Archive for July 14th, 2008

Fleadh Winners 08

14th July 2008

Yesterday the winners of the film competitions at the Galway Film Fleadh were announced:

First Feature
First Place: Peacefire, written & directed by Macdara Vallely.
Second Place: The Lemon Tree, written by Suha Arraf & Eran Riklis, and directed by Eran Riklis

Feature Documentary
First Place: Anvil! The Story of Anvil by Sacha Gervasi
Second Place: Young at Heart by Stephen Walker

Irish Feature
First Place: Kisses, written & directed by Lance Daly
Second Place: Vox Humana, written & directed by Bob Quinn

The Pitching Award
Barbara Deignan

Best Irish Short Film
First Place – The Tiernan McBride Award: “Martin”, written & directed by Sean Branigan
Second Place: “The Door” written & directed by Juanita Wilson

Best First Irish Short Film
First Place: “Danger High Voltage”, written by Thomas Martin and Luke McManus, and directed by Luke McManus
Second Place: “James”, written & directed by Conor Clements

Best Irish Short Documentary
First Place: “The Year I got Younger”, by Genevieve Bailey
Second Place: “The Herd” by Ken Wardrop

Best Irish Short Animation
First Place: “Granny O Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”, written by Kathleen O’Rourke, and directed by Nicky Phelan
Second Place: “My Day”, written & directed by Eamonn O’Neill

Best First Irish Short Animation
First Prize – The James Horgan Award: “Monolith”, written & directed by Matt Horan
Second Place: “Plastesex”, written & directed by Conor Finnegan

Moriarty Criticises Irish Flims

14th July 2008

The Times reports on an recent article in Film Ireland, in which Kevin Moriarty, head of Ardmore Studios, criticises the Irish film industry.

Pointing to the “depressing” box-office performance of movies made in Ireland last year, Moriarty says it’s because Irish film-makers are preoccupied with artistic aspirations and do not take on board the need to engage the audiences that pay to see films.

“At the very least there has to be a story that engages you, characters that interest you. I don’t walk out of films but there are times I think to myself ‘Why am I wasting my time here?’ because I don’t care about what happens to these characters; I’m no longer interested in them. Sometimes people forget that the purpose of film-making is storytelling and entertainment. That doesn’t mean that you have to sell out your artistic integrity,” said Moriarty.

Although a record number of Irish people went to the cinema last year, indigenous films accounted for just 1.3% of box office receipts, earning just over €1.5m out of the €117m taken.

Only two Irish titles made it into the top 100: Lenny Abrahamson’s Garage, starring Pat Shortt, which was 90th; and Strength and Honour, starring Vinnie Jones and Michael Madsen, which ranked 100th.

Moriarty believes Irish films need to focus more on developing scripts before shooting begins. Writing in the current issue of Film Ireland magazine, he says: “My first instinct is to recall too many Irish films that would have benefited from further script drafts before getting to the screen. There is an absence of a core structure, a surface (even superficial) storyline that allows the audience to navigate its way.

“The film-maker has an obligation to every member of the audience. We all pay for our tickets. Some may only be looking for a night of entertainment. The creative artist should be able to provide that while still satisfying all other artistic aspirations through a multi-layered approach.”

Since Moriarty focuses on the need for stronger scripts, it would make sense for him to mention in his piece that Mark O’Halloran wrote Garage, and Mark Mahon wrote Strength and Honour.

Later in the article, David Kavanagh from the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild is quoted:

“The writer sells everything to the producer and is paid the same whether the film is good or bad. If we could design a system whereby the writer was paid more if the film was a success, as is the norm everywhere else, maybe we would get the kind of successful film that Kevin, and indeed everyone else, wants.”

Unlike in America, Irish writers are paid a one-off fee for delivering a script and then have no control over the film. Most earn between €10,000 and €15,000 a year. “I don’t disagree with Kevin that Irish feature film has been disappointing at the box office,” said Kavanagh. “We’ve got stuck in a strange loop whereby many of the people involved in production [derive] no benefit from the film being successful.”