Tuesday 30 June 2009

TCD Writer's Fellowship

University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin is seeking applicants for its Writer's Fellowship from Irish writers of established reputation. The Fellowship is funded by the School of English, and by a grant-in-aid from the Arts Council, and will be tenable at Trinity College Dublin for the period January-June 2010.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday, 3rd July, 2009, and information on how to apply is available on the web site.

Win Passes to the Fleadh

IFTN is holding a competition to win two festival season passes for the Galway Film Fleadh. Entry merely requires an answer to a simple question.

E-mailed entries must be received by 10.30am on Friday the 3rd of July.

Podcast Direction

Those of you who couldn't attend the recent "Give Me Direction" screenwriting conference organised by the Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board will be delighted to know that the IFB has released podcasts of four panel discussions, which can be downloaded from the web site.

Monday 29 June 2009

Broadway's Dark Summer

According to an article on Bloomberg by mid-July 49% of Broadway theatres will be closed to any production despite coming out of a record year for ticket sales. Many shows ended profitably, some were scheduled to close at this point, while there were the usual commercial failures.

It means that during the height of the summer season there will be a limited choice available to the tourists.

"Our costs to carry a dark theater are very low -- real estate taxes, insurance, heat and electricity -- because we lay everybody off," Philip J. Smith, chairman of the Shubert Organization, which owns 17 Broadway theaters, told me [Jeremy Gerard].

Smith points out that while the number of dark theaters may be higher than last year, it's business as usual: His houses are all booked with shows scheduled to open in the fall and winter. Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman and Daniel "Bond, James Bond" Craig are moving into the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre with Keith Huff's "A Steady Rain." That new police drama will be produced by the husband-and-wife team of Frederick Zollo and Barbara Broccoli (whose late father, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, produced the Bond movies).

And the Barrymore Theatre, which had been home to Rush and his dysfunctional royal court, has been booked by producer Jeffrey Richards and his partners for David Mamet's new play, "Race." An acclaimed Los Angeles revival of Mamet's "Oleanna" is also in the offing for the coming season.

Perhaps it will be an Autumn Awakening this year.

More Women Directors on Broadway

The New York Times reports that it's been a good year for women directing Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, a fact that should not be remarkable, but remains noteworthy because it's been a rarity - thus far:

As it turns out, bias against female playwrights has also received attention recently because of a new study that found there is discrimination against women who are writing for the theater. Last week at a meeting about the research, participants discussed how bias in one part of the business can ripple throughout the industry, affecting directors and others.

Still, Ms. MacKinnon and Ms. Sardelli said they feel fortunate to be directing when the industry is opening up to more women. "I think the generation above me really had it harder," Ms. MacKinnon said. "That's when there was the one girl in the room."

She added, though: "It seems to me that there are number of men who aren't that much older than me whose names you see over and over again. There are not that many women who have that kind of relationships with producers. How do you break into that tiny Rolodex?"

Galway Film Commission?

The Galway Advertiser reports that in the current tough economic climate some politicians are turning to the Arts to attract investment.

Galway Labour councillor Billy Cameron is urging the Galway City Council to establish a film commission to promote the county as a film location.

"Great film and television drama continues to be made in Ireland year after year," said Cllr Cameron, "but I am convinced we could be losing out due to the fact that we do not have a office under the auspices of the city council."

Cllr Cameron points out that Galway is a "unique centre of culture and creativity" with an office of the Irish Film Board in the city, the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI, Galway, Studio Solas, and the Galway Film Fleadh.

"All of this infrastructure along with the fact that we possess producers, directors, writers, cast and crews in abundance leaves me in no doubt that Galway can become a centre for film making in the west," he said. "A multi agency film commission is pivotal and the cog in the wheel to put Galway on the map for future film making."

Little Bird Goes Under

IFTN reports that Dublin production company, Little Bird - which was involved in films such as Bridget Jones Diary and Into the West - has folded with debts of over €3.5 million.

The company that were in the process of producing a film about the life of convicted murder Catherine Nevin went into liquidation after failing to restructure in receivership. Kieran Wallace the receiver is in negotiations with a British film company to sell the on-going productions and back catalogue rights to Irish television series 'On Home Ground' and 'The Irish RM'.

The company which holds offices in Dublin, London and Johannesburg commented: “We made significant losses in movie production and development during the period 2000 to 2004, in recent months a number of challenges – some our own – others not, like the collapse in international equity markets, have made it difficult to refinance Little Bird's business.”

Thursday 25 June 2009

Guild Events at Fleadh

During the Galway Film Fleadh the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild will be involved in two events:

At 10.30am on Thursday 9th July at the Radisson Hotel the Guild will present the 2nd Annual ZeBBies Report.

The report, which covers the period July 2007 to June 2008, will provide detailed information on the amount of work which was available to writers, the number of writers who developed projects and produced work, and the rates of pay involved therein. This meeting is open to all.

Immediately following, at 12.00pm at the Radisson Hotel, Irish Equity in conjunction with The Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild, will hold a meeting for actors and writers in relation to on-going problems with contracts.

This meeting will be of special interest to actors and writers working in the industry, but all are welcome to attend.

His & Hers Launch

The Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, in association with the Directors Guild of America, have announced that the winner of the Directors Finders Series 2009 is Ken Wardrop and his feature documentary His & Hers

The feature will be showcased in the Director's Guild of America Theatre, Sunset Boulevard, L.A, on 7th August 2009 to an audience of American distributors and industry personnel with a view to securing a U.S distribution deal for the film.

Before the L.A Screening the SDGI will launch His & Hers at a special Industry Awards Ceremony on Thursday 16th July in Dublin in The Morrison Hotel.

This event will be officially opened by the Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, Martin Cullen, TD.

The awards will be co-hosted by acclaimed directors Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan, and the guest speaker will be from Pathe! UK.

For further information or to confirm your place contact the SDGI at guestlist[at]sdgi[dot]ie

Filmbase/RTE Short Film Award

Filmbase and RTÉ have announced the winners of the first round of the 2009 Filmbase/RTÉ Short film award scheme.

This round was the most competitive yet with over 340 applications being submitted. Each of the three winning teams will receive &Euro;10,000 along with matching equipment and/or post-production facilities at Filmbase to realize their individual projects.

Cold Turkey is written and to be directed by Gavin Keane with producer Ruth Coady on board from Parallel Films. Cold Turkey concerns the misadventures of a frustrated Foley artist, curious children and petrified poultry.

Cured, an unconventional love story with a meaty twist, was written by Louise Ní Fhiannachta and will be directed by Mary Redmond and produced by Laura Ní Cheallaigh.

Windows, which is written and to be directed by Ken Walshe, is the story of a local misfit whose attempts to save a beautiful girl from a ruthless criminal ends in tragedy. Windows will be produced by John Wallace of Blacksheep Productions.

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Abbey Job Losses

The Stage reports that there are likely to be job losses at the Abbey theatre in Dublin, as negotiations on redundancies get underway.

The spokeswoman was keen to stress that the job cuts do not signal a new financial emergency at the Abbey.

"We are not in crisis – the action we are taking is to avoid being forced into a crisis next year or the year after," she said. "We are simply taking precautions in what is a difficult economic climate for everyone."

Abbey director Fiach MacConghail echoed that sentiment in a message to staff, in which he praised the "highly skilled workforce" and called the proposed job cuts regrettable.

"The theatre itself is now a well managed organisation and we are not currently in deficit," he said. "However, the times we are living in compel us to take action sooner rather than later to avoid an otherwise inevitable financial crisis in the coming years."

Theatre Forum Videos

Theatre Forum has its own YouTube Channel, which includes videos of interviews, discussions, and panels from its annual Conference last month, which had as its subject "The Way Through".

Writers and Directors Seminar

FÁS Screen Training Ireland is organising a half-day seminar on the 11th of July, in Galway during the Film Fleadh, on the collaboration between Directors and Writers.

The Writer/Director Collaboration is one of the most vital aspects of filmmaking. The Writer envisions and creates a Story. The Director brings the Story to life on the screen. In this seminar we will explore how Writers and Directors can work together more effectively and efficiently and how they can employ the talents and imagination of Actors in the Story and Character development process.

The tutor for the course is Mark Travis, a director of television shows like The Facts of Life, Family Ties, Capitol and the Emmy Award-winning PBS dramatic special, Blind Tom: The Thomas Bethune Story.

The seminar costs €40.00, and apply via the website by June 30. Email Grainne Bennett at grainne.bennett[at]fas[dot]ie with any queries.

Virtual Cinema 2009

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board has announced the new deadline of the short film scheme Virtual Cinema. Applications will be accepted until Friday 14th August

Virtual Cinema aims to encourage the exploration of fresh filmmaking ground with no creative holds barred. We are looking for creative ideas which will exploit interesting, new and traditional filmmaking techniques but can hold the attention of the YouTube audience.

The scheme is dedicated to the making of high-quality short films that are suited to the new forms of digital video consumption. Films made under the scheme can be live-action or can use any kind of animation technique and can be fiction or non-fiction. We are looking for new, imaginative, quirky and original ideas.

Films may be made in Irish or English with Irish language applications actively encouraged.

The first round of Virtual Cinema shorts, which premiered last summer can be viewed on a number of websites including the IFB website and YouTube with a number of the shorts receiving a huge number of hits due to viral marketing.

This round the IFB are funding up to 10 films with a duration of approximately 2 minutes and a maximum budget of €2,000.

More information and the application form can be obtained from the web site.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Films Attract Tourists

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board reports that foreign tourists spent €4.9 billion in Ireland in 2007, and a remarkable 15% of visitors cited "film" as a factor that influenced them to travel here. The IFB reckons that equates to €735 million in direct foreign investment.

The article implies that with the recent success of Once, The Tudors, and The Secret of Kells in international markets Ireland may continue to see an influx of tourists inspired to visit by celluloid fiction.

Free Master Class for NI Writers

Northern Irish screenwriters have the opportunity to obtain one of ten free places on the Screenwriters' Master Class at the Galway Film Fleadh, as organised by Northern Ireland Screen.

Four of the ten selected writers will be chosen for a one-to-one with Christopher Hampton.

For full details contact Development Executive Natasha Geary at natasha@northernirelandscreen.co.uk by no later than 5pm on Tuesday, 23 June 2009.

Essential criteria to be considered for selection to attend the Master Class:

  • You must be resident for tax purposes in Northern Ireland
  • You must have previously received development money for a feature film or TV drama script
  • Experienced television drama writers with at least one commission or broadcast credit
  • Preference will be given to writers who have not attended the Fleadh before
  • You must be able to demonstrate a strategic need for attending the festival.
In addition, in order to be considered for a one-to-one with Christopher Hampton, you will need to have had a feature film produced and distributed in a commercial cinema or a television drama produced and broadcast.

Monday 22 June 2009

IWC Seeks Input

The Irish Writers' Centre is holding an Open Public Meeting at 3:30 pm on Saturday 27 June to discuss its future in light of the abrupt loss of its Arts Council grant.

For the last few weeks the Board of the Irish Writers' Centre has been consulting widely with individual writers and with people interested in literature and the arts generally. It has also been engaged with sister organisations in the literature field. The purpose of this extensive consultation is to ascertain what role, if any, the Irish Writers' Centre should play in the cultural life of the country in the future. At a meeting on the 14 July, the Board will consider all the options and all the recommendations submitted.

If you have any recommendations regarding the future functions, activities, responsibilities, etc, of the Irish Writers' Centre and have not had a chance to submit them already, this open meeting will offer you the opportunity of doing so.

High Tide 2009

High Tide is open for play submissions for HighTide Festival 2010 to promote new work by emerging writers.

HighTide welcome international scripts, written in English, on the basis that all selected writers are available in the UK for the dramaturgy, rehearsal and production period from November 2009 to May 2010.

The play should be sent to the address below, and must have a title page with author's name, address and telephone number. Scripts will not be returned.

The play must also be emailed to scripts@hightide.org.uk

Please enter your name and title of script in the subject line.

Submission deadline: 31st July 2009.

Please send all submissions to:

24a St John Street
London EC1M 4AY

(This marks the 1,000th news post on the IPSG blog!)

Bursary for Wilson

IFTN reports that Irish writer/director/producer Juanita Wilson won the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation Annual Bursary 2009 for her short film 'The Door'. The award of €8,000 will be presented to Juanita at the Sarajevo Film Festival in late August.

The Katrin Cartlidge Bursary is designed to encourage new creative voices in European cinema and to celebrate the independence, singularity and integrity of spirit that Katrin Cartlidge embraced and exemplified in her own lifetime.

Friday 19 June 2009

More Fleadh Workshops

The Galway Film Fleadh in conjunction with the Galway Film Centre has announced that American filmmaker Jon Jost (All The Vermeers in New York, Over Here) will host a five-day workshop during the Fleadh, beginning on Tuesday July 7.

The aim of the workshop is to familiarize participants with the myriad qualities which small digital DV and HDV cameras possess and to experiment in using these capacities in a creative manner. The workshop will also focus on the various types of in camera effects and how best to combine these with non-linear computer editing systems.

Those attending the workshop are advised to bring a DV or HDV (or Hi8) Camera and if possible a notebook computer which can be used for editing. The workshop will culminate on Sunday July 12 where participants will have the opportunity to screen the short films which they will make in the workshop at a special screening in the Cinemobile.

For further information please contact education@galwayfilmcentre.ie

The Fleadh, in conjunction with the Galway Film Centre, and in association with FÁS Screen Training Ireland, has also announced that Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Inglourious Basterds, Fish Tank) is the subject of the Acting Master Class at the festival.

It will take place on Saturday, July 11th and will be facilitated by leading casting agents, Ros Hubbard and Mary Maguire. Hunger will be screened on Friday afternoon, July 10th.

For further information or to apply for a place, contact Mary Deely at 091-770748 or masterclasses@galwayfilmfleadh.com

Those interested should submit a CV/Biography. The Master Class costs €50.

Storyland 3

The order of the finalists in the third round of the RTÉ web series Storyland are:

  1. Hardy Bucks
  2. Rental Boys
  3. Psych Ward
  4. Happy Slapper
New episodes from the the final three web series will go online at 5pm, Friday 17 July.

Thursday 18 June 2009

Newsjack Seeks Writers

BBC Radio 7 has launched a new topical sketch show called Newsjack which seeks to scrutinise the news, views and issues of the day via comedy.

It is seeking new writers for material for the show.

The pilot aired last Thursday 4 June at 11pm, and has been commissioned for an initial six-week run. Each episode can be replayed for a week after broadcast via iPlayer.

Sketch submissions for the show must arrive each Monday by midday.

Further information on the programme and its submission process is available from the web site.

Sources 2 Workshops

SOURCES 2 is an advanced training programme for European film professionals working in the field of script and story development, and offers workshops all over Europe for international participants, who are guided by international advisers.

The following two workshops are currently available:

SOURCES 2 Script Development Workshop

A workshop for screenwriters and teams of writers, producers or directors with feature film projects and creative documentaries in development.

A seven-day session, with coached development period, and follow-up session.

The application deadline is the 1st July 2009 for the workshop in Graz/Austria, 10th – 18th November 2009, with the support of Cinestyria, the Province of Styria/Cultural Department, the Austrian Film Institute and in cooperation with uniT Graz.

Requested: Feature film projects and creative documentaries

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

SOURCES 2 Projects & Process

Training Mentors for European Scriptwriters

A Workshop for professionals working in the field of script and story development (scriptwriters, editors, tutors, developers, commissioning editors, producers).

This is a three-day session, with coached development period, and round-off by e-mail.

The application deadline is the 1st August 2009 for the workshop in Prague/Czech Republic, 14th – 18th October 2009, with the support of the Ministry of Culture/Department of Media and Audiovision.

Participation fee: €750. Includes the three-day session (accommodation and meals included, travel costs excluded), three-month coaching period, round-off by e-mail.

Further details about the application process is available from the web site

DLR Residencies

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Arts Office in collaboration with the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) is looking for submissions for Writer in Residence at the IADT from October 2009– May 2010.

This year's residency seeks to support writers of contemporary fiction in all genres, with the exception of scriptwriters, whose genre is supported by the Hugh Leonard Award 2009.

Writers are invited to take inspiration from varied sources including the educational context, the innovative research work and the artistic resources.

The IADT will provide a desk and access to a computer within the college but will not provide an office.

The selected writer will be required to live in (or within reasonable commuting distance) to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County, and to IADT.

Residency objectives

To create opportunities for the individual artist to:

  • develop his/her own work
  • to develop publics for her/his work among the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County community
  • engage with the student, academic and broader community as appropriate to the context, the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County community.
  • foster an environment where artmaking and an appreciation of art making can flourish
  • To conduct writing workshops with members of the community where appropriate, including a weekly extra-mural workshop located in IADT.
Selection will be made by way of an open submission competition.

Writers will submit an expression of interest together with details of previous work to date as follows:
  • A typed curriculum vitae (maximum 3 pages)
  • Examples of previous work.
  • Publications, programmes or published articles, such as reviews
  • Typed proposal (maximum 3 pages) for the residency detailing:
  1. A plan of work in the context of IADT and of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County, the location of the residency
  2. The benefits of the residency to his/her stage of development as a writer
  3. The benefits of the residency to his/her current artistic preoccupations including ideas for usage of the resources and facilities
  4. Ideas in relation to public engagement with due regard to the community and cultural remit of the Centre for Public Culture Studies amd the School of Business and Humanities, IADT.
Please ensure that all submitted materials are clearly marked with the writer's name.

Criteria for selection
  • Expression of interest and capacity to address brief
  • Artistic merit and originality of work
  • Quality of previous work
The closing date for applications: 4pm on Friday 17th July

A short-list of applicants will be invited to an interview on Thursday 6th Aug 2009.

During the interview, the panel will consider the applicants proposal for the residency with reference to:
  • Quality of proposal
  • Suitability of the proposal to the context of the residency as described by the stakeholders
  • Perceived ability to fulfil the requirements of the residency.
Applications to be submitted to:
Carolyn Brown,
Senior Arts Administrator,
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council,
Moran Park House,
Queen's Road,
Dun Laoghaire,
Co Dublin.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

The Hugh Leonard Award 2009

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is looking for submissions for The Hugh Leonard Award 2009.

The award is open to mid-career scriptwriters who are residents or citizens of Ireland. The award consists of a bursary of €5,000 and the production of a rehearsed reading of one of the writer's scripts at From the Mountains to the Sea, DLR Literary Festival in September 2009.

A budget of €5,000 will cover the production of the rehearsed reading, which will be managed by DLR Arts with significant input from the selected recipient of the award. The successful applicant will need to be available from the 8th – 12th September for the rehearsed reading.

Selection will be made by way of an open submission competition.

Applicants will submit 3 copies of the following:

  • A typed curriculum vitae (maximum 3 pages)
  • Publications, programmes or published articles
  • Typed expression of interest to include
  • A short paragraph stating reasons for applying
  • A short description of the benefits of the award to his/her stage of development as a scriptwriter
  • Details of which script the writer would like to nominate for the rehearsed reading (this can be a new or previously published/performed work)
Please ensure that all submitted materials are clearly marked with the writer's name.

Closing date for applications is 4pm on Friday 17th July.

Interviews may be held in early August for short-listed applicants if deemed necessary by the selection panel.

Criteria for selection
  • Artistic merit and distinctiveness of proposal
  • Quality of previous work
  • Suitability of the script for a rehearsed reading
Applications to be submitted to:
Carolyn Brown,
Senior Arts Administrator,
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council,
Moran Park House,
Queen's Road,
Dun Laoghaire,
Co Dublin.

FmN.ie Fringe

The FilmmakersNetwork.ie forum is proposing to host a Fleadh Fringe screening in Galway on the evening of Friday 10th July of the Galway Film Fleadh.

What we need are short films. The theme of the mini-festival is "The ones that got away" - that is films that were entered in the Galway Film Fleadh this year but for some unexplainable oversight weren't including the the main festival.

I will ask everyone to send me a DVD with their film (Quicktime files preferred) and if they have it a copy of their rejection letter.

We aren't closing it off to only "rejected" films so if you have a gem that should be seen send it in. Rejection letters from other festivals will also be accepted.

More information on where to send the films, and other details about the fringe event, are available on the forum boards.

Theatre Live! for Older Women

The Stage reports that of the six plays that have been written for the new live theatre series for Sky Arts, called Theatre Live!, three of them feature an all-women cast, and many of the roles call for older actresses.

At least one of the writers, the debut playwright Kate Mosse, said she was inspired to focus her play on a group of women over 50, after reading about the current campaign to highlight the lack of opportunities for older female performers.

"I have noticed a lot of pieces in the paper about people saying older women don't get cast, and then lots of people coming back saying, 'We really would if people were writing stuff for older women that isn't just somebody's granny or whatever'," she said. "I realised when I came to thinking about the play that it is a really good point. You can't cast older women if people are not writing for them. So I decided to deliberately write for women in their late fifties."

She added: "I thought this is my chance to write a piece actively for older women, who are not there as somebody's grandmother or because they have Alzheimer's. They are just women who are older."

ITV May Get License Fee

The BBC reports that under proposals in the British government's Digital Britain report there are plans to divert 3.5% of the television license fee to ITV and other public service broadcasters from 2013.

The BBC Trust has come out against the government's proposals, saying removing part of the licence fee would "damage BBC output".

Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons said it "must not become a slush fund to be dipped into at will".

"This would lead to the licence fee being seen as another form of general taxation. The trust will not sit quietly by and watch this happen," he added.

Lord Carter, author of the Digital Britain report, said that a proposed merger between BBC Worldwide - the corporation's commercial arm - and Channel 4 would not be "a forced marriage", but that the government "would be ready to facilitate it".

Referring to a consultation, he said the government would not be "running a referendum on it" but would take the views of licence fee payers into account.

Channel 4's chief executive Andy Duncan welcomed the report, saying it "offers crystal clear acknowledgement of Channel 4's vital role in ensuring public service competition to the BBC".

Tuesday 16 June 2009

New Studio Launches

The LA Times reports that despite the current recession a new studio, called DF Indie Studios (DFIS), has just opened its doors in New York.

The two women behind the company are Mary Dickinson and Charlene Fisher, financial consultants with a background in entertainment and sports, who say they have already raised more than $50 million from investors and secured an additional $150 million in "output" deals. Their goal is to raise $100 million by the autumn, and plan to create and distribute 10 -12 low-budget films a year.

The company has a staff of 20 and expects to double it over the next several months. Amy Slotnick, a former Miramax production executive, will serve as executive vice president of production, and Rita Chiappetta-Thibault, a former New Line executive, will be DFIS' chief financial officer.

Producers Hope and Carey -- whose This Is That Productions was behind the critical successes "In the Bedroom," "The Ice Storm" and "The Savages" -- said there is a shortage of places to go to make movies in the $10-million-budget range. "It's not rocket science, but it is an effort that has been neglected, so it ends up being truly innovative by default," Hope said.

The Kushner Process

Playwrights might be interested in the The New York Times article on Tony Kushner's new play, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures, in which Kushner describes his writing process for his current project, and how he is developing it for the stage.

Google Antitrust Investigation

Last week The New York Times reported that the Justice Department in the USA has issued formal request for information from Google, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild and individual publishers in relation to an antitrust investigation of the Google Book Settlement.

Critics said that the settlement would unfairly grant Google a monopoly over the commercialization of millions of books.

The Justice Department's requests do not necessarily mean that the government will oppose the settlement. But the department's investigation could delay any approval of the settlement, antitrust specialists said.

“The government must be a lot further along with this than people thought,” said Gary Reback, a lawyer who wrote a book on antitrust. “Now, there is a big boulder sitting on the judge's desk. It is hard to see the judge approving this if a government investigation is pending.”

Judge Denny Chin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, who is overseeing the settlement, is to hold a hearing in September.

Monday 15 June 2009

West Cork Workshops

The West Cork Literary Festival (6-11 July) have a number of places available on its workshop programme. Of particular interest are:

Writing for the Screen with Ferdia Mac Anna

This workshop will be an introduction to the basics of screenwriting and cover the Three Act structure, the creation of Character within the screenplay, the basic rules of conflict, screen comedy and dialogue, visual writing and other craft tools. It is advised that before the workshop, participants should watch two of the following three movies: Casablanca, Juno and As Good As It Gets.

Writing for the Stage with Billy Roche

This workshop will consist of readings and discussions and built-in dramaturgy, the do's and dont's of creative writing: setting, character, storyline, the power of mythology and psychology and their place in the craft of writing along with advice on beginnings and endings and the stuff in-between. If any workshop participants have written work, Billy would like to be able to read it in advance of the week, so please forward this to the West Cork Literary Festival office.

Writing for Radio with Rory Kilalea

This will be an interactive and collaborative workshop which culminate in each participant writing a ten-minute radio play with defined characters, a storyline and a structure which engages the audience. Areas covered will include the medium of radio writing and how it differs from theatre, film or television, the techniques to realise sound stories, the idea, structure and characters.

Information on how to book a place on the workshops is available from the web site.

Friday 12 June 2009

Fleadh Masterclass 09

The 21st Galway Film Fleadh and the Galway Film Centre, in association with Northern Ireland Screen, have announceed that Christopher Hampton will give the Screenwriters Master Class at this year's Fleadh.

Christopher's most recently released film, Atonement, won Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards for Best Picture. Cheri, directed by Stephen Frears, premiered at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival.

His other screenplays include The Quiet American, Mary Reilly, Total Eclipse, Dangerous Liaisons, Carrington, The Secret Agent and Imagining Argentina, the last three of which he also directed.

Prizes for his film and television work include an Academy Award, two BAFTAs, a Writer's Guild of America Award, the Prix Italia, a Special Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Hollywood Screenwriter of the Year 2007 and The Collateral Award at the Venice Film Festival for Best Literary Adaptation.

Christopher Hampton's plays, musicals and translations have garnered three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, four Evening Standard awards and the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award.

He has written a wide range of award winning plays including The Talking Cure, White Chameleon, Tales From Hollywood, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Treats, Savages, The Philanthropist and Total Eclipse.

Christopher Hampton also wrote the book and lyrics (with Don Black) for the musicals, Sunset Boulevard and Dracula, and the libretto for the Philip Glass operas, Waiting For The Barbarians and Appomattox.

To honour the presence of Christopher Hampton at the festival, the 21st Galway Film Fleadh will screen Atonement, Imagining Argentina and The Quiet American.

The Master Class will take place on Thursday, July 9th in the Radisson Hotel, Galway. For further information or to apply for a place, contact Mary Deely at 091-770748 or masterclasses[at]galwayfilmfleadh[dot]com. Those interested should submit a CV/Biography.

Thursday 11 June 2009

Get Joyced Up

The James Joyce Centre has once again organised a slew of events from 13-16 June in Dublin to celebrate this year's Bloomsday.

There will be the traditional Bloomsday Breakfasts, readings and songs in Meeting House Square, two film screenings, talks by Barry McGovern, John McCourt, and Sam Slote, and of course, walking tours.

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Human Rights Film School Competition

The Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin, will hold a Gala Screening on Thursday, 11 June of the ICCL (Irish Council for Civil Liberties), Human Rights Film School Competition. Both amateur and professional Irish filmmakers, directors, producers, and scriptwriters created short films for the competition to raise awareness about human rights.

A short-list of six films have been selected:

  • Pirogues by Barry O'Donoghue (Producer)
  • Team Spirit by Siobhan Twomey (Writer, Director)
  • My Identity by Vittoria Colonna (Director)
  • A Life Inside the Frame by Daniel Bevan (Co-writer, Co-director).
  • 8 Things to Remember by Aoibheann O'Sullivan (Director)
  • Children of Manila by Genny Carraro (Producer)
People can watch the shortlisted films on the Human Rights Film School Competition web site, and can vote for their favourite film here.

The winner of the Human Rights Film School will receive a place in the prestigious 2009 Summer School on Cinema and Human Rights at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice, which offers master classes and lectures given by renowned experts in the disciplines of film and human rights.

The Summer School is a 3 week crash course on filmmaking for social change, which runs alongside the Venice Film Festival from 27 August to 16 September. The course seeks to address the question "how can film be used as an instrument for enhancing human rights awareness?" This will involve a programme of interactive teaching, private screenings, workshops and modules on cinema and human rights, along with attendance at screenings at the Venice Film Festival, meetings and discussions with filmmakers and others from the film world attending the festival.

The School is led by award-winning documentary maker Nick Danziger.

Screenwriting Workshop

James Jermanok, a former ICM agent, screenwriter, and producer is giving a workshop on "Writing a Successful Screenplay and Getting it Made" at The LAB, Foley Street, Dublin 1, on June 24th, from 10 am - 1 pm.

The fee is €50, and registration and further information can be obtained from Ray Yeates on 087-0523849.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Pact in Belfast

Pact, the UK trade association that represents and promotes the commercial interests of independent feature film, television, digital, children's and animation media companies, is having a roadshow in Belfast on the 19 June from 08:30 - 10:30am in the Europa Hotel, Great Victoria St.

Admission is free, but tickets must be booked in advance from the web site.

The subject of the event is: Managing The Downturn: how Pact can help you make the most of challenging times

Pact knows times are tough for producers, and we are working harder than ever to get you through this challenging period.

Hear from chief Executive John McVay, Director of Business Affairs Andrew Chowns and other specialists in the Pact team about Pact’s key lobbying initiatives to open up new opportunities for you, the inside track on where the industry is heading and what this means for you, as well as how we are tackling industrial relations and legal issues for your benefit.

P. J. O'Connor Winner 2009

Last night on RTÉ Radio 1's Arts Show the winners of the P.J. O'Connor RTÉ Radio 1 Drama Awards were announced:

  • Overall winner - Dylan, Thomasina and Me by John Austin Connolly. Prize of €3,000
  • First runner up - Elvis Is Dead by Shay Healy. Prize of €2,000
  • Second runner up - Happy Hour by Ashley Taggart. Prize of €1,000
The podcast of the show is available online, and features a discussion with the judges about the material, and a short interview with John Austin Connolly about his winning play.

The three winning dramas will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday evenings in July.

Cheaper Theatre Earlier

Those of you in London, or considering a trip in the coming months, will be pleased to know that fans of theatre will be able to buy discounted tickets from tkts, the West End ticket booth, up to seven days in advance of a show.

Until this recent change special offers were only released to customers on the day of the performance.

The tkts booth in Leicester Square (founded in 1980 as the original Half Price Ticket Booth) and tkts at Brent Cross are the only official half price and discount theatre ticket outlets in London operated by the Society of London Theatre, the industry body that represents London theatres.

Storyland 3

The videos in the third round of RTÉ's Storyland competition have been released online. There are four series left:

  • Happy Slapper
  • Hardy Bucks
  • Psych Ward
  • Rental Boys
Voting is open until 5pm, Monday the 15th June, and will determine who goes through to the next round.

Monday 8 June 2009

2009 Tony Winners

The winners of the 63rd Annual Tony Awards were announced last night in New York City.

A full list of all the winners is available from the web site, but the following should be of particular interest to our members:

Best Play:
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza

Best Musical:
Billy Elliot, The Musical; book and lyrics by Lee Hall, and music by Sir Elton John,

Best Revival of a Play:
The Norman Conquests by Alan Ayckbourn.

Best Revival of a Musical:
Hair; book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, and music by Galt MacDermot.

Waterford Script Competition

The Waterford Film Festival (6-8 November) has announced a Short Screenplay Competition as part of its festival.

Twenty finalists will be selected, and each will receive a certificate. On the final day of the festival an award of €600 will be announced to one overall winner. The winning writer will also be able to meet up with a professional filmmaker to discuss the development of the script and to discuss opportunities in getting his/her film made.

There is a €10 fee per entry, and the deadline for submissions is August 17.

An application form can be downloaded from the web site.

Awards Info Session

Filmbase and RTÉ are running an information session on applying for their Short Film Awards Scheme at 2pm, Thursday 11th June in the Filmbase building.

The session will consist of a panel presentation on the selection process by Filmbase MD Alan Fitzpatrick and Jo Schofield from the IPU at RTÉ. Also on the panel will be filmmaker Michael Lavelle who will talk about his experience of making his short film Out of the Blue through the scheme. The panel session will be followed by a brief Q&A session.

The session is free but places must be booked by emailing Clare at Filmbase on clare[AT]filmbase[DOT]ie. Please include 'Award info session' in the subject line and make sure to include your full name and (where applicable) the name of your production company.

The deadline for the next round of the award is 5pm on Friday 26th of June 2009.

Thursday 4 June 2009

Conference Update

Today's events at the Give Me Direction conference have been cancelled.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Shane Black, who was expected to attend the screenwriting conference GIVE ME DIRECTION today, is unable to attend the event due to issues with his passport in LA airport yesterday.

Mr. Black was scheduled to give a public interview this evening at 5.30pm in the Light House Cinema which has now unfortunately been cancelled. Both Bord Scannan na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused to those who had purchased tickets for this event. Registration for the conference will now take place on Friday morning at 9.15 in the Shelbourne Hotel.

Commenting on these unfortunate circumstances Mr Black said "I've been working on the planning end of many a similar conference, and am all too aware of the inconvenience that a no-show guest inflicts upon the people who've been kind enough to sponsor his trip. This error on my part, though inadvertent, shows a terrible lack of forethought. I call upon what remains of your goodwill and please convey my apologies to those that bought tickets to attend."

We hope to work with Mr. Black in the future and should another event be organised at a later stage, those that had tickets for this event will be prioritised with regard to ticket allocation.

Get Direction Today

The final line-up of the Give Me Direction screenwriting conference, which starts this evening, has been announced. The even is organised by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) in partnership with the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) focusing on the how and why of writing for the screen. Both the Huston School of Film & Digital Media and the IADT are also sponsoring panels at the conference.

Confirmed international and Irish guests for the event include Hollywood legend Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), Paul Fraser (A Room for Romeo Brass, Somers Town), Eran Kolirin (The Bands Visit), Jim Sheridan (In The Name of the Father, Get Rich or Die Trying), Conor McPherson (The Eclipse), Damien ODonnell (East is East, Heartlands), Tanya Seghatchian (UK Film Council), Pat McCabe (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto), Roddy Doyle (When Brendan Met Trudy), Kirsten Sheridan (In America) and Mark ORowe (Boy A, Intermission). Actors Michael McElhatton (Whistlerblower, Spin the Bottle) and Eileen Walsh (Eden) will also take part in a showcase of new Irish cinema, reading scenes from Memorabilia written by Kevin Barry and currently in development with the IFB.

GIVE ME DIRECTION will champion great and original writing for the screen, and is an opportunity to deepen the IFBs engagement in addressing industry concerns. The conference will follow an informal, mixed format of sessions, screenings and interviews: plus a preview screening and rehearsed read-through.

The event will include a public interview with Shane Black, plus a wide-range of informal discussions and sessions. Amongst them we have DONT GET WEIRD ON ME: a debate on the limitations and realities of arthouse and commercial cinema; LIVE LONG & PROSPER: a hard headed discussion on making a living as a scriptwriter: GRAB EM BY THE THROAT: a focus on how to get the best out of your collaborators; and MONGRELS: a conversation on what it takes to move between formats as a writer with input from a range of writers with a background working in of theatre, film, and TV.
A full list of the schedule is available on the web site.

Tickets for the event are sold out.

Wednesday 3 June 2009

NI Funding Arts and Sports

Six Northern Ireland projects, which bring together arts and sports, have been selected by Legacy Trust UK (LTUK) to receive funding of £1.31million in the lead up the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI), will be responsible for the delivery of the funding to the project lead partners, coordinating the programme and ensuring that it provides a legacy beyond the Games in 2012.

The following six organisations have been selected to become project lead partners and coordinate each project:

  • Dance and Sport – Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company
  • Physical Theatre/Circus and Gymnastics – The BEAT Initiative
  • Music /Poetry and Sport – Ulster Orchestra
  • Children's Theatre and Children’s Sport – Bardic Educational Arts & Media
  • Visual Arts/Film and Sport – Northern Ireland Screen
  • Disability Arts and Sport – Open Arts

Fleadh Pitching Award

The deadline for entries for the Galway Film Fleadh's Pitching Award is Friday 19th June.

Each pitch must compose of a one page (500 word) story idea for screen, and must be accompanied by the €30 entry free. The application form can be downloaded from the web site.

Entries will be read by a designated panel and the five best will be selected to be pitched by the writer in front of an audience at the Galway Film Fleadh on Sunday 12th July. A Panel of judges will select the winner and the award will be presented that evening during the Awards Ceremony.

Tuesday 2 June 2009

McGuire Playwriting Competition

The Mr. & Mrs. Frank J. McGuire International Playwriting Competition is now seeking applications from citizens and residents of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The competition is open to first-time playwrights as well as experienced and established playwrights.

The winning playwright will receive prize money of $20,000 and will enjoy a world premiere professional production of his or her play by the renowned Irish Classical Theatre Company in Western New York, as part of the company’s 20th Anniversary Season in 2010-2011.

Runners-up in the McGuire Playwriting Competition may be considered for a full professional production by the Irish Classical Theatre Company as part of its annual season of plays in subsequent years to their 20th Anniversary Season.

The competition is co-sponsored by the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, and by Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. McGuire. The Irish Classical Theatre Company would like to extend its gratitude to Larry Quinn of the Buffalo Sabres Foundation and to the McGuire family for their generous support.

Submission Dates & Announcement of Winner
Scripts will be accepted for submission from March 2009 through September 1st 2009, with the winning play announced at a reception and press conference in Buffalo in January 2010, with a concurrent press release to the Irish and Northern Irish media.

Selection Process
All scripts will be assessed by a team of experienced professional and artistic directors on both sides of the Atlantic, in Ireland and in Western New York.

Members of the adjudication panel and the selection process itself will remain anonymous until the winner has been announced.

Additional Benefits to Winning Playwright
In addition to the $20,000 in prize money, the winning playwright will have the option of being a part of the entire five-week rehearsal process in Buffalo, with return flights to USA, accommodation and per diem covered by the Irish Classical Theatre Company and by our sponsors.

The winning playwright will also be invited to the awards ceremony in Buffalo, New York, with international travel and all expenses covered by the Irish Classical Theatre, the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, and by the McGuire Group.

In addition, the playwright will receive full royalties on the world premiere production, (8% of gross box-office receipts) for a performance schedule of no less than four weeks.

Information on the competition rules, and application process, are available from the web site.

2009 P.J. O'Connor Shortlist

RTÉ Radio 1 has announced the shortlist for the 2009 P.J O'Connor Drama Awards.

The judges for this year's competition are: Writer, Eugene McCabe; Actor and Director, Bairbre Ni Chaoimh and Jesper Bergmann, Chief Dramaturge at The Royal National Theatre, Copenhagen. Over 500 entries were received and fourteen have been selected for the shortlist.

The winners will be announced live on The Arts Show on Monday 8 June at 8.00pm on RTÉ Radio 1. As well as the prize money, the winners receive the professional production of their play, the chance to take in writers' workshop, and the winning and short listed plays are broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1.

The RTÉ Radio 1 Drama Awards shortlist:
  • "Dylan, Thomasina and Me" by John Austin Connolly, Booterstown, Co. Dublin
  • "Lilters and Lovers" by James Corbett, Maherafelt, Co. Derry
  • "Brave Day for It" by Derek M. Doherty, Beijing, China
  • "Noah's Transportation" by Davy Ferguson, Dunmanway, Co. Cork
  • "Working for the Clampdown" by Patrick Fitzsymons, Bushmills, Co. Antrim
  • "Taxi" by Ciarán Gray, North Strand, Dublin 3
  • "Elvis Is Dead" by Shay Healy, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
  • "After We Got Back" by Sinead Hickey, Dundrum, Dublin 14
  • "How I Created a Financial Crisis" by Michael Minihan, John's Hill Waterford
  • "Shrewsbury Road" by Kevin Murphy, Dalkey, Co. Dublin
  • "A Game Of Confidence" by Billy O'Callaghan, Douglas, Cork
  • "The Come Back" by Siobhan Shine, Menlo, Galway
  • "Happy Hour" by Ashley Taggart, Harold's Cross, Dublin 6
  • "Icarus O'Neill's Rising Dilemma" by Nicholas Wilkinson, Annamoe, Co. Wicklow