Archive for January, 2009

Belfast Book Festival

30th January 2009 by Maura McHugh

The first Belfast Book Festival (February 24 – March 1 2009) has announced its programme, which will include over 30 events at venues across the city, including the Linen Hall and Central libraries, and will be opened by Booker Prize winner John Banville.

The festival will feature readings, talks, open mics, discussions, films, and workshops on a variety of topics and themes about creative writing.

Belfast Book Festival director David Lewis said: ‘The Belfast Book Festival is for everyone who reads and enjoys books, and we are delighted with the roll call of writers and artists who are set to feature in this, our inaugural year.

‘We want to destroy any stuffy stereotypes. That’s why Hot Press writer Peter Murphy, former NME editor Stuart Bailie and Ulster music legend Terri Hooley will be reading rock writing at the Oh Yeah Centre. And any budding poets out there will be given a rare opportunity to attend a masterclass with Claire KilroyCiaran Carson, director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry.’

Other unusual events include bilingual workshops for children in Irish and Ulster Scots with writer and illustrator Stephen Hall, a debate on historical fiction, a Dead Poets’ Society with recordings of writers from beyond the grave and a tour of Bairds printers in Antrim.

Libraries and arts organisations across Northern Ireland, including the Linen Hall Library, CultureNorthernIreland.org, the Verbal Arts Centre and the Belfast Education and Library Board, have joined forces to create the new festival.

‘By working together we can have a major impact next year and in the years to come,’ Lewis added. ‘The Belfast Book Festival will reflect Belfast’s growing international reputation in the field of literature and our exuberant contemporary writing scene.’

Playwright Loses Court Battle

30th January 2009 by Maura McHugh

The Stage reports that a case taken by Irish playwright Gerard Mannix Flynn against the Dublin Theatre Festival, alleging breach of contract, was dismissed by Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Irish Circuit Civil Court.

Flynn was suing for €38,000 in damages, claiming the Dublin Theatre Festival reneged on an agreement to include one of his productions in its 50th anniversary programme in 2007. Judge Linnane awarded costs against Mr Flynn, and said she was satisfied he had failed to prove the existence of the verbal contract he claimed to have made.

Flynn said later he will appeal the decision to the Irish High Court.

NI Screen Skills

29th January 2009 by Maura McHugh

Northern Ireland Screen (NIS) is open for applications for its 30-week Screen Skills development programme, which begins in March 2009.

It’s a paid placement scheme (minimum wage), and participants will gain experience on NIS funded projects as well as within independent television production companies.

Participants will be mentored by former Northern Ireland Screen trainees who are now established freelance crew members working in the UK film and television sector. They will also be given an individual Training Needs Analysis and attend short courses run by Skillset accredited organisations.

The programme will provide training opportunities for 6 junior freelancers who have had at least one year’s experience at runner level.

Only legal resident of the UK can apply. The deadline for receipt of entries is Friday 20 February 2009, and application forms can be downloaded from the web site.

JDIFF 09 Lineup

28th January 2009 by Maura McHugh

The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival announced its programme for this year’s festival, and tickets are now on sale via their web site and box office. The festival will open with Oscar-nominated ‘Doubt’ as well as a variety of Irish features including ‘Dorothy Mills’, ‘The Daisy Chain’, and the recent winner at Sundance: ‘Five Minutes of Heaven’.

Other big international films to screen include the Cannes-winning ‘The Class’ as part of the French Gala Event, the Swedish ‘Everlasting Moments’, ‘Two Lovers’ starring Gwyneth Palthrow and Joaquin Phoenix, and the film adaptation of the best selling book ‘Marley and Me’.

Other Irish films will also feature including the IFTA-nominated psychological thriller ‘Dorothy’, the teenage drama ‘Cherrybomb’, Ivan Kavanagh’s ‘Our Wonderful Home’, ‘Eamon’ by Margaret Corkery, and the Desperate Optimists-produced feature ‘Helen’.

Director John Crowley will have two of his latest films screen – ‘Is There Anybody There?’ starring Michael Caine and the BAFTA-winning ‘Boy A’, There will also be a 50th Anniversary screening of documentary maker George Morrison’s ‘Mise Éire’.

Irish feature documentaries to screen include ‘Stone Pastures’, ‘A Song for Dad’ and ‘Liam Clancy Live at the Bitter End’. There will be a range of Irish short films from the Short Cuts, Frameworks, Lasair, and Oscailt schemes on showcase also.

The premiere of Cartoon Saloon’s animated feature ‘The Secret of Kells’ will close the festival on Sunday 22nd February.

Other events include the inaugural Jameson Film Experience, which is themed around graphic novels: British actor Clive Owen (Sin City) will be interviewed onstage by Mark Dinning, Editor of Empire magazine.

There will also be the Creative Cinema Panel Discussion, and a public discussion with screenwriter / journalist / novelist Frederic Raphael.

Storyland 10

28th January 2009 by Maura McHugh

RTÉ has announced the ten finalists of its Storyland project:

Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
By Thomas Martin & Steven Byrne
Screenworks

Morbid & Sons
By Patrick Kavanagh, idea Nicholas Kavanagh
Moocow productions

Hardy Bucks
By Martin Maloney & Chris Tordoff
Hardy Productions

Happy Slapper
By Gary Duggan
Screenworks

Sullybags
By Patrick O’Driscoll
Vico Pictures & Sound Ltd

Chez Spuds
By Pat McCabe & Johnny Ferguson
Igloo Films

Psych Ward
By Luke & Sam McManus
Blinder Films

What Does Joe Know?
By Eoin Rogers
FastNet Films

Rental Boys
By Gemma Creagh
Mixed Bag Media

Running Low
By Diarmuid O’Brien
Happy Endings Productions

The competition kicks off on Friday 13th March when all 10 episodes will be online, and up for a vote. Voting closes on Friday 27th March, and only nine projects will go forward to make the next episode.