Monday 30 November 2009

IWC Open Day

On the 5th of Decemember, from 12pm until 10pm, the Irish Writers' Centre is holding an open day to publicise its new line-up of courses for 2010. Course organisers and tutors will be on hand to answers any questions and offer advice.

The Writer in Residence, Catherine Morris, will give a presentation on Alice Milligan - poet, dramatist and key figure of the Irish literary revival. All of which will be followed by a table quiz and raffle, starting at 6.30pm. There will be drinks and nibbles and wonderful prizes. Tables of 4 cost €16.

Friday 27 November 2009

Irish at BAFTA Rocliffe Forum

IFTN reports that next week the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum will spotlight the science fiction feature film The Colony, written by Irish screenwriter Aisling Corristine, with a workshop co-chaired by fellow Irishwoman, director Farah Abushwesha.

It will be workshopped in front of an industry audience at BAFTA in London on Monday, November 30th at 7.30pm.

The Colony will be part of a workshop alongside two other pieces and all three will be performed in the Princess Anne Theatre by actors cast by Laura Dickens CDG, and each be accompanied by music composed for each extract by Air-Edel. The event is rounded off by an informal networking session in the BAFTA bar where attendees will meet with the featured writers, directors, actors and other industry members.

Ticket information is available on the BAFTA web site.

Thursday 26 November 2009

2009 ZeBBie Award Winners

At a packed and sparkling Ceremony at the Sugar Club in Dublin the 2009 ZeBBie Award Winners were announced:

Best Television Script
Frank Deasy for Father and Son (Episode 1)

Best Radio Script
Elizabeth Moynihan for Cider Queens

Best Theatre Script
Elaine Murphy for Little Gem

Best Film Script
Enda Walsh for Hunger

Honorary Services to Writers Award
Rough Magic Theatre Company

Actor Stephen Rae rushed from his performance this evening in Sam Shepard's Ages of the Moon at the Abbey to speak about Frank Deasy's career. Frank died earlier this year after failing to obtain a liver transplant. There was also a video montage showing highlights from his award-winning body of work.

Our thanks to Senator David Norris for serving as an excellent Master of Ceremonies, and to our fine Award Presenters: Film Editor Emer Reynolds, Director of Photography Ciarán Tanham, Producer Edwina Forkin, Film Director Declan Recks, and the Minister for Communication Eamon Ryan.

The celebrations are still on-going!

London Festival Fringe 2010

Next year will see the first London Festival Fringe, which will run from August 6- 30, and place it in direct competition with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Director Greg Tallent said, "London is the world's greatest art centre, drawing performers from around the globe. We want to bring together fringe artists to give audiences innovative acts in one place at one time - in every sphere, from comedy and drama to music, film and street theatre.

"In July 2009 we organised the London Bridge Festival, which was a great success. It's now time to bring together London's fringe scene and give it the international recognition it deserves."

The London Festival Fringe is being held in August to offer art and entertainment to Londoners and the large number of tourists who visit the city in the summer. In particular, London Festival Fringe allows artists and promoters living and working in London to put on shows and events to audiences on their doorsteps, at a price they can afford without earnings being eaten up by travel and accommodation costs.

Perhaps in response to this new festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has announced that it will freeze its participation fees at the 2008 prices, despite an expected grant cut of 4% from various arts organisations.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

New Playwriting Competition

For the new international biennial competition, the International Playwrights' Forum (IPF) of the International Theatre Institute focuses on one of the painful issues of our global contemporary world: the problem of exile and fugitives, migration and identity.

Playwrights are invited to submit a play (not a monodrama) on this theme written in Arabic, English or French (UNESCO languages) of not more than 100 pages.

An international jury will read all entries: 1st prize: US$3,000; 2nd prize: US$2,000; 3rd prize: US$1,000.

Deadline for entries: 30 June 2010.

For full details of the competition, please consult the web sites.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

2010 Tony Doyle Bursary

The Tony Doyle Bursary for New Writing provides a fantastic opportunity for writers new to television. Previous winners of the prestigious £2,000 television writer's award are Bill Murphy, Brian Dungan, Dominque Maloney, Danny Stack, Abbie Spallen and Martin McSweeney and Martin McNamara.

The judging panel for entries will include John Yorke, Kate Rowland, Liam Cunnigham, Lorcan Cranitch, Peter Norris, Sally Doyle, Emma Norton from Element Pictures, Sarah Stack and Tina Kellegher.

The bursary's core aim is to assist the development of new writers. To achieve this, the chosen finalists will take part in a residential seminar where they will undergo intensive, structured, script sessions with members of BBC Northern Ireland Drama's development team and with top script writers and producers.

The aim of the bursary
The aim of the bursary is to encourage television drama about Ireland by writers new to the medium. This may include writers experienced in other forms of fiction as well as new writers.

The winner will receive a cash prize of £2,000. The winner along the finalists will be invited to a residential seminar run by the BBC Northern Ireland Drama Department. The aim of the seminar is to introduce the writers to the world of television drama through a series of intensive sessions with the BBC Northern Ireland development team and experienced practitioners - producers, directors, actors and fellow writers. The winner and runners-up will be announced in January 2010.

All submissions should be received by 4th December 2009.

Further information and the rules of entry are available on the web site.

Monday 23 November 2009

2009 Review of AudioVisual Industry

The Audiovisual Federation, the IBEC group that represents the feature film, television and animation sectors, launched its 2009 review of film and television production in Ireland last weekend.

In 2008, 266 audiovisual productions were completed in Ireland, with a total production value of €246.8 million. This was a significant increase on 2007 (€195.7 million). Estimates for 2009 are, however, showing a fall to €217 million. Animation performed well with its production value increasing from €38.9m in 2008 to an estimate €43m this year.

Speaking at the launch, Audiovisual Federation director Tommy McCabe said: "Notwithstanding current pressures, the audiovisual sector remains vibrant and continues to make a significant contribution to the Irish economy. The sector is one of Ireland's great success stories and it is critical that public policy continues to support the industry, to ensure that this momentum is not lost.

"In 2008, the net benefit to the economy was €25.7m, which is the highest return since 2003, and over 1,631 people were employed in full-time equivalent jobs. The level of production activity for feature films increased to €71.9 million in 2008, up from €19.3m in 2007, but estimates for 2009 show a fall to €65m. Films produced in 2008 included Cracks (starring Sinead Cusack and directed by Jordan Scott), Five minutes of heaven (starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbit), Ondine and Triage (starring Colin Farrell)."

Other highlights of the sector in 2009 are:
  • Golden Globe awards for Irish actors Colin Farrell (In Bruges) and Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment);
  • Emmy Awards for Brendan Gleeson (Into the Storm) and Dearbhla Walsh (Little Dorrit);
  • Academy award nominations for In Bruges and New Boy;
  • Upward trend in independent television productions, including major TV drama;
  • High standards in Irish animation, exemplified by Ballybradden, Niko and The Way to the Stars and Life Boat Luke.
Kevin Moriarty, MD of Ardmore Studios and Chairman of the Audiovisual Federation database committee, which produced the report, said: "The film and television industry continues to have great potential: economically and culturally. We applaud the government for taking measures to restore competitiveness and enable Ireland to continue to participate in the huge international growth of the industry. Despite the current economic climate, it is vital that the Government continues to support this industry, as it can yield tangible benefits for Ireland."

Andrew Lowe, Director of Element Pictures and Chairman of the Audiovisual Federation added: "This review demonstrates that our industry is experiencing significant challenges to maintain the level of production we enjoyed during 2008. We are heartened by the commitment and support of the government, both in terms of extending and improving section 481 and the expected retention of the Irish Film Board. The current economic crisis is an opportunity to take stock as an industry and identify steps that we can take collectively to build a stronger, more internationally competitive, and ultimately more successful sector, both creatively and commercially. We look forward to working with all the members of the Audiovisual Federation to meet those challenges together in the year ahead."

Teresa McGrane, Deputy Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann said: "It should be noted that as a result of changes and improvements implemented to Section 481 there was very little production for the first three months of the year while the improvements were going through Government to become legislation. This is one of the reasons why production is down in 2009."

Friday 20 November 2009

ZeBBie Awards Ceremony

The 2009 ZeBBie Awards Ceremony is taking place from 7.30pm on Thursday 26th November in the The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

The evening is not just about the announcement of the winners of the best scripts in television, radio, theatre and film, for which Senator David Norris will be our lively master of ceremonies.

The Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild, with the support of the Irish Film Institute, will also project a presentation of old short films, which include early newsreel, drama and comedy. These films were first seen in the Volta Cinematograph in 1909 under the management of James Joyce. The IPSG and the IFI are delighted to celebrate the cinematic endeavours of Ireland's greatest writer with this centenary programme, which will feature the live musical accompaniment of the highly talented septet, 3epkano.

And after this evening of culture there will be free pizza, thanks to Domino's Pizza!

Tickets for this fabulous shindig cost €10 each, and you can purchase your ticket(s) online, via PayPal, at the IPSG office, or on the door.

We look forward to celebrating the 2009 ZeBBie Awards in the company of our members!

Thursday 19 November 2009

The Blockbuster Course

FÁS Screen Training Ireland is offering a course called, The "BLOCKBUSTER" - Visual Story Development for Animation & Live Action.

The tutors will be Bobette Buster and Bruce Block, and it will commence on December 11th for 8 days in Dublin. The cost is €500, and the deadline for applications is Friday 4th December 2009.

The aim of this course is to provide a creative overview of animation and live action project development from a story and visual perspective. Through two separate sessions, Script Consultant Bobette Buster and Visual Consultant Bruce Block will present a comprehensive analysis of story structure and visual structure. Over five days of Script Analysis, Bobette Buster will explore the craft of emotional storytelling, followed by Bruce Block offering his unique and structured approach to Visual Storytelling. The course will culminate in a joint visual and story analysis of a film from the “Block Buster” tutors.

The course will cover the following:
  • Recognising and using the basic visual components: space, structure, line, shape, colour, tone, movement and rhythm.
  • Applying these components to story structure
  • Emotionally connecting to your audience
  • Analysing story structure
Applicants can choose to attend just the Script Analysis or Visual Structure elements of this course, or, at a reduced cost, both.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Waterford Winners

The 3rd Waterford Film Festival has announced the winners of its competitions.

Quelle surprise, none of the writers are credited, except in the obvious category.

Best Feature Film:
Winner: Bitterness
Written and directed by Joseph Delond

Runner up:
Billy and Lilly Go To New York
Written and directed by Bill Maloney

Best Feature Documentary:
Winner: Pipe Down
Written and directed by Cian O Laoi and Oliver Knowles

Runner Up:
Obama's Irish Roots
Written and directed by Gabriel Murray

Best Short Film:
Winner: 'The Man in the Boot'
Written and directed by Anthony Kinsella

Runner up:
'Near Future'
Written by Steven Stubbs; directed by Steven Stubbs & Ray Sullivan

Best Short Screenplay:
Winner: 'The boy who killed James Connolly'
By Laura O Connell

Runner up:
'Silent Night'
by James Phelan

Tuesday 17 November 2009

iad-T in the Park

On Saturday November 28th, IADT and the Dún Laoghaire Arts Office are launching iad-T in the Park, a series of literary happenings taking place once a month at the Tea Rooms in the People's Park, Dún Laoghaire.

Writers, readers and booklovers of all ages are invited to drop in and join Mia Gallagher, writer-in-residence at the IADT, for an exciting mix of literature, cakes and super-strength espresso. Tea-drinkers are also catered for!

Whether it's poetry that takes your fancy or crime fiction that keeps you turning those pages, iad-T in the Park offers you the chance to share your work in public, chat with other writers, meet some of Ireland’s brightest literary talents – or just talk about the books you love reading.

The events are free of charge, open to all and will run from midday to 4pm.

A full list of all the events is available on the web site.

Monday 16 November 2009

Vote in the 2009 ZeBBie Awards

A final reminder that voting in the ZeBBie Awards closes today at 6pm GMT.

It's the last chance for members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild to read and vote for the best script in Television, Radio, Theatre and Film in 2009.

The winners will be announced at the 2009 ZeBBie Awards Ceremony on Thursday the 26th of November, at the Sugar Club, in Dublin.

Tickets for the ZeBBie Awards Ceremony are €10 each, and can be purchased online here. No one will be admitted to the ceremony without a ticket.

Enjoy reading and voting!

Thursday 12 November 2009

Kerry Wins

The winners of the Kerry Film Festival short film awards were announced recently, and once again the concept of writing seems to have slipped the mind of the festival.

I've included the writing credit as best as I can ascertain:

The Best Animated Short Film
Written and directed by Sally Pearce

The Best International Short
'Mother, Mine'
Written and directed by Susan Everett.

The best Documentary short from KFF 2009
'A Film From My Parish - 6 Farms'
Written and directed by Tony Donoghue

Best Irish Narrative Short Film
'The Wednesdays'
Written by Conor Ferguson and Luke Clancy; directed by Conor Ferguson

Best Short
'The Man Inside'
Written and directed by Rory Bresnihan, based on a short story by Fernando Sorrentino

Audience Award
'The Valley of Knockanure'
Written and directed by Gerard Barrett

Children's Audience Award
'Our Wonderful Nature'
Written and directed by Tomer Eshed

The Maureen O'Hara Award, which acknowledges women that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their respective fields in film, was presented to Rebecca Miller at the ceremony.

Filmbase Fundraiser

Filmbase will host a Fundraiser Table Quiz on Friday 27th November at the new club Alchemy in the Temple Bar Hotel. There will be a welcome reception with canapés from 6.30pm, and the quiz starts at 7.15pm (ends 10.30pm).

The quiz will be a fundraising event for Filmbase to go towards improving the services it provides. It will cost €10 per person when booked in advance, and €12 on the night. There will also be a raffle on the night with lots of fantastic prizes.

Canemaker Classes

The Irish film industry are invited to a number of events with John Canemaker, a Professor of Animation at New York University and the author of a number of highly-acclaimed books about the history of animation in general, and Disney in particular. His film, The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation won the Oscar© for Best Short Film - Animated in 2006. He is the first NFS Visiting Fellow and his residency at IADT is supported by the Irish Film Board and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Visiting Artists Program. The subject of his illustrated lecture will be "Winsor McCay - His Life and Art".

During the first week, he will conduct a series of themed masterclasses under the title "Action Analysis: The Thinking Character". The second week will see a second series of 5 masterclasses under the title "Storyboarding: Process". There are be limited places for industry and/or non-IADT students.

There are also three evening events which are all open to the industry:

  1. Tuesday, 10 November at 5.30pm in IADT - NFS Lecture ("Winsor McKee: His Life and Art")
  2. Thursday, 12 November at 6.30pm in IFI: "An Evening with John Canemaker" (screening followed by Q&A)
  3. Monday, 16 November at 6.30pm in the Light House ("The Art and Flair of Mary Blair" followed by discussion on industry issues)
The National Film School Lecture Series is held in association with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

For more details contact:
Celine Blacow, School Administrator, School of Creative Arts<
Phone: + 353 1 239 4664

World Conference of Screenwriters Report

Last weekend a delegation representing the Irish Playwright and Screenwriters Guild attended the historic first World Conference of Screenwriters in Athens, Greece. It consisted of David Kavanagh, Chief Executive of the IPSG, Audrey O'Reilly, Chair of the Board of Directors, and screenwriters Mark O'Halloran and Lauren Mackenzie.

The event brought together all of the members Guilds and Unions of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) - who initiated the project - and the members of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG). Approximately 160 people attended the two-day event, from countries as far apart as Israel, Canada, New Zealand, and Brazil.

The conference tackled its subjects with intense energy, even when faced with intimidating issues such as bi-lateral trade agreements.

What quickly emerged is that while screenwriters in other countries may operate under different agreements with producers and directors, there is a commonality of experience which bridges the cultural divides.

In particular, most screenwriters and Unions encounter issues to do with how credit is attributed to the writers of films; the process of writing treatments and drafts and the manner in which they are subjected to critique; coping with the advent of digital media; the globalisation of the industry and the rights that multinational corporations are attempting to co-opt; and finally the hope writers have for their future based on being the creative source for a good script.

Sometimes the mood in the room became despondent or strained, as people from various groups tried to communicate their frustration and fears, but in the end it was overtaken with a serious determination for screenwriters to remember their strength as the originators of material, and the power of collective action. Screenwriters are not powerless, and it's not impolite to ask for fair treatment. As the American screenwriter Frank Pierson said, in a video clip to the audience: "Take it easy, but take it."

When the conference concluded the FSE and the IAWG issued a joint Declaration, and also a Joint Activity Programme.

The conference was a good first start, and already there is a suggestion of another meeting in two year's time to carry on the action, and conversation.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Cork Winners 09

The winners of the Short Film Awards at the Corona Cork Film Festival have been announced.

As usual none of the writers have been credited.

The following list includes all the writers - as best as I could discover:

Best Irish Short Film
'Free Chips Forever!'
Written and directed by Claire Dix

Special Mentions:
'A Film From My Parish – 6 Farms'
Written and directed by Tony Donoghue

Best International Short Film
Written and directed by Blu, Italy

Special Mentions:

Written and directed by Jeanne Herry, France

'Little Red Hoodie'
Written and directed by Joern Utkilen, Scotland

'A Film From My Parish – 6 Farms'
Written and directed by Tony Donoghue, Ireland

Cork Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards
'Joseph's Snails'
Written and directed by Sophie Roze, France

‘Made In Cork’ Award for Best Short Film
'My Beamish Boy'
Written and directed by Mike Hannon

Special Mention:
'The Shop'
Written and directed by Neil Hurley

Youth Jury Award for Best International Short Film
'Lesh Sabreen?'
Written and directed by Muayad Alayan, Palestine

Award of the Festival for Best Short Film
'Elephant Skin'
Written and directed by Severin Fiala and Ulrike Putzer; Austria

OutLook Audience Award for Best LGBT Short Film
Written by Kim Farrant & Anthony Johnsen; directed by Kim Farrant, Australia

Audience Award for Best Irish Short Film
'Bye Bye Now'
Written and directed by Ross Whitaker and Aideen O'Sullivan, Ireland

Audience Award for Best International Short Film
'Moore Street Masala'
Written by Rodney Lee & David O'Sullivan; directed by David O'Sullivan, Ireland

Tuesday 10 November 2009

IFTAs Open

The Irish Film and Television Awards, presented annually by the Academy, are a platform to honour and celebrate outstanding Irish creativity, talent and achievement; to encourage a high standard of arts and technique in work produced.

The Call for Entries for the 7th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards is now open. Submissions are invited for categories in film, television, shorts and animation.

The deadline for submissions is 5.30pm, on Monday 23 November 2009.

More information on the nomination process is available on the IFTA web site.

IFB Galway Information Session

The Galway Film Centre is hosting an information session at 2pm, on Thursday November 19th, at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway City, to take a look at Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board's development and production funding schemes.

Andrew Meehan, Development Executive and Sarah Dillon, Production & Development Co-ordinator, will outline the principles and criteria for each scheme, the application process as well as answer any questions in relation to the schemes.

To reserve a place contact Mary at or 091-770748, as places are limited.

Monday 9 November 2009

ZeBBie Voting Starts

Voting in the 2009 ZeBBie Awards has commenced.

All members of the IPSG should have received their individual IDs and passwords that will enable them to log in securely and read the nominated scripts.

The final ballot must be cast by 6pm on Monday, the 16th of November.

The winners will be announced at the ZeBBie Awards Ceremony on Thursday 26th November 2009 in the The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. Each ticket costs €10. No one will be admitted to the Awards Ceremony without a ticket.

You can purchase your ticket(s) online, via PayPal, or you can drop into the IPSG office in Art House, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 and buy them in person.

Friday 6 November 2009

Save the Kino

Over 300 people attended a public meeting to launch a campaign to save Cork's Kino Cinema, the only independent art-house cinema outside of Dublin in the Republic, which recently announced it was being forced to close as a result of High Court proceedings by creditors seeking repayment of a debt owed for design work.

Kino owner Mick Hannigan confirmed that a special steering committee has been formed following the public meeting to both raise funds to pay off a debt of about €60,000 and to develop a business plan to put the 188-seat cinema on a sound financial footing.

Those in attendance included the Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, Fine Gael TD Deirdre Clune, Labour TDs Kathleen Lynch and Ciarán Lynch, and Senator Dan Boyle.

The web site has been established to co-ordinate the effort, and over 8,000 people have signed up to a Save the Kino group on facebook.

Thursday 5 November 2009


Now in its third year, is a competition for third-level students, sponsored by and organised by the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA).

The aim of the competition is to highlight young people's attitudes to alcohol: through the use of digital media, students tell their stories and inform their peers about responsible drinking.

The competition is open to students of any discipline. Technical ability is just one element of the judging criteria.

To apply for this year’s competition please fill out the Online Application Form before Friday, 20th November 2009.

Last year’s winning film 'On The Cutting Room Floor' won all of the judges' categories, beating rival entries from colleges throughout Ireland and scooping a total of €4,000 in prize money.

To find out more details about the competition visit the web site.

Monday 2 November 2009

2009 ZeBBie Awards Short-List

The short-list for the 2009 ZeBBie Awards has been announced.


  • Frank Deasy for Father and Son (Episode 1)
  • Lisa McGee for Raw (Episode 2)
  • Peter McKenna for The Clinic (Series 6: Episode 1)
  • Shay Linehan for The Lottery
  • Elizabeth Moynihan for Cider Queens
  • Eugene O'Brien for Numb
  • Gary Duggan for Trans Euro Express
  • Elaine Murphy for Little Gem
  • Billy Roche for Lay Me Down Softly
  • Lance Daly for Kisses
  • Mark Doherty for A film with me in it
  • Enda Walsh (with Steve McQueen)for Hunger

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Members of the IPSG will be able to log on and read the scripts, and voting will commence from Monday, the 9th of November and end at 6pm on Monday, the 16th of November.

The winners will be announced at the ZeBBies Awards Ceremony on Thursday 26th November 2009 in the The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. Each ticket costs €10. No one will be admitted to the Awards Ceremony without a ticket.

You can purchase your ticket(s) online, via PayPal, or you can drop into the IPSG office in Art House, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 and buy them in person.

A special thank you to the agents, producers, broadcasters, publishers, and nominees, for their assistance.