Tuesday 31 March 2009

April is Vampire Month

This year Dublin City Council has chosen to celebrate Bram Stoker's novel Dracula for its annual One City One Book festival.

There will be a variety of events going on in Dublin city for the month of April, and there is a good overview of them in The Irish Times.

Of particular interest to our members will be an outdoor screening on Sunday April 5th at 8.30pm of Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula in Meeting House Square. The screening is free and not ticketed, but a coat and scarf are recommended.

On the weekend of 17-19 of April the IFI is hosting Bram Stoker's Dracula on Screen, which includes screenings of several adaptations of the novel, as well as a panel discussion, and a talk by Kim Newman on "Dracula as a Screen Character".

Home Run

Irish filmmaker Alan Cooke won the Emmy for Best Writing for his documentary Home at the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Awards last weekend.

The documentary was also nominated for Best Documentary (Producers Dawn Scibilia and Alan Cooke) and Best Photography (Dawn Scibilia).

Monday 30 March 2009

Pavilion at Cannes 2009

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has announced that registration for membership of the Irish Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival (13-24 May 2009) is now open.

This year, the Irish Pavilion will retain its central position at the heart of the international village and will continue to offer vital business services to its members for the duration of the festival.

To register:
  1. Simply download and complete the IP Members Registration Form.
  2. Return the form by email or fax to Niamh O'Reilly
    Email: niamh.oreilly@irishfilmboard.ie
    Fax: +353 (0) 91 561 405
  3. DEADLINE: Thursday 9th April 2009

Friday 27 March 2009

Linehan up for BAFTA

The full list of nominees for the 2009 British Academy Television Awards has been posted. The ceremony will take place in London on Sunday 26 April.

Irish screenwriter Graham Linehan's show The IT Crowd has received a nomination in the Best Situation Comedy category. This year Linehan has already won the IFTA for Best Television Script and an International Emmy Award for Best Comedy for his Channel 4 series.

Smedias 2009

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board has announced its involvement in this years 3 Student Media Awards

For the second year running the IFB is the official sponsor of the Film Script of the Year category, which is awarded to the most original, well-written, imaginative script showing the most insight to the cinematic form. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in the Mansion House on Thursday, April 2nd.

Entrants were asked to submit a short film script which has been subjected to the same rigorous process as scripts submitted to the IFB for funding. Each entrant will receive a reader's report which will deliver professional and constructive feedback.

The IFB has continued it's sponsorship of the category in order to offer budding screen-writers the opportunity to experience the development process that film scripts go through and to recognise young screen writing talent who may pursue writing as a future career.

The Student Media Awards recognise and celebrate young Irish talent in all aspects of media ranging from the conventional Editor and Paper of the Year awards to multimedia awards, such as Short Animation Feature and Website of the Year and of course Film Script of the Year.
More news stories

Thursday 26 March 2009

481 Capped at 50 Million

According to IFTN amendments to Section 481, which regulates Irish film taxation, have been approved following the signing of a Commencement Order by Irish Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan.

The amendments are to increase the cap per project to €50 million (from €35 million), the individual investor cap for those wishing to invest finance in film in Ireland will increase to €50,000 per annum (up from the current limit of €31,750) and there will be a 100% relief on that investment - previously the relief was at 80%.

Martin Cullen, TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism welcomed the move; he said:

"The film and T.V. production industry is a fast moving and competitive global one. Ireland has now done what is essential to remain competitive in this crucial high-end inward investment industry. The investment pipeline for this year is promising and I believe that these adjustments to the tax investment regime will be the catalyst in securing those opportunities for Ireland."

Minister Cullen added: "The film industry is the cornerstone of a smart and creative digital economy and with today's announcement Government acknowledge its importance at this crucial time in our economic story. I believe that the provision will sustain and grow employment in this sector in the years ahead, grow our production capacities and help to embed this key creative industry. I encourage an Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and the sector, to spearhead a major drive to deliver on this initiative."

EIF 2009

The Stage reports that the Edinburgh International Festival has announced its programme for its 63rd festival, which will run from the 14th of August to the 6th of September.

In choosing the 75 productions for his third festival as EIF director, Jonathan Mills has taken the Scottish Enlightenment as his main theme, while including nods to the many classical composer anniversaries which are being celebrated this year - as well as Scotland's year of Homecoming.

"The Enlightenment for me, very personally, is a point of departure only," Mills explained to The Stage. "It is a phrase I am using both metaphorically and quite literally. So I am searching for things that have been enlightening from Scotland and I am recognising the enlightenment as a movement that was able to be created here."

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Irish Films Popular

According to the Irish Film Board the Irish film Kisses, written and directed by Lance Daly, has won the Audience Award at the Miami International Film Festival in the U.S.A.

The Irish Film Board also reports that the Irish short film "The Man Inside", written and directed by Rory Bresnihan, has been named the Best European Dramatic Short at the European Independent Film Festival in Paris.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Galway Arthouse Cinema Go

The Irish Times reports today that work will begin in June on Galway's new €4 million arthouse cinema.

The project has been spearheaded by a group called Solas, which represents the Galway Film Society, the Galway Film Fleadh, the Galway Film Centre, and the Galway Arts Centre,

Three cinemas are incorporated in the design – a 176-seater at basement level, a 77-seater on the second floor and a 105-seater on the third floor including 28 seats on the balcony.

The cinemas, equipped for 35mm and digital projection, will screen films of the "widest cultural diversity and will offer programmes that are innovative in form and challenging in content," the city council says.

"Programmes will include Irish-made films, films in the Irish language, European and independent feature films, documentaries, animation, classic films as well as thematic, archival and retrospective cinema. Special emphasis will be given to educational screenings and matinee opportunities for diverse audiences," it says.

The development includes a cafe and a bar area, a book and DVD shop and an online archive link to the National Film Archive and "specialist online cinema resources", the council says.

The project was earmarked in the current city development plan which recognised a "deficit of culture and arts infrastructure in the city". The authority has acquired additional property in the area as part of its "cultural quarter" plans, incorporating the new cinema and the existing city museum.

The architecture blog, Archiseek, has blueprints and mock-ups of the planned structure.

Learn to Podcast

Filmbase are organising a free information session on the art of the Podcasting, at their premises in Temple Bar, Dublin, at 10.30am, on Wednesday 1st April.

The session will show how podcasting can be used as a learning tool by filmmakers and artists, and how filmmakers can use podcasting to distribute their own content online.

Topics to be covered will include:
  • What is podcasting?
  • Trends in the use of podcasting by artists: how music and video is being distributed online by bands.
  • Trends in the use of podcasting by teachers: learning online using podcasting, with specific reference to online post production tutorials for filmmakers.
  • Trends in the use of podcasting by organisations such as art galleries and film festivals.
  • Online distribution methods for podcasts.
  • Technical aspects of podcast distribution & preparing content for the web.
Session Facilitator:
The session will be led by multimedia producer and filmmaker John Callaghan. John produces and directs short films, music videos and mini documentaries. He also runs the successful video podcast site www.TheBubble.ie and is co-owner of the video production company Mercury Boy. John also releases his own work under the name Cal-TV.

If you would like to register an interest in attending this session please email your full name and contact details to events[AT]filmbase.ie.

Monday 23 March 2009

Reality TV Lawsuit

According to the L.A. Times three former employees of Fremantle Media, which produces hit reality TV shows such as American Idol, have launched a class-action lawsuit against the company.

In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday, the former employees -- a music coordinator for "American Idol," an associate producer for the reality-based TV series "Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency" and a producer for the game show "Temptation" -- contend that the London-based company and its various subsidiaries exposed them to sweatshop conditions.

"Employees work ten, twelve and even twenty-hour days, six or seven days a week, without overtime compensation and are forced to forgo meal and rest breaks as required by law," the suit states.

The workers further alleged that Fremantle engaged in a "fraudulent scheme" to conceal the hours they worked, forcing them to falsify their time cards so that they would not be paid overtime.

The Writers Guild of America, East and West, have been campaigning strongly for four years for better rights for writers on reality television shows in the USA. The Guild backed two similar lawsuits that made comparable allegations against reality TV producers and networks, and the suits were settled in January for $4 million.

In February the Guild continued its picket of the popular American Idol reality show.
"'Fremantle is lowering standards for workers all across the entertainment industry," said David N. Weiss, vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West. "American Idol is the top-rated show on television, and the fact that Fremantle does not compensate its writers and other workers fairly is unacceptable."

Friday 20 March 2009

Interview with Kirsten

The Southern Star has an interview with Irish writer/director Kirsten Sheridan today.

Thursday 19 March 2009

IFB at Hot Docs

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) announced it will be attending Hot Docs, the documentary film festival which takes place in Toronto from April 30th to May 7th.

The IFB are hosting an Irish delegation and are offering a small number of bursaries to assist with travel and accommodation costs.

Irish delegation members will have the chance to:
  • attend the Toronto Documentary Forum (TDF), a unique presentation forum that assists independent documentary producers and their market partners to raise co-financing from the international marketplace. TDF is applauded as the most effective international market in North America for those working in the social, political and cultural documentary genres.
  • participate in the International Co-Production Day which includes an information session on financing and production in Ireland, a private networking session with other international documentary professionals and a luncheon.
They are also eligible to avail of a host of promotional opportunities and discounts (hotels, passes, entry in Docs for Sale). Discounted passes (half price) will allow admission to the TDF as an observer and to every film in the festival.

It is an excellent opportunity to meet key co-production partners and financiers from North America and around the world.

If you are planning on attending the festival and would like to be part of the Irish delegation please get in touch with Suzanne Murray suzanne.murray@irishfilmboard.ie before close of business on Friday 20th March.

To make an application for one of the bursaries, please download and complete the Application Form from the web site and email it along with an up-to-date CV to Sarah Dillon sarah.dillon@irishfilmboard.ie before close of business on Friday 20th March.

As the IFB is currently prioritizing the funding of feature documentaries with cinematic potential, these projects will be given priority for the bursary award.

Get LAB Space

Dublin City Council wishes to invite applications for the award of free incubation/workspace at The LAB. The award is intended to enable innovative arts companies/collectives to research and develop new work, over a period of up to six months, through the provision of work/rehearsal space. The space will be allocated to successful applicants on a rotation basis, from May 09 - May 2010.

Previous Awardees have included visual artists groups, multi-media collectives, theatre companies and dance/choreographic collectives.

Applicants should submit work/research proposal; ideal timeframe; anticipated achievements/benefit of use of incubation space; and details of applicants' background to date.

Applications should be submitted to:

Foley Street
Dublin 1

Closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday April 10th, 2009, and information on how to apply is on the web site.

Heaney Wins David Cohen Prize

It was announced last night that Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet, author and playwright Seamus Heaney has been awarded the £40,000 David Cohen Prize for Literature.

The David Cohen Prize is a literary prize awarded every two years to a writer, novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist or dramatist in recognition of an entire body of work, written in the English language. Previous winners include Derek Mahon, Harold Pinter, Doris Lessing, and V.S. Naipaul.

On receiving his prize this evening at a ceremony at the British Library, Heaney said: "First of all there's the list of the previous winners, a roll call of the best; there's the fact that you don't enter for it but are chosen from the wide field of your contemporaries; and then there's the verification of that reference to 'lifetime achievement'" He called it "a lovely reward when offered by a panel of such distinguished writers and readers".

The David Cohen prize judges - poet laureate Andrew Motion, novelist Rose Tremain, poet and critic Robert Crawford, Guardian journalist Maya Jaggi and Malawian poet Jack Mapanje - felt that the "self-renewing force of his writing, and the sheer scale of his achievement", made the award of the prize "an absolutely right and proper act of recognition".

Those who wish to be reminded of Heaney's talent need only read his poem "In the Attic", which was published last month in The New Yorker.

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Ireland at MIPTV 2009

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/ the Irish Film Board has announced that it will partner with Enterprise Ireland to host the Ireland on Screen stand at MIPTV in Cannes, France from 30 March - 3 April.

MIPTV is an international market for media and entertainment industries which features exhibitions, conferences and networking opportunities. It is expected that up to 13,500 participants from 111 countries composed of buyers, exhibitors, and professionals from television, film, advertising and the digital media realms will attend the market.

Guardian Film Comp Winner

In October The Guardian announced a competition in which playwright Mark Ravenhill challenged Guardian readers to make a YouTube film inspired by his surreal short story "Old School People".

Dominic Currie won the competition with his short film "Machine Time".

Also available on the web site is an interview between Mark Ravenhill and Dominic Currie about the competition and the making of Currie's short film.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Problems in Storyland

Ben Keenan, one of the participants in the RTÉ Storyland competition, posted details of a security exploit to the voting system employed on the RTÉ web site.

Potentially, it allowed people to vote for a project as many times as they liked, and to skew the voting towards particular projects.


RTÉ has modified the voting system to allow for IP tracking, which has removed much of the potential to load the vote in any particular direction.

Monday 16 March 2009

Russia Film Freeze

An article on Yahoo today reports that Russia's film industry has gone into a deep freeze.

About 100 Russian film projects have been canceled or suspended since the fall, when the film industry experienced the impact of the economic crisis, according to the Russian film industry's trade journal, Byulleten kinoprokatchuika. Earlier this year, Mosfilm, the country's largest studio complex, said it had no films being shot in its studios.

"It is true that (Russian buyers) are renegotiating deals and even canceling them. It is very difficult indeed to get money out of that territory," a spokesperson for London-based sales and finance house Hanway Films said recently.

News is even worse on the local production front. As the global financial downturn has worsened, Russian distributors increasingly have turned their focus toward Hollywood blockbusters, leaving homegrown films and even foreign independent features on the outside looking in.

Friday 13 March 2009

Storyland Online

A reminder that RTÉ's online drama competition Storyland kicks off at 5pm, Monday the 16th of March 2009.

Pilots of nine dramas will be made available for viewing online. Viewers have until 5pm, Monday the 30th March to vote for their favourites.

Only eight projects will proceed onto the next round.

Thursday 12 March 2009

2009 Brian Way Award

The shortlisted playwrights for the 2009 Brian Way Award have been announced in London.

The Award is made to the writer whose play, in the judges' opinion, most satisfies the following description:

  • a play in which the writing is of special quality
  • a play that stimulates the imagination
  • a play that demonstrates innovation in the language or form

The Shortlisted plays for 2009 are:
  • A Sheep called Skye by Nicola McCartney (NTS)
  • Duck! by Philip Osment (Unicorn Theatre)
  • I’m A Minger by Alex Jones (Operating Theatre Company)
  • Romeo In The City by Amber Lone (Theatre Centre)
  • Space Circus by writers from Chol Theatre (Chol Theatre)
  • The Mothership by Douglas Maxwell (Birmingham Rep)
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Kevin Dyer (Action Transport)

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Canadian Fund Highlights New Media

It's worth noting an article on Canada's Globe and Mail about the change in direction of its federal government's funding for film.

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore unveiled a new super-fund, called the Canada Media Fund (CMF), which is amalgamating three previous schemes into one, for a combined $134.7 million in government financing.

It doesn't mean more cash, at least for now – but Moore was adamant that money can be spent more efficiently and will be focused on Canadian drama and comedy across the country. The government will give preference to projects developed in high definition and on more than one platform, such as television shows that incorporate interactive games, webisodes, podcasting or online streaming. That adds up to an added burden when designing projects for CMF support, but Moore said new media needs to be drawn out of its silo and into the production mainstream.

"New media isn't frankly new media any more. I watch more television on my iPod than I do on my actual conventional television set," said Moore.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Irish 3D Cinema

Yesterday the news was announced that Irish Multiplex Cinemas (IMC) will add RealD 3D capabilities to each of its multiplex locations for a total of fourteen RealD 3D-enabled screens. The roll-out will be completed by April in time for the release of the children's animated feature Monsters vs. Aliens (DreamWorks Animation).

Paul Ward, director of IMC said, "The RealD 3D technology being installed in all IMC Cinemas shows IMC's commitment to providing not only the best in customer service, but also the best customer enjoyment of the cinema going experience by the early introduction of the newest technological advances available."

Bob Mayson, managing director of RealD Europe Ltd. said, "Ireland is an important market for us in Europe and we're extremely pleased to be working with IMC to outfit all of their multiplex locations. Paul Ward and his team understand the potential of RealD 3D and are grasping the opportunity with both hands."

RealD’s next-generation technology is deployed across the world’s largest 3D platform in more than 34 countries with over 8,000 screens under contract and nearly 2,600 RealD 3D screens today.

TV Drama Forum

The TV Drama Forum conference is take place on the 12th of March in the Barbican Centre, in London.

The TV Drama Forum enables you to hear from the heavyweight commissioners, network with the leading lights in drama production and learn who else is funding content in this highly competitive field.

Drama has always been competitive, and with commissioning budgets squeezed across the broadcasting spectrum, now more than ever you need to know who is funding content, what they are looking for, and how to make compelling content that fulfils commissioners' – and audiences' – requirements.

At the Drama TV Forum you will:
  • Hear the top TV commissioners outlining what they will be looking for in future
  • Learn how to tap into other sources of funding, both public and private
  • Debate the way drama needs to evolve in order to remain relevant in the multiplatform environment
  • Discover ways to create opportunities in foreign markets, including the US
  • Meet new contacts from across the field to develop meaningful business relationships

You can register for the conference via the web site.

Human Rights Short Films

The ICCL Human Rights Film School is organising an original short film competition with a focus on human rights-related issues relevant to Ireland.

The aim of the Human Rights Film School is to provide film students, filmmakers and those working in human rights with an opportunity to contribute to human rights discourse in Ireland, grappling with issues which affect some of the most vulnerable members of Irish society through the medium of film.

Through the Human Rights Film School Competition, the ICCL hopes to raise public awareness about human rights in an Irish context, bringing attention to inequalities which exist today and inspiring others to work towards solutions, creating in a more equitable society.

The deadline for receipt of entries is Friday 17 April 2009, and further details on how to apply are available on the web site.

Short Shorts 2009

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board has announced its call for submissions for the next round of the Short Shorts scheme. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 8th 2009.

Short Shorts funds up to seven, 3-5 minute films and aims to encourage the making of ultra short films which are innovative, provocative or in some way risky and rule-breaking. The scheme was modified last year so that the films have to conform to a particular genre each year.

The theme for this years short films, whether live action or animated is ‘Films with No Dialogue'. This does not mean silent films, but rather films where the soundtrack can contain anything except audible dialogue. The Mr Bean television series is a good example of this type of genre. It is hoped that having the shorts packaged together under this specific genre will allow the IFB to market the Short Shorts more effectively internationally.

The Short Shorts scheme has been funding short films for a number of years. Some of the more recent successes include Declan Cassidy's Whatever Turns You On which picked up the Best Film awards at the Florence Film Festival in Italy and Filmstock Film Festival in Britain last November. Atlantic, directed by Conor Ferguson, starring Liam Cunningham which was released in cinemas nationwide in front of the feature film 32A last year while the short horror film Shapes directed by Alan Brennan, starring Mark Huberman was officially selected for the renowned Palm Springs International Film Festival 2008.

The successful short films will premiere at the Cork Film Festival in October.

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

Monday 9 March 2009

Lyric Build Begins

Today The Stage mentions that contractors are now in possession of the Langan-side site for the new Lyric theatre in South Belfast. It will have two performance spaces, and is due to reopen in early 2010.

Finance minister Nigel Dodds said: "The Lyric is one of Northern Ireland's most important cultural assets and I believe that the new theatre will provide a much-valued facility for audiences and artists alike. The Lyric is also recognised for the important role it has played and will continue to play in the development of drama in Northern Ireland."

New Abbey Will Go Ahead

The Stage reports that Martin Cullen, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, has pledged that the new Abbey Theatre will be completed despite the Irish government's difficult economic situation.

The information came out of an exchange between Cullen and opposition party spokeswoman on the arts, Olivia Mitchell of Fine Gael, during a recent Dáil session.

"It's incredible it could take so long," she said. "It is not as if the minister is designing the building - he's merely presiding over the drawing up of competition guidelines for someone else to design it. If that process can take years, as it has, how long will it take to build the theatre? The project has turned into a dramatic saga to rival anything the Abbey might stage."

But the minister insisted progress was being made. "The project is complex," he said. "There is a myriad of technical, procedural and legal factors to address, but the final work is being done at the moment."

A free site has been provided for the theatre in the Dublin docklands and the project is to be developed on a 'build, finance and maintain basis' through a public-private partnership arrangement.

Mitchell questioned whether it was realistic to depend on public-private partnerships in the current uncertain economic conditions. "Was the project really being put on the long finger?", she asked.

In reply, the minister said that delivering the new theatre was a top government priority. The design competition would get under way shortly, he promised, and added: "I am confident that when the competition is complete, we will have a world class design for a new iconic building for the city."

2009 Olivier Awards

The winners of the 2009
Laurence Olivier Awards
were announced in a ceremony in London at the weekend:

Best Lighting Design: The Chalk Garden designed by Paule Constable at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Sound Design: Black Watch designed by Gareth Fry at the Barbican

Best Costume Design: The Histories designed by Tom Piper and Emma Williams at the Roundhouse

Best New Dance Production: Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal's Café Muller/ The Rite Of Spring at Sadler's Wells

Outstanding Achievement in Dance: The company of the Royal Ballet of Flanders for their performances in Impressing The Czar at Sadler's Wells

Best New Comedy: God Of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (translated by Christopher Hampton) at the Gielgud theatre

Best Set Design: August: Osage County designed by Todd Rosenthal at the National Theatre, Lyttelton

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Lesli Margherita for Zorro at the Garrick theatre

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre: The Royal Court theatre's production of The Pride, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs

Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Patrick Stewart for Hamlet at the Novello theatre

Best Actress: Margaret Tyzack for The Chalk Garden at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Actor: Derek Jacobi for Twelfth Night, Donmar West End at the Wyndham’s theatre

Best Company Performance: The Histories directed by Michael Boyd at the Roundhouse

Best Theatre Choreographer: Steven Hoggett for Black Watch at the Barbican

Best Revival: The Histories directed by Michael Boyd at the Roundhouse

Best New Opera Production: English National Opera's Partenope at the London Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement in Opera: Edward Gardner for conducting English National Opera's Boris Goduinov, Cavalliera Rusticana, Der Rosenkavalier, I Pagliacci, Riders To The Sea at the London Coliseum and Punch And Judy at the Young Vic

Best Actress in a Musical: Elena Roger for Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse and Vaudeville theatre

Best Actor in a Musical: Douglas Hodge for La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse theatre

Best Entertainment: La Clique at the Hippodrome

Best Musical Revival: La Cage Aux Folles, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play La Cage Aux Folles by Jean Poiret, at the Playhouse theatre

Best New Play: National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch by Gregory Burke at the Barbican

Best Director: John Tiffany for Black Watch at the Barbican

Best New Musical: Jersey Boys The Story Of Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe at the Prince Edward theatre 

The Society's Special Award: Sir Alan Ayckbourn

Thursday 5 March 2009

More Book Events

Today is World Book Day, an annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. There are events and talks going on in libraries all over the country today.

Tomorrow sees the start of the Ennis Book Festival (March 6-8 2009).

The three-day programme of events, in association with Clare County Library includes John Boyne, author of "The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas"; Salley Vickers, best selling British novelist and author of "Miss Garnet’s Angel"; John Breen, author of "Alone It Stands"; Jennifer Johnston, Booker Prize nominated writer; Allan Guthrie, Scottish crime novelist; Mark O'Halloran, award winning writer and actor; journalist and broadcaster Kevin Myers and many more. The festival will be launched on Friday the 6th of March by novelist John Connolly and there will be a GIANT BOOK CLUB meeting to discuss his novel "The Book of Lost Things".

Writing Horror

British journalist and writer Kim Newman will be speaking on the subject of Writing Horror for IPSG members, and their friends, in Room 3 on the second floor of Filmbase, in Temple Bar, Dublin 2, on Thursday the 26th of March at 7pm.

Kim Newman is a contributing editor at Empire Magazine, and one of the UK's best-known critics, especially of horror cinema. He has served on international film juries, and is a regular contributor on British radio and television programmes about the history and tradition of genre work in the media. He has written and edited a number of non-fiction guides to the field, including the BFI 's Companion to Horror, Nightmare Movies (a new edition is forthcoming), and Millennium Movies: End of the World Cinema. Kim has also written award-winning horror novels, short stories, and plays, and his new science fiction radio play "Cry Babies" will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 9 March 2009.

Kim will explore the tradition of horror in relation to filmmaking, and will discuss the advantages and difficulties of writing successfully within this genre. The format will be a question and answer conversation with Guild webmaster Maura McHugh, and questions will be opened to attendees for the final part of the meeting.

If you wish to attend please RSVP the Guild, and inform us if you are bringing along a friend, at: info@script.ie.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Irish Theatre Awards 2009

The winners of the 12 Annual Irish Times Theatre Awards were announced on Monday night:

  • Special tribute award: Lynne Parker
  • Best actress: Derbhle Crotty (Three Sisters, Abbey Theatre)
  • Best actor : Tom Vaughan Lawlor (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht, Abbey Theatre)
  • Best supporting actor: Mikel Murfi (The New Electric Ballroom, Druid)
  • Best supporting actress: Dearbhla Molloy (The Cripple of Inishmaan, Druid and Atlantic Theatre)
  • Best director: Rupert Goold (No Man's Land, Gate Theatre)
  • Best production: Loose Canon (Phaedra’s Love)
  • Best new play: The New Electric Ballroom, written by Enda Walsh (Druid Theatre Company)
  • Best opera: Mines of Sulphur, Wexford Opera.
  • Best costume design: Rae Smith (An Ideal Husband, Abbey Theatre)
  • Best set designer: Owen MacCárthaigh (Juno and the Paycock; Cork Opera House/ Association of Regional Theatres, NI)
  • Best lighting designer: Kevin Treacy (The Nose, The Performance Corporation)
  • Special award: Wexford Opera House.

Tuesday 3 March 2009

UK Writers' Studio

The Stage reports that the former head of drama at Channel 4, Gub Neal, has formed a US-style writers' studio called Artists Studio.

"Artists Studio is the UK's first writers-driven studio. It aims to nurture and empower established talents in a supportive environment and develop their potential producing skills. We hope this innovative approach will bridge the gap between the writer's vision and what eventually appears on screen," Neal said.

He added: "We are starting with a dozen or so established writers on a non-exclusive contract, so they are free to work with their other contacts too. In time we hope to encourage a new generation of showrunners into the industry."

If a writer's project is commissioned, Artists Studio will work with the writer to produce the show, or help find a suitable production company to do so.

Dublin Book Festival 09

Organised by CLÉ - Irish Book Publishers' Association - the Dublin Book Festival will take place from Friday 6th - Sunday 8th March 2009 in Dublin's City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2.

There will be a variety of readings, forums, discussions, workshops, and seminars (in English and Irish) taking place during the weekend.

Monday 2 March 2009

Library Week 2009

Library Ireland Week is running from 2-8 March 2009 in libraries throughout the country.

Check out your local library for a list of events that are taking place.