32 County Funding for Irish documentary filmmakers

14 October 2020
By Bryan Smyth

“Ignite” is a joint initiative of Cork International Film Festival & Docs Ireland, Belfast, supported by TG4, the Arts Council of Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland and Arts & Business NI

Cork International Film Festival and Docs Ireland have announced their inaugural 2020 Ignite documentary development programme participants. This exciting venture is a cross-border partnership which seeks to foster a new generation of Irish documentary filmmakers from the north and south of Ireland. The programme is a pilot bilingual talent development initiative directed towards emerging Irish and Northern Irish documentary filmmakers embarking on their first or second non-fiction feature film.

“The Ignite team were amazed and overwhelmed by the number of project applications we received for the inaugural Ignite scheme, with 57 projects submitted for only six available places, affirming the desire for this type of training and networking opportunity. The selection committee took time and care in selecting the projects to take part in the scheme, and we are delighted to welcome our first cohort of Ignite participants for the initiative.”

said Roisín Geraghty Ignite Co-ordinator.

Projects include Beatle Island from Director Gillian Callan and Producer Ciara Bresnihan, which centres on a group attempting to create a new form of society on John Lennon’s island in Clew Bay, The Honeypot, from Director Laura Smith and Producer Lorraine Harton, a story of intrigue and deception left behind by international con-woman Julia Holmes, and Hydebank, from Director and Producer Ross McClean, following a shepherd inside and outside of prison walls. The other projects are Hy-Brasil, from Co-Directors Michael Barwise and Sean Mullan, which takes us on an intriguing voyage in search of a phantom island allegedly located 200 miles off the west coast of Ireland, Pascal, from Director John Conway and Producer Mairéad Ní Thréinir, telling the story of an old man living alone in a battered caravan on the Connemara coast, living out his days back where he was born, content in the knowledge that he didn’t waste a moment; and Searching for Space, from Director Cara Holmes and Producer Evan Horan, an intimate portrayal of a community of activists, creative artists and misfits told through ‘lesbian lines’, one of the oldest LGBT+ helplines in the world.

The selection committee for Ignite was Fiona Clark, Festival Director and CEO and Roisín Geraghty, Industry Manager from Cork International Film Festival, Michele Devlin, Festival Director, and Stuart Sloan, Programmer from Docs Ireland, Trevor Birney CEO of Fine Point Films, and Proinsias Ni Ghrainne, Commissioning Editor with TG4.

Speakers and trainers for the first training event on November 4th and 5th include filmmaker Kim Longinotto, filmmaker, fundraiser, engagement specialist Tracie Holder, Pitch Trainer David Pope and filmmaker Tadhg O’Sullivan.

About Cork International Film Festival

Cork International Film Festival is Ireland’s first and largest film festival and celebrates its 65th anniversary edition this November 4 – 15. The Festival is proudly supported by principal funder the Arts Council, along with Cork City Council, Screen Ireland, Creative Europe MEDIA, Cork County Council, Screen Skills Ireland, Culture Ireland, Creative Ireland, Rethink Ireland and ESB Energy for Generations Fund. Principal Media Partner is RTÉ and Media Partners are the Irish Examiner and Red FM.

About Docs Ireland

The second annual DOCS IRELAND will take place in November (following postponement earlier in the year) and the festival will focus on this year’s illuminating Irish documentary films and will open with The 8th, an inspiring and moving film tracing Ireland’s campaign to remove the 8th Amendment, a constitutional ban on abortion. There will also be a number of industry focused events including award-winning Director Alison Millar who will also host an online work-in-progress event with clips and insights into her brand-new film chronicling the influential life of the murdered journalist Lyra McKee.

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