Monday 24 May 2010

IPSG Blog Moved

The blog for the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild has moved location to become integral to the Guild's web site.

There will be no more posts at this location, and we would ask any of our blog subscribers to change their feeds to the new feed for the web site.

Many thanks for your continuing support!

Friday 21 May 2010

Zombie Bashed Storyland

The winner of this year's RTÉ Storyland competition is:

Zombie Bashers, written by Stephen Shields and directed by Conor McMahon.

Thursday 20 May 2010

Playography na Gaeilge

The Irish Theatre Institute recently launched Playography na Gaeilge, a comprehensive online database of Irish language plays premièred from 1975 - 2009.

The database currently contains detailed information on a total of 256 plays by playwrights including Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Liam Ó Muirthile, Alan Titley, Antoine Ó Flatharta, Darach Ó Scolaí and Joe Steve Ó Neachtain.

The freely accessible and searchable website includes translations and adaptations by writers such as Seán Mac Mathúna, Gerard Humphreys, Michael Harding and Gearóid Ó Cairealláin and includes work produced by companies past and present specialising in Irish language plays including Aisling Ghéar, Branar, An Damer and An Taibhdhearc.

The launch of Playography na Gaeilge marks a significant development for Irish Theatre Institute's Irish Playography resource.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Offaly Support for Artist Scheme 2010

Offaly Local Authorities (Offaly County Council, Tullamore, Birr and Edenderry Town Councils) is inviting visual artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, dance artists, drama practitioners, etc to be selected onto a panel for potential public arts commissions. This invitation will remain open on a continuous basis until the end of 2012.

We intend to maximize the Government’s ‘Per Cent for Art Scheme’ to create innovative and original high quality public experiences in the arts for those residing in and visiting Offaly. We will commission artworks that reflect the distinctiveness of a locality and people and which will build upon our guiding principles of quality, inclusiveness, accessibility and long-term value.

At this stage, a schedule of commissions has not been finally decided; therefore this is not an exercise in matching artists to particular predetermined schemes.

It is not a prerequisite that you have previously engaged in community practice; your work may not be relevant to this particular field. However it is envisaged that the majority of commissions will involve a level of community engagement.

The ‘Per Cent for Art Scheme’ will operate as resources allow and it is envisaged that this panel will remain in place for commissions to take place from 2010 until the end of 2012.

Inclusion on the panel does not guarantee subsequent inclusion on a shortlist, or any commission or remuneration for the artist in question.

Applicants should note that a second stage process of selection will take place, involving the evaluation of shortlisted panellists, as projects arise.

The administrative deadline for this scheme is Friday June 11th. More details about how to apply and the application process are on the web site.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Brass Shillelagh Drama Award

The Boyle Arts Festival is now accepting submissions of unpublished one-act plays with a maximum length of 15 minutes from amateur playwrights for its inaugural Brass Shillelagh Drama Award.

Five winning finalists will be selected to perform on the night of Saturday 31st July during the Boyle Arts Festival.

You will be required to stage the play with your own cast. You need to have your own props On the final night an overall winner will be selected based on the performance and the transformation from script to stage.

By using your own cast you can realize and perfect your vision.

We will provide

The audience, the Judges, advertising, prize money of €300 to the winner, €50 to the four runners up and the prestigious Brass Shillelagh itself.

The closing Date is the 15th June 2010. Further information about the award and how to apply are available on the web site.

Friday 14 May 2010

Storyland II: Final

Voting is now open in the last round of the RTÉ Storyland competition to determine the winner.

The final two projects are:

  • Zombie Bashers, written by Stephen Shields and directed by Conor McMahon
  • We Own the Streets, written and directed by Alan Kavanagh

Thursday 13 May 2010

ILBF Drama Development Proposals

The Irish Language Broadcast Fund is extending its deadline for receipt of drama development proposals to Friday the 28th of July.

(Deadline for receipt of applications for the second ILBF funding round 2010 in all other genres remains 12 noon Friday the 28th of May.)

ILBF development funding is available for a new drama series (6 -10 half hour episodes). The series should be character driven with strong storylines, a contemporary setting consisting of a realistic situation where Irish would be used. The series should be aimed at as wide an audience as possible.

Production companies with suitable experience in drama production - experience in production of Irish language and/or low budget drama especially welcome - should contact commissioning executives at BBC NI (Antaine Ó Donnaile) & TG4 (Máire Ní Chonláin) and the Head of the ILBF ahead of the deadline to discuss potential ideas and the commissioning process before submitting applications.

Please include in your application a brief synopsis of the proposed series including the following details:

  • The setting
  • Character outlines for main characters
  • Style of storytelling
  • Proposed cast and crew
  • Details of company’s previous experience in drama production
  • Proposed production model
  • Proposed production schedule
  • Proposed estimated production budget
Please note that decisions on funding for drama development will be made at the third ILBF funding round in October.

Cuireann an CCG síneadh leis an spriocdháta do Mholtaí d’Fhorbairt Drámaíochta.

Tá an CCG ag cur síneadh leis an spriocdháta do mholtaí d’fhorbairt drámaíochta go dtí an Aoine an 28iú Iúil.

(Fanann an sprioc d’iarratais don dara bhabhta maoinithe 2010 i ngach réimse eile de chláir mar an gcéanna – 12 meán lae Aoine an 28iú Bealtaine.)

Beidh maoiniú forbartha ar fáil ón CCG sa bhabhta maoinithe seo do shraith nua drámaíochta ( idir 6 agus 10 gcláir leath uair a chloig). Scéalta láidir, le béim ar phearsantacht na gcarachtair, suite i suíomh comhaimseartha réalaíoch ina bhfuil an Ghaeilge mar theanga beo ann atá de dhíth. Ba chóir díriú ar lucht féachana leathan.

Beidh fáilte roimh iarratais ó chomhlachtaí léiriúcháin le taithí sa réim drámaíochta – go háirithe iad siúd le taithí i léiriúcháin drámaíochta Ghaeilge agus/nó drámaíocht ar bhuiséad íseal.

Ní miste teagmháil a dhéanamh roimh an spriocdháta leis na feidhmeannaigh coimisiúnaithe de chuid BBC TÉ (Antaine Ó Donnaile), TG4 (Máire Ní Chonláin) agus Ceannasaí an CCG (Áine Walsh) leis na tograí agus an próiseas coimisiúnaithe a phlé leo sular chuirtear iarratas maoinithe chugainn.

Beidh na riachtanais seo de dhíth:
  • Cur síos gairid ar an togra, agus trácht a dhéanamh air
  • An suíomh
  • Mion cur síos ar na príomh carachtair
  • Stíl na scéalta
  • Moltaí do foireann léirithe agus aisteoireachta
  • Sonraí de thaithí an chomhlachta i léiriúcháin drámaíochta
  • Córas léiriúcháin molta
  • Sceideal léiriúcháin molta
  • Meastachán aer an bhuiséad léiriúcháin
Beidh cinntí ar mhaoiniú d’fhorbairt drámaíochta déanta ag an 3iú bhabhta maoinithe de chuid an CCG i mí Dheireadh Fómhair.

Galway Pitching Award 2010

The Galway Film Fleadh Pitching Award is now open for submissions.

The pitch should be a 500-word story idea for the screen, and each entry is reviewed by a panel selected from the film industry. The best five are short-listed.

The five writers are contacted and invited to present their pitch to a panel of judges. This takes place in front of an audience during the Galway Film Fleadh.

The winner of the competition receives €3,000, and the attention of the industry.

The deadline for applications is Friday 18th June 2010 and further details are available on the website. Each entry must be accompanied by a €30 fee.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Yale Drama Series 2010

The Yale Drama Series Prize for Emerging Playwrights is a major new international playwriting competition.

The winner of the annual competition is awarded the David C. Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of his/her manuscript by Yale University Press, and a staged reading at Yale Rep. The Yale Drama Series and David C. Horn Prize are funded by generous support from the David Charles Horn Foundation.

Submissions must be original, unpublished full-length plays written in English. Translations, musicals, and children’s plays are not accepted. The Yale Drama Series is intended to support emerging playwrights. Playwrights may win the competition only once.

Submissions for the 2011 Competition must be postmarked no earlier than June 1 and no later than August 15, 2010.

More information on the rules of the competition and how to enter are on the web site.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award

Each year the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation awards the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award.

The competition is designed to motivate non-American novice writers under the age of 30, and to offer them the recognition and encouragement that might lead to a successful career in television scriptwriting.

The winner will be flown to New York City to be presented with an award and a US$2,500 prize at the International Emmy World Television Festival on November 20, 2010. The winning script will be read by actors in front of an audience at the Festival, and the winner will be invited to take part in the red carpet festivities at the 38th International Emmy Awards on November 22, 2010.

To enter, you will need to create a completed half-hour to one-hour English-language television drama script suitable for a family audience.

The deadline is 1 July 2010, and an application form can be downloaded from the web site.

First Laureate na nÓg

Irish Publishing News reports that Siobhán Parkinson has been announced by President Mary McAleese as Ireland's first Laureate na nÓg. She will hold the position for two years.

Established by a combination of the Arts Council, the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland the Laureate will promote children’s literature and build engagement wit young readers. The role is also supported by Eason’s and by the Irish Times.

Parkinson writes for both children and young adults whose work has been translated in several languages. She has won the Bisto Book award as well as been shortlisted for that award and several others. Most recently she co- founded New Island’s children’s imprint, Little Island.

Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council, said, ‘The Arts Council is proud to initiate Ireland’s first laureate for children’s literature. Laureate na nÓg seeks to broaden and enrich young people’s imaginative worlds, to encourage a love of reading and to inculcate the value of literature among children and young people.’

The new laureate Siobhán Parkinson said, ‘I am thrilled and honoured to be chosen as the first Laureate na nÓg. I believe that children’s literature lays the foundations of the imaginative life of a people, and that every child deserves to have access to a reading haven — a well-stocked and well-run library in their school and in their community.’

Monday 10 May 2010

Coming Up in Belfast

Northern Ireland Screen has teamed up with Channel 4 and Touchpaper TV to host a special Coming Up event in Belfast on Wednesday 19th May.

Coming Up is the only talent scheme currently in the UK where emerging film-makers have the opportunity to make an authored drama with a guaranteed network broadcast.

Ben Stoll, Channel 4’s Coming Up commissioning editor, Elinor Day and Emma Burge, Touchpaper producers, will be in Belfast along with local writer Ronan Blaney, who wrote Boy one of the successful 2010 Coming Up films. Three of this year’s diverse 30 minute films will be screened, including Boy.

Applications are now open for Coming Up 2011, after the screening Ben will explain what Channel 4 is looking for. Emma and Elinor will discuss how the production works and Ronan will speak about his experience of the scheme. There will also be time to network following the event.

This is an excellent opportunity for writers and directors who are trying to break into the film and television industry.

The event is free of charge and Northern Ireland Screen strongly encourage all local writers, directors and emerging short and feature film makers to attend. Places are limited so please contact as soon as possible to secure a place.

Date: Wednesday 19th May
Time: 6.00pm
Venue: Moviehouse Cinema, Dublin Road

Further information on Coming Up can be found here.

Thursday 29 April 2010

Give me Direction II

After the success of last year's event, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board announced yesterday the return of the screenwriting event Give Me Direction, which will be run in association with the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

This year the focus of the conference will be on interrogating the topic of comedy in filmmaking. The two day event will be held on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th June in Dublin.

Further details of the event and the release date for tickets will be announced shortly.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Dublin Scriptwriters Group

Ever thought about joining a writers' group?

Being a writer can be, by its nature, a fairly solitary existence so being part of a group can be invaluable. As well as the companionship, it is also important to have someone (who isn't your mammy) with whom you can share your writing, get (honest!) criticism from and bounce ideas off.

The Dublin Playwrights and Screenwriters Group (apologies for the long title) is one of two groups which meet every two weeks in Filmbase in Temple Bar, Dublin, to discuss our stage and screen writing projects and generally chat about what's going on in the writing world. If you think a group would be helpful to you and your writing, we would like to invite you to come along to one of our meetings to see if you would like to join.

You can get in touch with us through the IPSG ( or 01 6709970) and we can arrange for you to come to the next meeting.

Happy writing!

Paul FitzSimons
Group Co-ordinator
Dublin Playwrights and Screenwriters Group

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2010

The Dublin Gay Theatre Festival will be happening from May 3 - 16 in venues across Dublin City centre.

The programme of features, comedy and musical theatre includes Eight World Premières, Eight European Premières and Four Irish Premières. This year the festival includes productions from Ireland, UK, USA, Spain, South Africa and Australia, with a particular emphasis on new writing from emerging playwrights.

Highlights from the programme include The Laramie Project (USA) a play which recounts the brutal kidnap and murder of Mathew Sheppard, Kiss the Women (South Africa), a brave and deeply moving exploration of growing up as a black lesbian in South Africa, Loaded (USA) a no-holds barred look at internet sex, identity and ageism, Exiles (UK) a fresh and unique perspective on James Joyce's only play, Working Late (Ireland), a coming out comedy set in today’s economic crisis, Under the Rainbow (Ireland) a musical journey through the many lives of actress and entertainer Liza Minnelli and Drags Aloud (Australia) Joan Rivers support act that’s part Glee, part Scream, with a health dose of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Festival Director, Brian Merriman, said "This year we break through many barriers with our diverse programme of theatre that seeks to dialogue culturally with mainstream society." He added that festival was "delighted to welcome so many Irish companies to our programme this year. Playwrights as young as 18 year old Aaron Rogers were successful amongst the largest ever cohort of Irish applicants."

Monday 26 April 2010

Dublin Arts Bursary

Dublin City Council is looking for applications for its Arts Bursary of €4,000, which can be used to fund studies at an advanced level or the development of work/ professional skills.

Artists, resident in Dublin City Council’s administrative area, can apply for a Bursary in Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Drama and Literature. One Bursary will be awarded in each discipline.

Application forms, guidelines and criteria may be obtained by contacting:The Arts Office,Dublin City Council,The LAB, Foley St, Dublin 1.
Tel: 222 7850 or email:

Deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm Friday May 14th 2010. Only applications in hardcopy form will be accepted.

Application forms and information on how to apply are on the web site.

Thursday 22 April 2010

iad-T in the Park, April

The last event in the iad-T in the Park season is taking place this Saturday 24th April, at the the Tea Rooms in the People’s Park, Dun Laoghaire. The theme is: Play 4 Today (drama).

At noon there will be an Improvisation and Storytelling Workshop followed at 2pm by a Presentation by Annie Ryan and Michael West of The Corn Exchange, the theatre company behind the Dublin Theatre Festival's hit Freefall.

The events are organised by Mia Gallager, the 2009/10 IADT Writer in Residence.

IWC Publishing Day

On Saturday May 8th from 10.30am - 5.00pm the Irish Writers' Centre in Dublin is hosting an information day on publishing.

The event will feature talks with Dermot Bolger; Literary Agent, Jonathan Williams; Commissioning Editor for Hachette Books, Ciara Considine; Editor and digital publishing expert, Eoin Purcell; and Literary Publicist, Cormac Kinsella.

Tickets are €50 and can be booked by paying online or calling the Centre.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

BBC Writers Academy

Applications are now open for the BBC Drama's Writers Academy


The training you receive from BBC Drama’s Writers Academy will give you the specific skills required to write for some of the BBC’s most popular series such as Doctors, EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty, and a springboard to write across all the BBC’s drama output.

To be eligible for this scheme, writers will have already had at least one professional (paid) drama commission in film, television, radio or theatre.

The Writers Academy will train up to 8 writers a year, over a period of twelve months.

Course Breakdown

The course will break down as follows:

Introduction to Writing for Continuing Drama Series

This is a 3 month training course in writing for Continuing Drama Series which will consist of a number of workshops and lectures accompanied by intensive writing exercises and analysis.

During this period each writer will write a broadcast episode of Doctors.

The training course will be lead by John Yorke, Controller, Drama Production and New Talent, and other industry experts from all areas of drama production.

Course participants will be required to attend classes at the BBC premises in Elstree for three days per week, and one day at Television Centre in London.

Some expenses will be paid for writers based out of the London area for this period.

Writing for Broadcast

After you have completed the initial training and the Doctors script, your work will be assessed. If you have reached the required standard for production on Continuing Drama Series you will begin the next phase of the training.

Writers will rotate across Casualty, Holby and Eastenders in turn, writing a broadcast episode, spending a maximum of 12 weeks on each show.

At the end of the 12 months, each writer will have written for each of the four shows.

Core team & HQ

The course will be run and administered from BBC TVC in London W12 and BBC Elstree Studios. The course will be overseen and run by a Course Producer.

The deadline for applications is: May 5th 2010. More information and how to apply is on the web site.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Storyland II: Final 2

The final two series in the RTÉ Storyland competition are:

  • Zombie Bashers, written by Stephen Shields and directed by Conor McMahon
  • We Own the Streets, written and directed by Alan Kavanagh

McGuinness Play on TV

The Stage reports that Sky Arts has announced its successor to its Theatre Live! series, which saw six novelists make their playwriting débuts in 2009.

This year it's called Sky Arts Playhouse - Live, and will bring new work by established playwrights to the screen, including Irish playwright Frank McGuinness, whose credits include Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me.

The plays will be broadcast live every Wednesday from June 9, with each production being previewed at the Riverside Studios in the UK for four nights prior to transmission.

As with Theatre Live!, there will be a special company of directors and actors formed for the series, which will be overseen by Sandi Toksvig as artistic director, and Pip Broughton, who is creative director.

Toksvig said: “With Playhouse - Live, we’re staying true to the theatrical experience whilst simultaneously ensuring that we successfully marry the components of theatre and television that make each experience so unique. We’re thrilled to have such an extraordinary range and calibre of playwrights on board, and are delighted about partnering with the Riverside Studios to give the creative teams an opportunity to preview each play.”

The schedule is:
  • June 9; The Typist, by Rebecca Lenkiewicz; directed by Bijan Sheibani.
  • June 16: Ghost Story by Mark Ravenhill, who is also directing the play.
  • June 23: Hens by Alia Bano; directed by Peter Gill
  • June 30: Crocodile by Frank McFuinness; directed by Toby Frow.
  • July 7: Ensler's Here by Eve Ensler; directed by Josie Rourke.

Monday 19 April 2010

West End Remains Popular

According to the Hollywood Reporter theatre is still proving very popular in the UK despite the recession, and the latest figures reveal that attendance at the West End in London hit 14 million last year and box office revenue made a record £500 million.

The current success owes to several factors, not least of which is a high standard of excellence. Critics have joined the public in being generally bowled over by the range and quality of what has been presented of late.

Two more reasons for the growing appreciation of what's onstage: The lackluster state of British film and television means local talent is gravitating to the theater; and the development of well-trained directors.

Says Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough: "TV in the U.S. is infinitely stronger. Most U.K. sitcoms are pathetically vulgar and crude."

Meanwhile, the current crop of top stage directors is among the most innovative and distinctive to date, with Rupert Goold ("Enron"), Michael Grandage ("Hamlet," "Red"), Howard Davies ("All My Sons"), Christopher Morahan ("The Caretaker"), Ian Rickson ("Jerusalem") and Nicholas Hytner ("London Assurance," "The Habit of Art") following in the footsteps of Sam Mendes, Richard Eyre, Stephen Daldry and Trevor Nunn.

Says Burns simply, "We train great directors." It shows.

Burns, who runs Nimax Theatres with U.S. producer Max Weitzenhoffer, adds: "Not only are more people coming, they're paying more money to see the plays and musicals. Last year, it was a coincidence that so many plays came to fruition in one performing year. It was very much the year of the play. But that doesn't mean the musicals were struggling -- it means the plays did better."

Friday 16 April 2010

The Cant, Can

The winner of the inaugural McGuire International Playwriting Competition is Dublin writer Shay Linehan, for his play The Cant.

Shay is an IPSG member, and found out about the competition via our newsletter, and workshopped his entry at the IPSG's Dublin writers' group. He was also a nominee for the 2009 Zebbie Award for Best Radio Script. Currently, Shay is the director of Deilg Inis Living History Theatre Company, a professional theatre company based in Dalkey, Ireland and engaged at Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center.

The world première production of The Cant will open the Irish Classical Theatre Company's 20th Anniversary Season at the Andrews Theatre, Buffalo, NY from September 9 – October 3, 2010.

Thursday 15 April 2010

The Daisy Chain

Horror feature film The Daisy Chain, written by acclaimed screenwriter and Guild member Lauren MacKenzie, is opening on Friday 16th April at the Omniplex cinemas in Dublin (the Savoy), Cork and Galway.

Directed by the critically acclaimed director of Song For A Raggy Boy, Aisling Walsh, and starring double Oscar-nominee Samantha Morton, The Daisy Chain is a supernatural thriller of obsession, superstition and fear.

The film was also nominated for Best Irish Film at the 2009 Dublin Film Festival.

The Engine Room Pitch

FÁS Screen Training Ireland is running a two-day course called The Engine Room Pitch starting on the 20th of May 2010 in Dublin. The course tutors are Christina Burnett, Micheal O'Meallaigh and Niamh O'Connor.

The cost of the course is €150.

Application Procedure:
Please apply online attaching a CV and a one page proposal for a doc/factual project. You can attend either as a pitcher with project, or as an observer. All projects which are submitted by the deadline of Wednesday May 6 will be considered and those which are selected to pitch will be notified in advance of the workshop.

Participant Profile:
This workshop is aimed at producers, directors, researchers and development personnel who wish to refine their proposals and explore the commissioning process.

Course Profile:
THE ENGINE ROOM PITCH is a unique 2 day project development and pitching workshop for documentary/factual filmmakers seeking Irish and international commissions and market intelligence. It is also an exceptional networking opportunity.

Created by leading international pitch trainer Christina Burnett of Wide Eye Pictures, THE ENGINE ROOM pitch formats have been successful in the UK, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Intense, friendly and focused, the workshop develops real projects which are then presented to two commissioners for feedback. MEDIA Desk Ireland will also give an introduction to the funding, training and opportunities available at international festivals and markets.

Stranger Than Fiction 2010

The Documentary Film Festival, Stranger than Fiction, kicks off today in the IFI in Dublin, with the première of Pyjama Girls directed by Maya Derrington. The film was produced by Maya and Nicky Gogan for Still Films, who will both be in attendance for a Q&A session afterwards.

Filmbase is hosting a free panel session "The Honest Truth: Ethics in Documentary" in Cinema 3 at 11am Friday 16th April, about how documentary filmmakers deal with the conflicting responsibilities to their subjects, their viewers and their own artistic visions.

Alan Maher, IFB Production Executive will chair this panel which will include Maya Derrington (Pyjama Girls), Dr. Harvey O'Brien (UCD), Ciarín Scott (Waiting for the Light) and Ken O'Shea (RTÉ). The session is a free, ticketed event, and tickets can be collected from the IFI box office.

The discussion is the first of a day-long series of free panel events taking place as part of the festival.

The following two days will features screenings of Irish and International documentaries.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Creative Thinking in May

FÁS Screen Training Ireland is running two separate day-long courses on Creative Thinking Techniques on the 5th of May 2010 and on the 6th of May 2010 in Dublin, which will be taught by Pam Relton.

The cost is €100, and the deadline for online applications is the 20th of April 2010.

Participant Profile:
This one day programme is aimed at all sectors of the film and television industry.

Course Profile:
Participants will hone their creative thinking techniques.
Topics will include:
  • Creative thinking techniques
  • Ideas generation
  • Six thinking hats
  • The Disney Strategy
  • This course is supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board.

Book of the Decade

Voting for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Book of the Decade begins on April 14th and ends on May 27th.

Simply click on the button for the title you regard as the best Book of the Decade. The winner will be announced on May 28th.

The Irish Book Awards covers the broad spectrum of Irish publishing from popular to literary and this promotion is intended to reflect that diversity. The judging panel was therefore instructed to select books which had made a dramatic impact either through critical acclaim or popular success or a combination of both factors.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Young Playwrights Wanted

Tinderbox Theatre Company in Belfast is looking for applicants aged between 16 and 25 for its Fireworks – Young Writers Programme.

The Fireworks writers will be working with the actors in the Tinderbox Studio Ensemble. In addition writers will watch plays or readings and any Tinderbox productions that coincide with the programme, as well as read and analyse plays together.

Writers must be available in Belfast during a number of specific dates in 2010 - the information is on the web site.

To apply, you will need to send two pages of dialogue from a previous script (not written for this application), and a covering letter about yourself stating why you are interested in taking part in Fireworks, and your writing experience so far.

The deadline for entries is 3 May 2010

Writing Short Films

Filmbase is running its popular "Writing Short Films That Get Funded" course again from 23rd - 25th April.

Making a successful short film is very often a springboard to a career in feature films, documentaries and TV drama. Competition for short film funding under the various Irish schemes, including the Filmbase/RTÉ Awards, is incredibly high.

To give writers and producers expert guidance in crafting their short film scripts to the standards required by Filmbase/RTÉ and other funders and to improve the quality of entries for Irish short film schemes.

Mary Kate O Flanagan is an award-winning screenwriter and experienced tutor and script consultant. She regularly reads and shortlists projects for schemes across the European film industry.

  • Finding a visual correlative for the theme of a short film
  • Develop an idea from conception to production-ready script
  • Avoiding the most common pitfalls and how to rewrite
  • Examining what makes short films effective
Cost: €220 waged / €180 unwaged
Deposit: €60 required (non-refundable)

Monday 12 April 2010

FilmOffaly Bursary 2010

FilmOffaly, Offaly's Film Commission, in association with Filmbase, is pleased to announce the FilmOffaly Award 2010.

This funding initiative aims to foster creative, resourceful filmmaking in the county. FilmOffaly are looking for unique, original stories by talented new filmmakers, professional and novice alike. The only stipulation is that the filming must take place in Offaly! There will be one award to one successful applicant.

The winning applicant will receive:

  • €8,000 towards the cost of their production
  • A premier in Tullamore Omniplex Cinema
  • 1-year’s Filmbase membership to the Writer, Producer and Director of the winning film
  • A 50% discount on production equipment and/or editing facilities from Filmbase for the project
  • Filmbase's production insurance to cover the shoot

The closing date for the receipt of completed applications is 3.30pm on Friday, 14th May 2010.

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

Thursday 8 April 2010

2010 Digital Shorts in NI

Northern Ireland Screen has announced the recipients of this year's Digital Shorts scheme:

  • A Cross to Bear - written and directed by Ryan Tohill
  • Hardy Hands - written and directed by Chris Baugh
  • Of The Sea - written and directed by Paul Hamilton
  • Ring Theory - written and directed by Joe Campo

The four films will be produced by Villi Ragnarsson of RedRay Films in Summer 2010.

Northern Ireland Screen and The UK Film Council’s Digital Shorts scheme is a year long programme which aims to seek out and develop new filmmaking talent and enable them to make innovative short films using digital technology.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

UK Film Council Plans

Northern Ireland Screen reports that the UK Film Council published its three year plan and launched its new £15m Film Fund.

In developing the final plan, the UK Film Council spent three months consulting on the proposals, engaging with hundreds of people from across the film sector, facilitating more than a dozen consultation sessions and attracting almost 1,000 responses. The plan specifically:
  • opens up for business a £15m-a-year Film Fund (topped up further by film recoupment) for emerging, experimental and world class filmmakers;
  • ring-fences money for development;
  • confirms production companies will for the first time automatically receive a significant share of the UK Film Council’s recoupment from all feature film investments they are involved in, following State Aid approval of the measure by the European Commission;
  • sets up a think tank chaired by Tim Bevan to identify new policy initiatives to grow independent UK film companies of scale;
  • proposes a national web-based talent showcase, to be launched in Autumn 2010, to unearth fresh talent and to broaden the diversity, reach and the opportunities available to all filmmakers who are keen to engage with one another in a national filmmaking community;
  • confirms £5m is allocated to the new Innovation Fund, which will launch in Autumn 2010 (more details to follow);
  • provides £500,000 for film exports for each year of the plan;
  • confirms that 100% of recoupment from the Prints & Advertising Fund - which widens and supports the distribution of selected specialised films and British films - will, like the Film Fund, top up that fund’s budget.

Alongside this plan, the DCMS have been leading merger discussions between the UK Film Council and the BFI. These discussions have been underway since August 2009 and continue.

Launching UK Film: Digital innovation and creative excellence, Tim Bevan CBE, Chairman of the UK Film Council, said, “We’ve set out a renewed mission, a new set of priorities, and a new way of working. With the right level of support, a successful British film industry can continue to help get the UK out of recession, drive innovation and create more highly-skilled jobs. Further tough choices probably lie ahead, but having reduced our overheads by 20% and positively responded to the needs of British filmmakers we’re now in the best place we can be to support and promote UK film in the years ahead.”

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, announced that the new £15m-a-year Film Fund had opened its doors for business. Managed by a new team of experienced senior production and development executives, the fund has introduced a brand new online application process in which applicants will set out their creative and strategic visions for their film.

Woodward commented: “The new Film Fund’s primary focus is creative excellence. Tanya and her team will support filmmakers who want to put British filmmaking at the centre of our national culture and on the international map. The aim is for the Film Fund to attract the best talent, encourage creative risk taking, and deliver great films to audiences.

“Joining Tanya in the search for creative excellence will be a team of three Senior Production and Development Executives with an impressive and broad range of film industry expertise. Natascha Wharton, Lizzie Francke, and Chris Collins each have big production successes under their belts – together, it’s a team that will provide a wide range of expertise and tastes as well as a supportive, energetic and ambitious home for British filmmaking talent.

“The team will all work across the full range of projects in production and development, but individually they will also have specific responsibilities.”
  • Natascha Wharton (starting 4 May 2010) will focus on development;
  • Lizzie Francke will focus on experimental feature length films, national engagement and showcasing new talent;
  • Chris Collins will focus on ideas for future film practices for both emerging and established filmmakers, from micro/low budget features and shorts, through to 3D blockbusters.

The Film Fund is open for applications from 1 April, but it will be presenting a more detailed strategy to the UK Film Council Board in the coming months. It has already been agreed that a portion of the £15m budget will be ring-fenced for development – although there will be no automatic assumption that projects developed will become films that the fund would then invest in at the production stage. The remaining budget will be safeguarded for the Film Fund’s own production investments. Further details will be announced in the coming months, in addition to details of the Film Fund’s non-London investment target and how the new online showcase will operate.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Irish Pavilion in Cannes

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has announced that registration for membership of the Irish Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2010 is now open.

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

Registration is open only to Irish companies or individuals working in the Irish film industry.

Details on how to register are on the web site.

The deadline for application is Friday 9th April 2010 and membership of the Irish Pavilion is not Market or Festival Accreditation.

The Irish Pavilion is a Bord Scannán na hÉireann/ the Irish Film Board initiative.

Please note that there was an incorrect fax number listed on the official application form. All forms should be faxed to 091 561 405 (If have faxed your form to 01 6773394 you will need resend your application). The application form has now been amended and includes the correct fax number of 091 561 405.

Friday 2 April 2010

Writer's Seminar

An intensive five-hour writer's seminar will be held at the New Theatre, 43 Essex Street, Temple Bar by the novelist and playwright Paddy Kelly at 11am on Saturday the 10th of April.

The seminar/workshop will cover all aspects of creative writing based on and around character and storyline development in the novella, novel, stageplay and screenplay formats. Participants are encouraged to bring with them a current project of their own with a view towards developing the project to which ever level they seek.

The cost is €60 Euros and includes a three course lunch at Ciao Bella Roma.

To register please email or ring 085 729 5190.

Thursday 1 April 2010

The Arts and the Economy Debate

Ireland's association of writers, Irish PEN, has announced a forthcoming debate on 'The Arts and the Economy', which takes place at the United Arts Club, Upper Fitzwilliam Street in Dublin, on Thursday 15 April 2010.

Among the panellists are Aidan Burke, Operations Director with the Arts Council, Gerry Godley, Director of the Improvised Jazz Company, broadcaster and spokesperson for the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA), Claire Doody, Project Manager of Cultural Odyssey, which was set up by businessman Dermot Desmond following the Irish Economic Forum in Farmleigh last year, and Declan Kiberd, literary critic and Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at UCD.

Ticket prices for the debate are €3 for Irish PEN members, €5 for non-members, but booking is essential as places are limited. E-mail info or phone: 087 966 0770.

Reel Art Awards 2010

The Arts Council has announced the three recipients of this year's Reel Art Awards:

* "The Door Ajar", Director Patrick Jolley
* "Build Something Modern", Directors Nicky Gogan and Paul Rowley
* "An Ear to the Earth", Director Pat Collins.

Making the announcement, Fionnuala Sweeney, Head of Film and International Arts at the Arts Council, said: “The Reel Art scheme is a very important one for the Arts Council. It demonstrates clearly the Arts Council’s wish to provide film artists with the opportunity to realise their artistic ambition in the making of challenging and engaging documentary films on the arts. We are delighted to be able to support three teams of highly talented film artists and look forward to seeing their distinctive creative work brought to audiences at next year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival”.

Grainne Humphreys, Festival Director of JDIFF, added “Reel Art is a serious addition to the funding programmes available in Ireland. Without the need to satisfy narrow broadcast requirements the scheme can make the kind of bold choices that often leads to the most exciting cinema. That’s certainly what we are striving for in these awards, and JDIFF are very much looking forward to premiering the films to a wide audience at next year’s festival.”

The three films will receive their world premieres at next year’s JDIFF before an expected international run of film festivals and theatrical exhibition.

Wednesday 31 March 2010

Shorts Shorts Deadline

Bord Scannán na hÉireann / The Irish Film Board has announced a call for submissions for the next round of the Short Shorts scheme. The new deadline for the scheme is Friday May 7th.

The Short Shorts scheme has funding for up to seven, 3-5 minute films and aims to encourage the making of very short films that are innovative, provocative or in some way risky and rule-breaking. A unique feature of the scheme is that the films must now conform to a particular genre or theme chosen for each year. In 2008, Short Shorts had to be musicals; in 2009, they had to be films with no dialogue.

This year's Short Shorts, whether live action or animated, must adhere to and explore a theme, which is: Ireland, I Love You or Grá mo chroí í Eire.

Short Shorts generally have better access than longer shorts to commercial distribution. Equally, if this year's crop is especially rich, the common theme may allow BSÉ/IFB to package the films together for screening in a wider choice of situations so that their international exposure is enhanced. The portmanteau films Paris, je t'aime and New York, I Love You have proved to be festival favourites.

We hope the collection of films made under this year's Short Shorts scheme will run the gamut of love in contemporary Ireland - and love for Ireland. Love declared, love unrequited, love lost, love reawakened, love misunderstood, love tormented, love ecstatic. Love of someone, or something, or somewhere.

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

Information on the application process is on the web site.

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Adaptation Course

The éQuinoxe Germany International Screenwriters Workshops aim to get the best possible result out of strong stories with an inherent cultural identity, and enable talented screenwriters to learn from the best in the business.

In April 2010, éQuinoxe Germany brings its International Screenwriters Workshop to Connemara, and FÁS Screen Training Ireland, in association with MEDIA Desk Ireland and MEDIA Antenna Galway, is delighted to support two local industry Masterclasses as part of the éQuinoxe Germany programme.

One course is Adaptation OR Anatomy of a Screenplay, and takes place on the 25th April 2010 in the Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin.

Course Profile:
In this screenwriting masterclass, award-winning Australian screenwriter and playwright Andrew Bovell will discuss his writing process, and deconstruct his screenplay for “Lantana”. Bovell will also discuss his San Sebastian award-winning screenplay “Blessed”, and thriller “Edge of Darkness”.

The masterclass will begin with a screening of “Lantana”, and will cover the following:

• The writing process
• Structure
• Narrative Shape
• Principles of adaptation
• Unconventional and conventional script structures.

The masterclass is free, the application deadline is Tuesday 13th April 2010, and applications are processed online.

Monday 29 March 2010

Deconstructing Dracula

The éQuinoxe Germany International Screenwriters Workshops aim to get the best possible result out of strong stories with an inherent cultural identity, and enable talented screenwriters to learn from the best in the business.

In April 2010, éQuinoxe Germany brings its International Screenwriters Workshop to Connemara, and FÁS Screen Training Ireland, in association with MEDIA Desk Ireland and MEDIA Antenna Galway, is delighted to support two local industry Masterclasses as part of the éQuinoxe Germany programme.

One course is called "Deconstructing Dracula", and will take place on the 16th of April, 2010 in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway.

Course Profile:
This masterclass will explore how award-winning screenwriter Jim Hart adapted "Dracula" for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s horror classic.

Following the screening of "Bram Stoker’s Dracula", Hart will deconstruct the structure and introduce his “Hart Chart”, a tool for optimizing script structure, and explain how he came to develop it after working with Francis Ford Coppola.

• Getting to the heart of the source material
• Idea to screen – how to stay true to the core of the idea
• Structure and Character

The masterclass is free, the deadline for applications is Tuesday 13th April 2010, and applications are processed online.

Saturday 27 March 2010

WTD: US Message

Here is the US Message by playwright Lynn Nottage for World Theatre Day:

It's been said that the role of an artist is to keep their eyes open, when everyone else's are shut.

It’s a beautiful and simple sentiment. We are cultural watchdogs. We stand at attention, observing and reacting. We excavate, uncover, interpret and unravel. We protect tradition and shape new ones. We look inward…and then outward to find ways to better understand our selves.

We live in a world that has become increasingly interconnected through the ascendancy of new media, yet paradoxically more fractured by racism, religion, politics and economics. Our venerated financial institutions are crumbling and petty partisan fights paralyze our governments. Our insatiable need for oil and precious minerals fuel deadly armed conflicts in places like Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Poverty and suffering have become givens in a world of abundance, and women continue to fight for basic human rights and dignity in most countries. Hate, not love, fuel religious revolutions, poisoning generations of young men and women merely searching for meaning. We look for solutions in the recycling bins, and turn on the television to drown out our woes. This is our world, shaped by our own design, chaotic and unruly, yet beautiful and infinitely fascinating.

As artists and global citizens, the world continues to demand our attention, and as such we must be intrepid explorers, daring to venture into uncomfortable zones to unearth difficult truths. We must be unafraid to look honestly at the human condition and try to come to terms with its contradictions and flaws. That means approaching our work not as journalists, but as fabulators, storytellers, breaking rules to help reimagine the world. We must be truthful, while spinning yarns. It is the paradox of our creative process that gives us access to places we dare not go in our everyday lives. It emboldens us to ask difficult questions about war, race, religion, poverty, love and hatred.

Theatre is a place where we can collectively share our laughter, shed our tears and loudly demonstrate our joy or frustration. Theatre has the incredible capacity to be soul healing; it allows both the audience and artist to purge toxins and exorcise collective demons.

I challenge all of us to sustain the complexity of our world; to invite a multitude of diverse voices onto the stage. We must open the doors and windows of our theatres to let the world in. It is our responsibility; it is our burden and our gift.

We are fabulators….we are cultural watchdogs.

WTD: International Message

Here is the International Message by Dame Judi Dench for World Theatre Day:

World Theatre Day is an opportunity to celebrate Theatre in all its myriad forms. Theatre is a source of entertainment and inspiration and has the ability to unify the many diverse cultures and peoples that exist throughout the world. But theatre is more than that and also provides opportunities to educate and inform.

Theatre is performed throughout the world and not always in a traditional theatre setting. Performances can occur in a small village in Africa, next to a mountain in Armenia, on a tiny island in the Pacific. All it needs is a space and an audience. Theatre has the ability to make us smile, to make us cry, but should also make us think and reflect.

Theatre comes about through team work. Actors are the people who are seen, but there is an amazing set of people who are not seen. They are equally as important as the actors and their differing and specialist skills make it possible for a production to take place. They too must share in any triumphs and successes that may hopefully occur.

March 27 is always the official World Theatre Day. In many ways every day should be considered a theatre day, as we have a responsibility to continue the tradition to entertain, to educate and to enlighten our audiences, without whom we couldn’t exist.

Friday 26 March 2010

World Theatre Day 2010

World Theatre Day is taking place tomorrow.

World Theatre Day was created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). It is celebrated annually on the 27th March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion.

Its mission is to promote international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts (drama, dance, music theatre) in order to consolidate peace and solidarity between peoples, to deepen mutual understanding and increase creative co-operation between all people in the theatre arts.

There will be events going on around the world during the day, which you can follow in the web site's blog.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Filmbase Discounts

Current members of the Irish Playwright and Screenwriters Guild can now avail of a generous 15% off Filmbase membership.

The screenwriting software program, Final Draft 8, now on sale to Filmbase members at €195, and places still available on the one day training on Saturday March 27th.

Final Draft 8, the latest edition of the number-one selling word processor
specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodes and stage plays is now on sale to Filmbase members. New features include Scene Navigator, Scene Properties Inspector and page count management.

The special Offer for Filmbase members is for the standard version with licenses for 2 installations for just €195, and an Educational version with 1 license for just €165.

If you would like to purchase Final Draft 8 then call into Filmbase reception or
contact Gordon on or 01-6796716.

Filmbase is also running a one-day Final Draft 8 training course.

Final Draft 8: A Comprehensive Introduction

Intro (10:30am - 1pm) This course is suitable for screenwriters, script editors,
directors, production managers, line producers, AD's and is designed to introduce beginners to the wide range of options available in Final Draft including those used in the production office and the new features of version 8. For anyone considering buying Final Draft, this is a great opportunity to try out the features of this software.

Tutorial (2pm - 4pm) After lunch students will receive further instruction and can practice on the software and have their questions answered by the tutor.

Tutor: Francois Farrugia (MovieSoft)
Date: Saturday 27th March
Venue: Multimedia Training Room, Filmbase

Cost: €60 for members / €75 for non-members.

Apply for Arts Funding Online

The Arts Council has launched its new online services website so applicants can apply online for Projects and Travel and Training awards via the Internet.

Online services was developed to more efficiently manage funding applications and payments. This new website means that you can:
  • Download application forms and guidelines;
  • Create a profile for banking, tax and contact details (which you can reuse for other applications);
  • Upload the completed application form(s) and up to 20MB of electronic supporting materials;
  • Avail of a one-week deadline extension to complete online applications;
  • (Where successful), submit a payment request or payment schedule with supporting documentation.

In the coming weeks we will be opening up applications for the Touring and Dissemination of Work scheme 2010 via online services. Details of the scheme will be published on our website next week.

How and when to register/signup for online services

We advise you to register immediately for online services as, for security reasons, it may take up to five working days to complete the entire process. We also advise you to submit your final application as early as possible to avoid the heavy traffic on the site in the final days before a deadline.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Storyland II: 3 Winners

The results of the voting in the latest round of the RTÉ Storyland webisodes are in:

1. Zombie Bashers
2. We Own the Streets
3. Butchers
4. Mariana

The top three projects will advance to the next round, and another episode of their series.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Olivier Awards 2010

The Stage reports on the winners of the 2010 Olivier Awards in London this weekend.

Here is a selection of some of the winners - the entire list is on the web site:

* Best New Play - The Mountaintop by Katori Hall at Trafalgar Studios 1
* Best New Comedy - The Priory by Michael Wynne at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court
* Best Musical Revival - Hello, Dolly! book by Michael Stewart, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, based on the play ‘The Matchmaker’ by Thornton Wilder at the Open Air
* Best New Musical - Spring Awakening music by Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics by Steven Sater, based on the play by Frank Wedekind at the Novello
* Best Revival - Cat On A Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, directed by Debbie Allen at the Novello

Introduction to Screenwriting

Alan Keane is offering a two-day Introduction to Screenwriting seminar on Saturday, March 27th and Sunday, March 28th, in the Smithfield/Stoneybatter Area in Dublin City.

Screenwriting is a notoriously difficult career to get ahead in and all too often people make the plunge with little knowledge as to how the industry works and what's exactly required to get yourself noticed. This 2-day seminar will act as a crash course in understanding the principles involved in great writing. It will help you to become aware of the skills and craft you'll need to create unforgettable stories that will get you noticed by readers and also help get you an agent.

* Format
* Style
* Dialogue writing
* Visual Grammar
* Three Act Structure
* The craft of writing a scene
* Characterisation and the arc of transformation
* Genre
* What the readers are looking for - An industry perspective
* How do I get my first break?

Cost of the seminar is €95.

To register your interest email or contact Alan at: 086-1972270. There is also a Facebook page for the event.

Monday 22 March 2010

Byrne New Cultural Ambassador

On St. Patrick's Day Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced that actor Gabriel Byrne had been appointed as Ireland's new cultural ambassador.

The appointment grew in part from recommendations by the Global Irish Economic Forum at Farmleigh last autumn, and is rooted in the connection between culture and the economy, Mr Cowen said.

Mr Byrne's appointment precedes what the Taoiseach called "an ambitious season of Irish arts in the US in 2011", whose goal will be "showcasing the Irish creative imagination, showcasing world-class Irish artists and companies, and reinvesting in our unique cultural relationship with America".

Byrne said American audiences had a "very limited view of Irish art. It's Druid [theatre company], Brian Friel, the Anglo-Irish stew of Yeats . . . and there's U2. There's a whole other life – great young conceptual artists, film-making, people writing who wouldn't have written 15 or 20 years ago. Right now, there are four major Broadway productions that are Irish."

Lest Irish citizens begrudge funds devoted to the arts, Byrne reminded them that "America is a giant market for Irish culture. And it speaks English, and it receives us with tremendous good will. To a great extent, our culture is what defines us."

Leaving a meeting with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin noted that Byrne "has already been very active on the cultural front, advancing the cause of Ireland". He mentioned Byrne's role in helping to develop the Irish Cultural Centre in New York, for which the city of New York is contributing $20 million (€14.5 million).

Mr Martin praised Niall Burgess, Ireland's Consul General in New York, for involving Byrne, Liam Neeson and the writers Colum McCann and Colm Tóibín in so many events. "It's extraordinary that two of the best contemporary novels about New York were written by Irish people," Mr Martin said.

Martin Cullen, as Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, is credited with making the biggest push for Byrne's appointment to the unpaid position. Byrne will work closely with Eugene Downes, the chief executive of Culture Ireland. The role will not necessarily be limited to the US, Mr Downes said, predicting that Byrne "will develop an inclusive vision that reaches out from the Irish arts community internationally".

Let's hope this new zeal for the Arts from the Irish government translates into better funding in the coming years.

Friday 19 March 2010

Golden Blasters Script Competition

The Irish national science fiction convention, Octocon, has issued a call for scripts for its inaugural short script competition.

It's looking for fantasy, science fiction or horror short scripts, less than twenty pages, and in the usual format.

The fees for the competition are on a sliding scale depending on when the script is submitted:

May 31, 2010
Earlybird Deadline €10.00

July 31, 2010
Regular Deadline €15.00

August 31, 2010
Late Deadline €20.00

It has also issued a call for submissions for fantasy, science fiction and horror short films (under 15 minutes) for its second Short Film Competition.

The films that are short-listed will be screened at this year's convention (October 16-17), and will be judged at the event. There will be two awards: the Silver Blaster (audience award) and the Golden Blaster (jury award).

Thursday 18 March 2010


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

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

The scheme is co-funded by BSÉ/IFB, the Arts Council and RTÉ and the new deadline for applications is April 23rd 2010.

Parameters of the Scheme

  • Number of films: up to 6 per year
  • Duration: maximum 6 minutes
  • Budget per film: maximum €50,000
  • Format:
    • Origination using any technique or format
    • Delivery on digi-beta and HD Cam
    • Further funding to cover costs of 35mm prints may be provided where a film obtains a bona fide theatrical release in Ireland or is invited to a major international film festival, subject to BSÉ/IFB regulations in force at the time
Information on the scheme's guidelines and how to apply are available on the Irish Film Board's web site.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Roy Wins RTS Award

The Guardian reports that the BBC children's television comedy, Roy (JAM Media for CBBC), won a Royal Television Society award for Children's Drama.

Roy is a live action television series incorporating animation, and is based on the award-winning Irish short film "Badly Drawn Roy". The show continues to have a strong Irish connection with several Irish writers on the series, including Danny Stack, Neil Leyden, Alan Keane and Declan DeBarra.

Script Frenzy

Are you looking for a writing challenge? Why not take part in Script Frenzy, the international writing event?

The goal is to write 100 pages of original scripted material in 30 days - screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, and graphic novels are all welcome. It must begin no earlier than 12:00:01 AM on April 1 and cease no later than 11:59:59 PM on April 30, local time.

There are no entry fees, prizes or short-lists, just the satisfaction of finally getting that first draft down on paper.

To find out how to take part go to the web site and sign up.

Tuesday 16 March 2010

New/Old Shakespeare Play

The Times reports that the play, Double Falsehood; or, the Distrest Lovers, first produced in 1727 as a lost Shakespeare play - but dubbed a fake - has been authenticated.

Yesterday that changed when The Arden Shakespeare, one of the best regarded scholarly editions of Shakespeare's plays, published Double Falsehood, endorsing its credentials and making it available in a fully annotated form for the first time in 250 years.

Next summer Double Falsehood will become more embedded in the canon when the Royal Shakespeare Company mounts a production based on it as part of the first season back at its revamped Stratford-upon-Avon home.

Monday 15 March 2010

Storyland II: 3

The third episodes of the four remaining projects in RTÉ's Storyland competition are now online.

Vote for your favourite, and the results will be announced on Tuesday the 23rd March.

The top three shows will then progress on to a fourth episode.

Big 5 Comedy Award

Northern Ireland Screen reports that the The John Brabourne Big 5 Comedy Award is a new comedy writing award to write a comedy short film script funded by the Cinema and TV Benevolent Fund, The UK Film Council and Working Title Films.

You can apply under three criteria - under-represented groups, disadvantaged individuals or transitional talent. This is to encourage new voices in cinema and to help those in need of opportunity.

Five short-listed scripts will be judged by a panel made up of:

* Kenton Allen, Big Talk Productions
* Dan Mazer, Oscar nominated writer of Borat and Bruno
* Sarah Farrell, Comedy Central
* Amelia Granger, Working Title
* Sally Caplan, the UK Film Council

The winning script will receive £1,000 as a cash prize from Working Title Films and will be made into a 35mm film directed by a well known director.

The first criteria applies to all new writers who are women, ethnic minorities, writers from the regions or any other under-represented group.

The second refers to new writers with a personal disadvantage such as long term sickness or financial disadvantage.

Transitional talent refers to writers who have worked in other disciplines such as stand up, theatre or radio who have not yet had the opportunity to work in cinema. TV writers with shared credits also qualify under this criteria, but not those who have been sole commissioned writers on shows.

All scripts must be received by Monday 22nd March 2010.

Friday 12 March 2010

Belfast Film Festival Programme

The 10th Belfast Film Festival (15-30 April) has launched its programme.

The 10th Belfast Film Festival boasts over 30 UK/Irish premieres in a jam packed programme, with 125 screenings and events across Belfast from over 25 countries including, Russia, Japan, Iran, Argentina, Israel and South Africa, to name but a few.

The Festival opens on Thursday 15th April at the Moviehouse, Dublin Road with the UK/Irish Premiere of Triage starring man of the moment, Colin Farrell.

Closing night film of the 10th Belfast Film Festival, will be the UK/Ireland premiere of a film by one of Hollywood’s greatest directors-Francis Ford Coppola; Tetro starring Vincent Gallo is Coppola’s first original screenplay since The Conversation; this beautiful film, is shot in black and white and set in the bristling streets of Buenos Aires.

Thursday 11 March 2010

BBC Axes Friday Play

Yesterday The Stage reported that next year the BBC Radio 4 will axe its long-running drama strand, the Friday Play, as a result of budget cuts at the station.

The broadcaster’s commissioner for drama, Jeremy Howe, met recently with both radio producers and members of the Writers’ Guild of Britain to outline the station’s plans for drama going forward, including the decision to pull the Friday Play from 2011.

It has also emerged that the broadcaster will reduce the number of Friday Play dramas it commissions this year, with just 12 original dramas planned in the slot, compared with 20 last year.

A spokesman for the BBC confirmed the move, and said BBC Radio 4, along with other networks, is “trying to ensure it obtains the best possible value from its budget”.

“As a result, we have decided to decommission the Friday Play. This is in order to ensure we do not make ends meet simply by cutting deeper into the budgets of other drama slots. We intend to commission some of the dramas that would have run on Fridays in other drama slots across the schedule. In exceptional circumstances, we will run dramas on Fridays where there is no daytime slot that could accommodate the subject matter or treatment,” he said.

The spokesman added that the Friday Play slot has the smallest audience of any drama strand on the station, and he said Radio 4 “felt losing a single strand was preferable to risking the quality of drama output across the schedule”.

“The network’s commitment to drama remains strong and we will continue to commission nearly 200 single plays a year and more than 100 series and serials, in strands including Woman’s Hour drama, Afternoon Play, Classic Serial and the Saturday Play,” he added.

At his meeting with the WGGB, Howe is also believed to have told the guild that Woman’s Hour drama, which has traditionally nurtured new writing talent, was now looking to commission the “biggest and best writers”.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Discussion with Kavanagh

The IFI in Dublin is hosting an in-depth discussion with Irish director Ivan Kavanagh, and the cast of his new film, The Fading Light, at 4pm on Saturday 13th March.

The Fading Light, the fifth feature from fiercely independent up-and-coming Irish director Ivan Kavanagh, opens exclusively at the IFI on 12th March and we are delighted to host a conversation with the director and his cast at 4pm on Saturday 13th March. The emotionally visceral style that has become Kavanagh's trademark springs from the rigorous background work on each character undertaken by his actors before the plot is revealed to them step-by-step during filming. His previous feature, Our Wonderful Home (2008), will also be screened earlier that day at 2.30pm.

The Q&A with Kavanagh and the cast is free but ticketed. Call the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 to reserve your tickets.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Scriptwriting Clinic at GFC

The Galway Film Centre is running a Scriptwriting Clinic from the 7th to 10th May 2010 with Script Editor Mark McIlrath, who has worked on feature film projects in Ireland, Italy, France and the UK. He has been through the Arista and North by Northwest programmes. He is a regular contributor to Film Ireland and Scriptwriter magazine on script editing theory and practice.

This four day course will look at how to develop your story idea. It is aimed at both emerging & experienced screenwriters working on their feature film screenplays. The course is also aimed at emerging script editors. The class is limited to four writers and two script editors. The course offers a great experience for emerging writers and script editors to work intensively on their stories with a professional script editor. It will cover the basics such as wants and needs, objectives, obstacles, rising action and ideas on sequencing & structure. All participants read each other's treatments prior to the course commencing.

Each editor works with 2 writers during the course.

Those interested in this course will need to submit a script or treatment by 4th May.

For writers: Submit a 3 to 10 page treatment/story outline. 10 pages is the maximum allowable.

Information on how to apply is on the web site.

Course cost:
Writers: €465 unwaged/€475 waged
Editors: €365 unwaged/€375 waged
(These fees include membership to the Centre for the year)

Monday 8 March 2010

Oscar Writing Winners

Last night the Winners of the 82nd Academy Awards were announced. A full list is available to view online.

Here are the nominees and winners (in bold) in the writing categories:

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • District 9 Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
  • An Education Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  • In the Loop Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
  • Up in the Air Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)
  • The Hurt Locker Written by Mark Boal
  • Inglourious Basterds Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • The Messenger Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
  • A Serious Man Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • Up Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Irish animator Richard Baneham picked up the Best Visual Effects Award for Avatar together with Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum and Andrew Jones.

Creative Thinking Techniques

FÁS Screen Training Ireland is running a course on Creative Thinking Techniques on the 29th of March in Dublin.

This one day programme is aimed at all sectors of the film and television industry.

Course Profile:
Participants will hone their creative thinking techniques.
Topics will include:
• Creative thinking techniques
• Ideas generation
• The Disney Strategy
This course is supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board.

It costs €100.00 and applications are processed via the web site.

Friday 5 March 2010

Library Late Interviews

The National Library of Ireland is continuing its Writing for the Stage and Screen events as part of its Library Late series with the following interviews:

Writer and actor, Mark O'Halloran, will be in conversation on Wednesday, March 24th at 8pm. O'Halloran has written the screenplays for the award-winning feature films Adam & Paul and Garage.

On Monday, April 26th at 8pm broadcaster John Kelly will interview writer and director Paul Mercier. Mercier's plays include Studs, We Ourselves and Spacers, including Homeland and Down The Line for The Abbey. He has also written and directed three short films:"Before I Sleep", "Lipservice" and "Tupperware".

Playwright and screenwriter Mark O'Rowe will be interviewed on Wednesday, May 26th at 8pm. His award-winning plays include From Both Hips, Howie the Rookie, Made in China and Terminus, and he has written screenplays for feature films Intermission, Boy A and Perrier's Bounty.

Film historian Bob Monks will also give a special lunchtime talk to mark the centenary of the birth of film archivist Liam O'Leary (1910 - 1992) at 1pm on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010.

All the events are free.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Dublin Film Fringe 2010 is hosting the Dublin Film Fringe this Saturday the 6th of March at the Banquet Hall, 15-19 Essex Street West, Temple Bar.

Here is the schedule of events:

13:30 – 15:00 Cinematography Workshop | Banquet Hall, 15-19 Essex Street West, Temple Bar
IFTA nominated DOP Ruiarí O’Brien and Production Depot owner John Leahy talk about the various cameras and formats and when to choose one over the other. Another guest speaker to be confirmed. Followed by general chat and networking.

16:00 – 17:30 Shorts Screening 1 | Banquet Hall, 15-19 Essex Street West, Temple Bar

18:00 – 19:30 Shorts Screening 2 | Banquet Hall, 15-19 Essex Street West, Temple Bar

20:00 – Late! | Le Cirk (Sweeneys), Dame Street

* 21:00 Music Videos Screening (Free finger food / Drinks promo)
* 22:30 – 23:00 Awards Ceremony
* 23:00 DJ

Prices: The workshop and each of the screenings will cost €6 admission. Alternatively you can pay €10 which cover entrance to all 3 events. The Music video programme in Le Cirk is free and there will even be free finger food served!

Wednesday 3 March 2010

JDIFF Awards 2010

The documentary His & Hers, written and directed by Ken Wardop, scooped the Audience Award at this year's Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

The winners of the Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards were also announced:

Patrick O'Donnell
The Fading Light

Tilda Swinton
I Am Love

His and Hers
Written and directed by Ken Wardrop

The Fading Light
Written and directed by Ivan Kavanagh

Giorgos Lanthimos

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Written by William M. Finkelstein and directed by Werner Herzog

Samson and Delilah
Written and directed by Warwick Thornton

Kate McCullough

Tuesday 2 March 2010

IWC Publishing Day

The Irish Writers Centre is hosting a Publishing Day on Saturday March 20th from 10am - 4.30pm.

The Irish Writers' Centre is hosting an information day on publishing for writers and other interested parties. The day will feature talks with literary agent Jonathan Williams, commissioning editor for Hachette Books Ciara Considine, digital publishing expert Eoin Purcell, acclaimed novelist John Boyne (author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) and literary marketing expert Cormac Kinsella. There will be opportunities for question and answer sessions with our guest speakers. The day will start at 10am with registration and run until 4.30pm. Tickets are €50 and can be booked by paying online or calling the Centre.

Monday 1 March 2010

The Practice of Writing

Novelist and dramaturge, Mia Gallagher, is running a course in the Irish Writers Centre called "The Practice of Writing", on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March from 10.30am - 4.30pm.

There is no generic 'how-to' when it comes to writing. Each writer is different, with a different mesh of concerns, obsessions, interests, habits, challenges, strengths, fears, hopes and blindspots. All these various elements are what make up an individual practice. But a practice needs to be practised in order to get richer, more informed, more vital and, hopefully, generate more meaningful output.

This workshop is aimed at people who want to deepen their awareness of their writing process with a view to sustaining their writing practice in the long-term. Using elements which are key to the facilitator's own practice – reading, dialogue, field trips, dedicated writing time, entertainment and critiquing – participants will explore ways of generating material, engaging with content and form and challenging their own (and others’) received notions of writing.

The cost of the two-day event is €160 and can be booked online.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Oscar-nominated scripts online

Want to read the scripts written by the nominees for the 2010 Best Screenplay Oscar and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar?

Thanks to you can access of all of them online!

Nominations Needed for Business to Arts

Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2010 has issued a
Call for Nominations:

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

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

Winning projects demonstrate that working together, the arts unlock opportunities for business whether it’s the promotion of their brand, encouraging creativity amongst their employees or supporting their local community.

Partnership, collaboration and creativity are the key words describing a success story.

The closing date for receipt of nominations is 5pm, Wednesday 24 March 2010.

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Kildare Grants & Bursaries

Kildare County Council is looking for submissions for its 2010 Arts Act Grant Scheme and Bursary Awards.

There is an array of grants and bursaries on offer, including the following which might be of particular interest to our members:

* Film Bursary Award
* Tyrone Guthrie Residency Bursary Award
* Drama League of Ireland Summer School Bursary Award

The closing date for all the grants / bursaries is 5pm on Friday the 19th March. Application forms can be downloaded from the web site.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Berlin Film Awards 2010

Also this weekend the Berlin Film Festival announced its prize winners, and here are the categories of interest to our members:

Golden Bear for Best Film
Bal (Honey)
Co-written by Semih Kaplanoglu and Orçun Köksal, and directed by Semih Kaplanoglu

Silver Bear - The Jury Grand Prix
Eu cand vreau sa fluier, fluier (If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle)
co-written by Catalin Mitulescu and Florin Serban, and directed by Florin Serban

Silver Bear - Best Director
Roman Polanski
The Ghost Writer
Co-written by Robert Harris and Roman Polanski.

Silver Bear - Best Script
Wang Quan'an and Na Jin for
Tuan Yuan (Apart Together)
Directed by Wang Quan'an

2010 WGA Awards

The Writers Guild of America announced the winners of their 2010 awards this weekend:


The Hurt Locker, Written by Mark Boal; Summit Entertainment


Up in the Air, Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner; Based upon the novel by Walter Kirn; Paramount Pictures


The Cove, Written by Mark Monroe; Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions



Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Andrew Colville, Kater Gordon, Cathryn Humphris, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Brett Johnson, Erin Levy, Marti Noxon, Frank Pierson, Robin Veith, Dahvi Waller, Matthew Weiner; AMC


30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Vali Chandrasekaran, Tina Fey, Donald Glover, Steve Hely, Matt Hubbard, Dylan Morgan, Paula Pell, Jon Pollack, John Riggi, Tami Sagher, Josh Siegal, Ron Weiner, Tracey Wigfield; NBC


Modern Family, Written by Paul Corrigan, Sameer Gardezi, Joe Lawson, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O'Shannon, Brad Walsh, Caroline Williams, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC

EPISODIC DRAMA – any length – one airing time

“Broken, Part 1 and Part 2” (House), Written by Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner & David Foster & David Shore; Fox

EPISODIC COMEDY – any length – one airing time (**TIE**)

“Apollo, Apollo” (30 Rock), Written by Robert Carlock; NBC

“Pilot” (Modern Family), Written by Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd; ABC

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

Georgia O’Keeffe, Written by Michael Cristofer; Lifetime

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

Taking Chance, Teleplay by Lieutenant Colonel Michael R. Strobl, USMC (Ret.) and Ross Katz, Based on the short story by Lieutenant Colonel Michael R. Strobl, USMC (Ret.); HBO

ANIMATION – any length – one airing time

“Wedding for Disaster” (The Simpsons), Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox


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

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Head Writer: Steve Bodow, Writers Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Rich Blomquist, Tim Carvell, Wyatt Cenac, Hallie Haglund, JR Havlan, David Javerbaum, Elliott Kalan, Josh Lieb, Sam Means, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart; Comedy Central


Film Independent’s 2009 Spirit Awards, Written by Billy Kimball, Neil MacLennan; IFC/AMC


The Young and the Restless, Written by Amanda L. Beall, Tom Casiello, Lisa Connor, Janice Ferri Esser, Eric Freiwald, Jay Gibson, Scott Hamner, Marla Kanelos, Beth Milstein, Natalie Minardi Slater, Melissa Salmons, Linda Schreiber, James Stanley, Sandra Weintraub, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS


“Welcome to the Jungle” (The Troop), Written by Max Burnett; Nickelodeon


Another Cinderella Story, Written by Erik Patterson, Jessica Scott; ABC Family


“The Madoff Affair” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria, Martin Smith; PBS


“The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer” (American Experience), Written by David Grubin; PBS


World News with Charles Gibson, Written by Lee Kamlet, Julia Kathan, Joel Siegel; ABC


“A Private War: Expose: America’s Investigative Reports” (Bill Moyers Journal), Written by Thomas M. Jennings; PBS



2008 Year in Review, Written by Gail Lee; CBS


World News This Week - July 11, 2009, Written by Darren Reynolds; ABC Radio


Paul Harvey: An American Life, Written by Stu Chamberlain; ABC Radio



“Vegas” (Dateline), “The Wanted” Promo, NBC Nightly News Promo, “Iran” (Dateline), “Cheat” (Dateline), Written by Barry Fitzsimmons; NBC


“Hudson Splashdown” (CBS Evening News with Katie Couric), David M. Rosen, Shannon L. Toma; CBS


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Written by Amy Hennig; Sony Computer Entertainment