Friday 31 July 2009

Introduction to Moon

In a surprise visit to Dublin, writer/director Duncan Jones will be introducing his new film, Moon at the IFI this Saturday, August 1st, for the 6.50pm screening. Jones directed the film and came up with the story for the low-budget science fiction film, while Nathan Parker wrote the screenplay.

If you can't make the Saturday screening, Jones will be introducing the 8.50pm screening of Moon at the Light House Cinema on Sunday, August 2nd.

NI Ultra Low-Budget Fund

Northern Ireland Screen is open to submissions for its Ultra Low-Budget Fiction Fund 2010-2011 (ULBFF).

The ULBFF intends to support one production each year.

Only Northern Ireland resident writers new to feature film or television drama should apply. A producer does not need to be attached to the project at this stage.

Up to five scripts will be chosen for development between November 2009 and March 2010, with the intention of selecting one for further development and production between April 2010 and March 2011.

The deadline for receipt of applications: 30th September 2009

Further details on the application process are available from the web site.

Thursday 30 July 2009

Green Spotlit

Filmmaker magazine has announced its annual survey of new talent entitled "25 New Faces of Independent Film", which this year includes Steph Green, whose short film "New Boy" - written and directed by Steph and adapted from a short story by Roddy Doyle - was nominated for an Oscar last year.

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Dublin Theatre Festival 09

The Irish Times reports that the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival has launched its festival programme. It will feature 221 performances of 26 shows from 12 different countries taking place between September 24th and October 11th.

The festival's artistic director Loughlin Deegan pointed out the contribution the festival makes to the economy.

"If people are looking for green shoots, I have 221 of them here," he said, in reference to the number of performances scheduled for this year’s festival, adding that such a programme would inspire confidence as well as galvanising spending.

"It’s what’s going to contribute to driving this city, and this irritating and strangely lovable country of ours back on to the straight and narrow."

His words were echoed by festival chair Peter Crowley, who called the festival a "good news story", paying tribute to the "multiplier" effect of its high quality programme on the city and the country. He also said the programme, and continuing quality of the festival even in straitened times "reinforces the importance of having a Minister" for Arts.

Speaking at the programme launch, Arts Council chairwoman Pat Moylan reiterated the link between a thriving economy and a vibrant arts scene.

"If we hope to be a society with a vibrant economy, we need the arts," said Ms Moylan.

She added that "the role of the arts is to lift and inspire the spirit of a nation".

Tuesday 28 July 2009


Rough Magic invites applications for AIB SEEDS Programme 2010-11

The AIB SEEDS Programme is a structured development initiative for emerging theatre practitioners. Since 2002 the AIB SEEDS Programme has introduced a new generation of theatre-makers to the professional Irish theatre. Participants have the opportunity to observe and contribute to Rough Magic’s work and to gain exposure to the working methods of international artists through mentoring and placements.


Funded by the Arts Council, and Rough Magic’s Corporate Partner, AIB, participants on the AIB SEEDS Programme will participate in an 18-month programme, individually curated to provide the artists with the support they need to develop their craft and advance their careers. Mentoring by established and highly experienced artists will lie at the heart of the process, as well as international research trips, an international placement with a leading practitioner and hands-on experience assisting on Rough Magic productions. AIB SEEDS Programme participants will be paid a weekly salary while on placement with the company and internationally. Rough Magic will also cover all travel and accommodation expenses for international research trips and placements.

Each playwright will receive a full commission to deliver an original play over the course of the Programme and will be mentored by an experienced playwright throughout the process. The AIB SEEDS writers will receive support and feedback from Rough Magic’s Literary Department and will participate in a structured development programme involving one-on-one script meetings, workshops and private readings. The playwrights’ programme will remain separate from the other individual programmes, but the AIB SEEDS writers will participate in a number of combined activities including workshops and international travel.

Participants on the AIB SEEDS Programme will be required to make themselves available as required for programme-related activities but as the programme does not involve a full time engagement we encourage participants to develop their own projects alongside the programme.


The AIB SEEDS Programme is open to emerging playwrights, directors, designers (lighting, set and costume), composers and sound designers, production managers and producers whose work has previously been staged on a semi-professional, professional (including staged or rehearsed readings), student or fringe basis or have completed accredited professional training in their specialism.


Playwrights wishing to be considered for the Programme should submit the following:

1. One example of previous writing for the stage (screenplays or radio plays will not suffice).
2. A CV detailing writing experience and production history (indicating whether professional, semi-professional, student, fringe or amateur).
3. Writers invited to attend for interview will be asked to present a one-page outline of an idea for a new play.
4. A small SAE for acknowledgement of receipt
5. A large SAE for the return of the script if required.


Applications will be accepted until 5pm on Friday 23 October 2009.

If you are planning to apply, please let us know about any work you will be presenting between now and the closing date and we will do our best to see it.

Please send applications to: AIB SEEDS Programme, Rough Magic Theatre Company, 5-6 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2.

Short-listed artists will be required to attend for interview in Dublin in the week beginning 23rd November 2009.

For further information about the programme please contact Cian O'Brien, Associate Producer, on 01 671 9278 or email

Monday 27 July 2009

IFB Stands Up

Bord Scanánn na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board (BSÉ/IFB) has made a statement about the recommendations in the Report of Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (An Bord Snip Nua).

To be clear, the Report recommends the abolition of the Irish Film Board, the winding-up of its investment funds and the transfer of its enterprise functions to Enterprise Ireland.

Government funding, provided directly to the sector through BSÉ/IFB (€18.8m in 2009), is a key component of the entire audiovisual content industry. A recent survey by Price Waterhouse Coopers valued Ireland's audiovisual content industry at over half a billion euro per annum and found that it now offers permanent employment to over 6,000 individuals. The industry in turn supports an ecology that generates many other indirect employment benefits arising out of production activities around the country.

The immediate loss of employment that withdrawal of BSÉ/IFB funding will cause is likely to cost the State in excess of the sought after savings. Further, the strategic importance of Ireland's content industries to the creation of a Smart Economy – as described in the Government's recent policy paper "Building Ireland's Smart Economy" – is also at risk of being undermined.

The funding provided through BSÉ/IFB attracts additional finance that today supports an increasing level of private sector employment. The growth potential of the audiovisual content industry, as an essential component of the Smart Economy strategy, represents one of the best prospects of employment for young people seeking jobs in the future. For these reasons we believe it is important, in the context of the immediate crisis in the public finances, to ask Government to consider carefully the economic impact and employment consequences of this particular recommendation.

To be taken into consideration also are the consequences for Ireland if it were to become the only developed country in the world producing no films for the cinema, and thereby losing the most powerful tool available for establishing and sustaining its cultural identity abroad. It is well understood by all countries that the projection of an image of a country, its people and its way of life onto the screens of the world pays direct dividends in terms of inward investment, trade in goods and services, and tourism. Almost one in two US tourists to Ireland now state that their decision to come was triggered by seeing Ireland in the movies.

If the case for maintaining an Irish audiovisual content industry stands up, then we can demonstrate that BSÉ/IFB, through the accumulated knowledge and expertise of its staff, and their core competence in managing the business of creativity, is fit for today's purpose. The effectiveness of the agency's policies and the efficiency of its operation, at a cost of 10% of its total annual funding, compare favourably when benchmarked against similar agencies in other European and English-speaking countries, as well as against other Irish State Agencies.

Friday 24 July 2009

Berlinale 2010

The online application system for the Berlinale Talent Campus (February, 13 - 18, 2010) is now open.

The Berlinale Talent Campus is a creative academy and networking platform for 350 up-and-coming filmmakers from all over the world that runs alongside the Berlin Film Festival. It offers a variety of activities, including workshops and hands-on training, for emerging talent within the film industry.

Read the qualifying criteria carefully before applying.

Applicants can edit their data at any time until the deadline of October 7, 2009.

Frameworks 2009

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, the Arts Council and RTÉ have announced the successful FRAMEWORKS projects for this year.

FRAMEWORKS is aimed exclusively at the production of animated short films up to six minutes in duration. It is currently in its 14th year having been established in 1995 with the intention of developing new talent and skills in the area of animation. It has been very successful to date in supporting the production of exciting and creative work.

"23 Degrees 5 Minutes" to be written and directed by Darragh O'Connell and produced by Colm Tyrell of Brown Bag Films.

"The Meaning of Eggsistence" to be written and directed by Bruce Ryder and produced by Stephen Rennicks and Lenny Abrahamson of Element Films.

"The Boy Who Lived in a Bubble" to be written and directed by Kealan O'Rourke and produced by Brian Willis of Igloo Productions.

"Red Lead" to be written and directed by Tony O'Donoghue and produced by Cathal Black of Mayfly Films Ltd.

"Paperman" to be written by Richard Kelly and Sean Ryan, directed by Richard Kelly and produced by Jessica Kelly of Prickly Pear Productions.

Thursday 23 July 2009

Perry Puzzled by Proposed Cuts

The CEO of the Irish Film Board, Simon Perry, has spoken to The Hollywood Reporter about the recent proposal to scrap the board and merge it with Enterprise Ireland.

"Does the Irish government really want Ireland to be the only country in the developed world making no films at all?" he asked. "It's hard to imagine."

Perry said there has been exponential growth in the Irish media sector during the past 20 years, with employment rising from a few hundred to more than 6,000.

"Closure of the Irish Film Board would mean that the production of Irish films will stop completely, with the loss not just of the 17 public-sector jobs within the agency but of potentially thousands of private-sector jobs associated with Irish filmmaking," Perry said.

The board chief noted a recent survey that found nearly 50% of tourists decide to visit the country after seeing Ireland depicted in films. ...

"At a time when the Irish government is deeply concerned by the daily toll of job losses in the private sector, we are very puzzled by the recommendation," he said. "We suspect that the authors of the report may not be aware of the recent growth in Ireland's audiovisual sector."

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Storyland 3

The final three webisodes in the Storyland competition are now online and up for voting.

The three left standing are:

  • Hardy Bucks
  • Psych Ward
  • Rental Boys
Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 31st July.

Cork Guild Meeting

The first meeting for all members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild who live in or about Cork will take place at the Cork Film Centre on Thursday 30th July at 6.30pm.

There will be an open agenda, but to give the meeting some structure, David Kavanagh, CEO of the Guild, will present the 2nd Annual ZeBBies Report.

The report covers the period July 2007 to June 2008, and 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.

Members are welcome to invite fellow writers, be they Guild members - or mere mortals - for a sober discussion and (if we're very lucky) a non-sober drink.

We need a minimum number of members to hold this meeting, so please RSVP your attendance to: info[at]script[dot]ie.

Film Box Office Up in 2009

The BBC reports that box office takings in the UK and Ireland are on a course to overtake last year's figures substantially. The box office is already £100 million up on this time last year.

Admissions between January and May 2009 were up 16% on the same period in 2008.

Film production is also up: £535.1m was spent in the UK in the first half of 2009, which makes this the best half-year since 2004.

Yet, a change in UK film tax relief rules has resulted in a drop in co-productions with the UK this year.

At the end of June 2008, the overall box office gross in the UK and Ireland has just passed the £400m mark.

Thanks to hits like Star Trek and Angels and Demons, however, takings for the first half of 2009 exceeded £500m.

Disney's Bolt was one of several 3D films released in the first half of 2009

According to Film Council researcher David Steele, there has been a "big push" to bring digital 3D capability into UK cinemas.

Films like Disney's Bolt and Monsters vs Aliens, he continued, had made this move "extremely rational economically".

More Films More Profit

A recent article on the L.A. Times suggests that movie studios should be considering making more films, not less, despite the current economic crisis.

The advice is based on industry research from SNL Kagan, which examined the 611 major studio releases between 2004 and 2008 to create imaginary slates of five, ten, and fifteen films broken down by genre. It then created three versions of each slate, using a variety of genres.

Without getting caught up in the nitty-gritty of the analysis (which is available for a fee here), the end result of their study was that the bigger the slate, the better the odds for profit. The five-film slate had a net loss of $94 million. The 10-film slate had almost $140 million in profit, while the 15-film slate had $466.4 million in profit. The study, which used a time frame of 12 years to determine the results, assumed 8% in distribution costs and 10% profit-participation and also included video and television revenues.

New Short Plays Sought

What's On Tom? is a newly-formed theatre company in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny which will be staging a programme of new works at The Red Door Theatre.

It will showcase six new plays staged back-to-back over the course of each evening's performance.

As a result the company is searching for new short plays, each no more than 10-15 minutes long.

Script submissions may be sent in hard copy format to:

What's on Tom?
Grennan Watermill
Mill Street
Co. Kilkenny

The closing date for submission is the 11th September 2009.

All enquiries to:

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Online Short Film Competition

The European Commission in conjunction with the Darklight Festival are running a Democracy & Dialogue Short Online Film Competition.

What does democracy mean to you? When did you last vote? In a general election? The referendum? Or was it last Saturday night, choosing a pub with your mates?

The European Commission Representation in Ireland and the Darklight Film Festival invite you to make a short online film on the theme of 'Democracy & Dialogue' - and what it means to you.

Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell and the people of Eastern Europe finally got to enjoy greater democracy and freedom of speech. With this in mind, we are holding this competition as a celebration of democracy.

2009 is also the European Year of Creativity and Innovation - a celebration of how ideas can change society. Online media is a powerful force in the 21st Century: using the internet as a forum for debate, individuals can bypass the established press, TV and radio, and let the power of their ideas make change.

Entries must be submitted by email by the 11th of September. Information on how to apply is available on the web site.

To support the event there will be a free workshop on viral video making and distribution on Saturday 8th August. Attendees must register for a place via the web site.

Funding Dependent on Touring

The Stage reports that in the future the Irish Arts Council will require its funded companies to tour.

The strategy, to be implemented over the next six years, is intended "to ensure that regional audiences have access to high quality art forms".

The council says its new policy will be based on four elements
  • Schemes that offer once-off funding for individual touring projects in specified art forms
  • Technical supports aimed at improving the work of production companies and assisting venues.
  • Ensuring that touring is undertaken by selected production companies "as an integral part of their funding relationship with the Arts Council".
  • Ensuring a proportion of Arts Council funding of regional venues is used to present a programme of professional touring work.
Emphasising the importance it attaches to the new strategy, the council says it "will allocate financial resources to support the policy of touring in relation to its overall resources". But those resources were reduced by almost 10% in the state allocation for this year, from €204m to €185m, and face the likelihood of further cuts because of strains on the national finances.

Theatrical Strategies

Theatre Forum is organising a meeting on Tuesday 28 July in the Peacock Theatre in Dublin to tackle strategies for theatre in tough economic times.

It is open to members and non-members alike, but please RSVP to theatreforum[at] if you wish to attend.

Here is a rough schedule:

14.30 - 15.00

15.00 - 15.30
The Big Picture, Chaired by Fergal McGrath, Town Hall Theatre Galway

15.30 - 16:45
Divide into three groups with different provocative questions and facilitators:

- How to keep productivity up and what collaborative activities might assist. Chaired by Una Carmody, Director Arts Audience

- The Arts Council could be looking at a cut of between 25 - 50% for 2010. If this the figure is possible, and given the theatre discussion document, what are the best five pieces of advice the sector can give the Arts Council? Chaired by Fergal McGrath, Town Hall Theatre Galway

- Funded and Unfunded - how to work together, Chaired by Jo Mangan, Performance Corporation and Cian O'Brien, Rough Magic Theatre Company

16:45 - 17:15
Reconvene to collect conclusions and recommendations

Monday 20 July 2009

Arts Defended in Galway

The Irish Times reports that a strong defence of the importance of the Arts and Arts Organisations to the economic vitality of Ireland was made by chairwoman of the Arts Council, Pat Moylan, and the artistic director of Druid Theatre, Garry Hynes, at the Arts Festival in Galway city at the weekend. Garry Hynes said:

"From Temple Bar to this city's Latin Quarter to the attractions of Galway as an industrial centre - there's evidence that people are drawn by vibrant cultural life. Please let us go out and make this point." She added: "People like me don't speak up loud or long enough. The next years will be harder than we can remember."

Arts Council chairwoman Pat Moylan also spoke strongly against the suggestions of the McCarthy report. "The arts are part of this nation. Plus, we employ local people, we buy local produce.

"There are thousands working in the arts, not all paid very well, but we do pay our taxes. We are making our case and we need to have our own Minister at the cabinet table. The future of the department is being examined. As chair of the Arts Council, I'm saying this would be a retrograde step for the arts in Ireland."

One-Act Play Competition

The Loft Theatre Company in the UK has launched a one-act play competition, which will be judged by BAFTA award-winning writer Andrew Davies.

The winner will have the opportunity to have their play staged within our 50-seat Douglas Ford Studio in the 2009–2010 season which runs from September 2009 to July 2010. The intention is that this play will be directed by a member of the Loft's team of directors and cast from our own membership. The play will receive local publicity and marketing from the Loft marketing team and will be included as a key part of our season's programme.

The closing date for entries to the competition is 30 July, 2009, and further details on requirements and the application process are on the web site.

Friday 17 July 2009

Bleak Outlook for Arts in Ireland

IFTN reports on the Irish Government's proposals to save money in the coming year.

It plans to gut another €6.1 million from the budget of the Arts Council, transfer the Irish Film Board's functions to a new enterprise agency under the auspices of Enterprise Ireland, and discontinue the investment fund.

The Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, Volume 2, states:

"The Group considers that continued funding of the Irish Film Board is not affordable at this time in the context of other more pressing spending priorities. Given the scale of tax expenditure (€418m since 1993 and €33m in 2008) via the tax incentive scheme for this sector, and given the level of international competition in this market space, there is no objective economic case for subventing the Irish Film Industry. The Group considers that film development is similar to enterprise development activities in other sectors (e.g. manufacturing, services, tourism etc). It concludes that the enterprise promotion and development activities of the Irish Film Board should be transferred to the new enterprise agency (see Detailed Paper No. 5) which incorporates a restructured Enterprise Ireland and the enterprise development functions of a range of other existing agencies. The Group also recommends discontinuation of the dedicated investment fund. Overall, these proposals should lead to a staff reduction of about 17 positions."

Other cost-cutting proposals include:
  • "The merger of ComReg with the new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (the result of merging the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission and the regulatory functions of the RTÉ Authority) because of the growing convergence between the communications and broadcasting industries."
  • The report notes that the new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) will be funded by an industry levy which will save the Exchequer over €6m each year compared to the existing arrangement.
  • Reforming the funding of TG4 by partially funding it directly from the TV Licence with reciprocal savings in the Exchequer subvention to TG4.
  • The Group does not recommend an increase in the TV Licence.
  • Merging the Digital Hub Agency with EI/IDA.
  • Abolishing Culture Ireland generating a saving of €4.6m. This programme allocates grants for overseas activity to Irish artists or arts organizations as well as the funding and facilitating Irish participation at strategic international arts events.
  • Transferring the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) into the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)
  • Partially funding TG4 directly from TV Licence reducing the direct Exchequer subvention

Thursday 16 July 2009

Get Creative has re-launched its web site after a year online and 50,000 visitors.

The site aims to provide a cost effective, accessible and wide-reaching career development service for the Arts throughout Ireland. The site lists employment opportunities in film, television, and theatre, as well as other sectors in the creative arts job market. It also features a forum, training and seminar information, and a classifieds section.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

McGuire Competition Extended

The Mr. & Mrs. Frank J. McGuire International Playwriting Competition, which is open to citizens and residents of Ireland and Northern Ireland, has extended its deadline for submissions until September 1st 2009. 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.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

4iP Launches Funding

Channel 4's Innovation for the Public fund - 4iP - has joined forces with UnLtd to announce a package of funding and support to champion fresh ideas from new talent across the UK.

Our joint scheme is aimed at individuals looking for up to £5,000 to get their socially motivated digital media idea off the ground. It targets those who need mentoring and support to take those first steps.

From its launch, 4iP has set out to support innovation at all levels. Ideas that are early and risky, small and focused or big and crunchy. This means working with both talented and promising individuals producing their first ever digital media idea to large organisations delivering flagship projects.

UnLtd's experience of supporting and developing social entrepreneurs as a force for change in the UK combined with 4iP's focus on innovation in public service digital media will:
  • help individuals develop early stage ideas and prototypes; and
  • build the skills, capabilities and partnerships to turn prototypes into businesses.
This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for 4iP to reach a rich vein of untapped potential. Using UnLtd’s pan-UK infrastructure to support talented individuals, 4iP will share its digital media expertise to maximise the potential of their projects.

Please read the terms and conditions carefully. Information on how to apply is on the web site.

Monday 13 July 2009

Fleadh '09 Winners

The Galway Film Fleadh has announced the winners of the Festival, but has omitted the writers of any of the projects.

They have been included in this list:

Best Feature Documentary
The Cove, written by Mark Monroe and directed by Louie Psihoyos

Best First Feature
Frozen River, written and directed by Courtney Hunt

Best Irish Feature
Winner: His & Hers, written and directed by Ken Wardrop
Runner Up: Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne, written and directed by Conor McDermottroe (based on his play Swanson)

Best First Animation - The James Horgan Award
Winner: "Blip", written and directed by Sean Mullen and Ben Harper
Honourable mention: "The Office Environment", written and directed by Mark Mullery

Best Animation
Winner: "The Polish Language", written by Alice Lyons, and co-directed by Alice Lyons and Orla McHardy
Honourable mention: "Old Fangs", written and directed by Adrien Merigeau
Honourable mention: "On the Quiet", written and directed by Eamonn O'Neill

Best Short Documentary
Winner: "Christmas with Dad", written and directed by Conor McCormack
Honourable mention: "The Knife", written and directed by Colm Quinn
Honourable mention: "God and Napoleon", written and directed by Ciaran Deeney

Best First Short Drama
Winner: "Thursday Afternoon", written and directed by Manus McManus
Honourable mention: "Questions", written and directed by Mark Noonan

Best Short Drama- The Tiernan McBride Award
Winner: "The Man Inside", written and directed by Rory Bresnihan, based on a short story by Fernando Sorrentino
Honourable mention: "If I should fall behind", written and directed by Morgan Bushe
Honourable mention: "Dental Breakdown", written by Dylan Cotter and directed by Ian Power

The Pitching Award
Winner: Get the Pope pitched by Gary Mitchell
The other four pitchers were: Rory Keenan, Michael Lavelle, Steven Stubbs and Bernard Higgins.

New (and Old) Theatre

The New Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin is hosting a celebration of established and upcoming writers throughout July and August, featuring work by P.J O'Connor (The Tailor and Ansty), Flann O'Brien ( The Poor Mouth), Arnold Fanning (Shafted) and Jane McCarthy (Epilogue).

All members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild are being offered a concession rate to any of the above shows. Just mention Anthony Fox at the Box Office.


Last week the Galway Film Centre launched ScreenWest, a one-stop resource for information and guidance about audiovisual production in the West of Ireland.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

The Pixel Pitch

Power to the Pixel has launched the Pixel Pitch, a pitching forum for up to ten of the best UK and international cross-media film projects.

We are looking for stories that can span film, TV, online, mobile and gaming to be presented to a select group of financiers, commissioners, tech companies, online portals and media companies in front of an audience of PTTP participants.

The selected project teams will compete for the

Teams will benefit from significant international publicity and be introduced to new international business and partnership opportunities as well as one-to-one consultancies.

Last year's Launch saw four cross-media projects presented to international companies including Babelgum, Sony Computer Entertainment, BBC, YouTube, MySpace, Amazon, Channel 4, UK Film Council, Arts Council of England, Tribeca Film Institute.

The deadline for applications is 18.00 BST, 14th August 2009, and further information on the submission process is on the web site.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Fringe Fleadh

This year the Galway Film Fleadh is having a Fringe Fleadh event organised by entitled "The Ones That Got Away". It will showcase short films that slipped through the Fleadh net.

The Fringe Fleadh is at 7pm on Friday 10th July in the Town Hall Theatre Small, Courthouse Square, Galway.

Admission is €5 and tickets will be available at the door.

Monday 6 July 2009

Off Cut Festival Competition

The In Company theatrical company in London are currently accepting play submissions for the Off Cut Festival in the Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington.

Each play must be a maximum of 15 minutes in length, and should not involve more than four actors. 24 plays will be selected and played over two weeks at the festival. An audience vote will choose eight plays to advance.

Those plays will enter a 'finals' week, and will be performed in front of a professional panel for prizes. The panel consists of Olivier-nominated Moira Buffini (playwright), BAFTA-winning Nigel Douglas (director), Robert Rigby (author), and Andrew William Robb (West End producer)

The prize for the best play is a week-long production of a piece of the playwright's choice at The Old Red Lion Theatre.

The deadline for entries is 5pm August 17th 2009.

Successful writers will be notified by e-mail and/or telephone by September 1st, 2009. Further information on how to apply is available via the web site.

Cork Guild Meeting

The Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild is organising its first meeting for all members who live in or around Cork city.

It will take place at the Cork Film Centre at 6.30pm on Thursday 16th July.

There will be an open agenda, but to give the meeting some structure, David Kavanagh, CEO of the Guild, will present the 2nd Annual ZeBBies Report.

The report covers the period July 2007 to June 2008, and 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.

Members are also welcome to invite fellow scribes, be they Guild members - or mere mortals - for a sober discussion and (if we're very lucky) a non-sober drink.

If you would like to attend please RSVP to: info[at]script[dot]ie

Friday 3 July 2009

Change of Venue

The location of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild's events on Thursday 9th July during the Galway Film Fleadh have been changed to the Entertainment Centre at the Radisson Hotel, Galway.

Both the 10.30am presentation of the 2nd Annual ZeBBies Report, and the noon discussion with Irish Equity in relation to on-going problems with contracts, will take place at the Radisson Hotel.

We apologise for the late change of venue, but feel the new location will better facilitate the event and our members.

Irish Arts Workers Unite

Theatre Forum is encouraging people to set up a Facebook page for every constituency in Ireland in demonstrate to councillors and TDs just how many arts workers live and vote in every constituency in Ireland.

There are now 26 constituency pages with over 1,000 members listed. If you're on Facebook check out the list on the Theatre Forum web site and join the appropriate group.

Thursday 2 July 2009

Lyric Challenge Grant

According to The Stage the Belfast Lyric Theatre has received a £500,000 challenge grant from the US-based Kresge Foundation which will go towards rebuilding and fitting-out the theatre's Ridgeway Street home.

The theatre, which will have to raise £1.3 million privately by June 2010 in order to win the grant, has been trying to raise £18 million to meet the cost of the new building which will house a 350-seat main auditorium and 120-seat studio space, as well as new front of house and backstage facilities and offices.

News of the grant was hailed as "brilliant" by the theatre's patron, actor Liam Neeson. He said: "Support from Kresge is highly sought after, and competition for funds is very tough - I'm delighted that we have been awarded this prestigious grant".

Kresge Foundation director Rip Rapson also added: "We felt compelled to support the Lyric for many reasons, including the significant impact the theatre has on it's community and the crucial role it plays in creating a vibrant, healthy and tolerant society".

4th STAGE Competition

The 4th STAGE International Script Competition is looking for original, full-length (minimum running time: 70 minutes) plays that explore scientific and/or technological stories, themes, issues and/or events.

Science and/or technology must figure prominently in the script, whether in form or content or both. Biographical dramas, history plays, and medical dramas are discouraged unless they significantly employ science and/or technology. Authors are strongly urged to avoid the stereotypes often assigned to science, technology, and those who engage in these disciplines. This competition is not open to plays written in the genre of science fiction.

All entries must be postmarked on or before December 15, 2009.

Further information on the application process is available from the web site.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Sussex Playwriting Competition

The Sussex Playwrights' Club is running a full-length play competition. They are seeking original plays, written in English and not previously broadcast, which can be produced before a paying audience or read at a club meeting.

First Prize: £250 plus a reading of the play at a Club Meeting.
Second Prize: £150 plus a reading of the play at a Club Meeting.
Third Prize: £ 100. plus a reading of the play at a Club Meeting.
The Constance Cox Memorial Award: A further £100 may be awarded at the discretion of the judges.

The play should be in two acts and last approximately 90 minutes.
Entry fee is £5.

The closing date is the 31st of July, and further information on the rules and application process are on the web site.

The Writing Room in Clonmel

Mia Gallagher is running The Writing Room, an event-based writing space, as part of the Junction Festival in Clonmel, starting Friday 3rd July and running until Sunday 12th. The venue is Angela's Café on Abbey Street.

In addition to dedicated Quiet Time for reading and writing every day, there'll be a space (Talking Shop) for people to gather and talk about writing-related subjects.

Some of the events lined up for The Writing Room include:

  • Advice from screenwriter Mark Wale on 2pm, Tuesday 7th
  • Playwright and stand-up Michelle Read will run an introductory workshop on playwriting at 2pm Friday 10th
  • Open Mic evening on Friday 10th
There is more information about the entire list of events on the web site.