline for submissions is 5 pm, Thursday, 26th February, 2009.

Niko Gets Stars

The Finish Film Foundation reports on the winners of the Finnish Oscars, known as the Jussi Awards.

The Best Script Award went to Hannu Tuomainen & Marteinn Thorisson for the children's animated feature Niko & The Way to the Stars. It also won the prestigious Best Film Award. The film was co-directed by Michael Hegner and Kari Juusonen, and co-produced by Magma Films in Galway and Anima Vitae in Finland.

Screenwriter Marteinn has been living and working in Galway for 12 years.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Windsor Fringe 09

The BBC Writersroom reports that the The Windsor Fringe Marriott Drama Writing Award is now open for entries: unpublished one-act plays under thirty minutes in length from amateur playwrights.

Three winning scripts will be selected for performance in October during the 2009 Windsor Fringe Festival, and the overall winner will receive a £500 cash prize.

The deadline for submissions is 5th March 2009, and information on how to apply is on the web site.

Olivier Short-List 09

The Guardian reports on the nominations for this year's Laurence Olivier Awards for theatrical achievement in London.

A full list of the nominees is on the web site, but here are categories of particular interest to our membership:

Best new play

  • August: Osage County by Tracy Letts at the Lyttelton
  • Black Watch by Gregory Burke at the Barbican
  • The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall at the Cottesloe
  • That Face by Polly Stenham at the Duke Of York's
Best new comedy
  • Fat Pig by Neil LaBute at the Comedy
  • The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith at the Vaudeville
  • God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, at the Gielgud
Best new musical
  • Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe at the Prince Edward
  • Zorro, book and lyrics by Stephen Clark, music by The Gipsy Kings, original story by Stephen Clark and Helen Edmundson, music co-composed and adapted by John Cameron at the Garrick

Ireland & Hungary Deal

Screen Daily reports that representatives of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and the Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation will sign a co-production agreement in Berlin on Sunday, February 8, which is designed to foster co-productions between the two territories.

Hungarian Film Commissioner Erszebet Toth announced the agreement February 2 at Hungarian Film Week in Budapest.

Toth emphasized that the reciprocity is in terms of proportion of the budget, not absolute dollar amounts.

For example, a co-production in which 80% of the budget comes from the Irish side would be answered by a co-production in which 80% of the budget comes from the Hungarian side.

The agreement further stipulates that not more than 30% of the budget of such co-productions can come from third parties.

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Script Analysis in Galway

The Galway Film Centre is offering a Script Reading and Analysis Course taught by Paula Mulroe, former head of development at the Film Board and senior script editor on The Clinic.

This course is aimed at interested graduates or practitioners in the industry who want to learn how scripts are evaluated professionally by funding organisations and production companies. It will help to give participants a strong insight into why certain scripts are chosen for funding over others. It could also act as a building block towards becoming a script editor.

The course takes place over 4 sessions (4 Saturdays), with the aim of each session being to provide the participants with sufficient knowledge to be able to write reports and analyse screenplays for professional organisations and companies.

In each session, participants will learn about a particular area for analysis by reading scripts and also watching individual films. Each week, they will be asked to write a report on a script taking on board the professional criteria outlined above and will be given feedback on their reports.
The course will take place at the Galway Film Centre on each Saturday from February 28th - March 28th (no class St Patrick's Weekend). Places are limited so early booking is advised. For details on how to apply visit the web site.

Fighting Words

A wonderful new writing centre, called Fighting Words, has been established by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love to help students of all ages develop their writing skills and explore their love of writing.

It was inspired by 826 Valencia in San Francisco, and is located on Behan Square, Russell Street, Dublin 1, close to Croke Park.

The centre provides story-telling field trips for primary school groups, creative writing workshops for secondary students, and seminars, workshops and tutoring for adults. All tutoring is free.

A number of evening courses will be launched soon, including: "Writing out of your skin" taught by Colum McCann, Introduction to writing fiction taught by Roddy Doyle, Memoir writing taught by Lia Mills, and Filmscript writing taught by Gerard Stembridge.

Fighting Words is also looking for volunteers with skills that involve teaching, writing, and/or language, as well as people who are familiar with software and design.

If you are interested in any of the courses or volunteering, please visit the web site.

GFC Awards 09

The Galway Film Centre Short Script Awards are open to emerging filmmakers with original scripts under 15 minutes that display a strong cinematic vision and a fresh Irish perspective.

Three awards will be allocated from a total production fund of €28,500, which includes use of the facilities at the Galway Film Centre.

The 2009 deadline is 5pm Friday 27th February. Applicants must be members, and information on entry forms is available on the web site.

Monday 2 February 2009

Listowel Competition 2009

The Listowel Writers' Week (May 27 - May 31) has announced the details of its array of writing competitions, all of which have a deadline of 27 February 2009.

Of particular interest to our members is:

The Eamon Keane Full Length Play
Plays submitted should be for stage presentation only and should not have previously been staged. One act plays are not eligible. Plays can be submitted only once for this competition. The entry fee is €20. The Prize is €1,000, and the adjudicator is Christian O'Reilly.

Details on how are apply are available on the web site.

Busy Awards Weekend

There were a slew of other awards were handed out over the weekend:

The regional 2008 British film critics' awards, called the Richard Attenborough Film Awards, were announced, and the Best Screenwriter went to Irishman Martin McDonagh for In Bruges, along with four wins - including Best Film and Best Director - to Slumdog Millionaire.

The 2008 Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement Awards were awarded in numerous categories for film and television, including Best Feature Film, which went to Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire.

The 36th Annual Annie Award (2008), which recognises superior achievement in film and television animation, were also announced. Some of the winners included Kung Fu Panda for Best Feature, and Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death for Best Short.

2009 Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Goya Awards were handed out last night. Best Original Screenplay went to Javier Fesser for the feature film, Camino, and Best Adapted Screenplay was won by Rafael Azcona and José Luis Cuerda for Los Girasoles Ciegos, which was adapted from the novel by Alberto Méndez.

The BBC Four World Cinema Awards 2009 were handed out. The winner of Best Film was 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days, written and directed by Cristian Mungiu. The inaugural World Cinema Achievement Award was given to German writer/director/producer Werner Herzog.

Irish Wins at British Awards

The 2009 Evening Standard British Film Award winners were announced last night.

Irish writer Martin McDonagh, beat fellow Irishman Mark O' Halloran (Garage) and Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon), to cinch the Best Screenplay Award for his film In Bruges.

Irish actor Pat Shortt (Garage) tied with Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) for the Best Actor category.

Best Film went to Hunger, directed by Steve McQueen, and co-written by Steve McQueen and Irish screenwriter Enda Walsh.

A full list of the award winners is available on the web site.