Archive for January 27th, 2009

Low Budget Short-List

27th January 2009

Last week Northern Ireland Screen announced the five projects picked for this year’s Northern Ireland Screen Low Budget Fiction Fund:

  • Honeymoon Hangover – by Cecilia McAllister
  • The George Best Reunion Tour – by Tom Jonstone
  • Wee Buns – by Christine Murphy
  • Keeping Mum – by Deirdre Alexander
  • Outpost Alaska – by Scott Martin

By April one script will be selected to go into production, with a view to completing principal photography by the end of 2009.

This is the third year of Northern Ireland Screen’s low-budget fiction scheme. The first recipient was Peacefire, which just won the Prix Special Du Jury award at the Angers European First Film Festival.

Peacefire Wins

27th January 2009

Northern Ireland Screen reports that Peacefire, a new drama from first time feature writer-director Macdara Vallely, and starring John Travers (Song For a Raggy Boy, Closing the Ring), won the Prix Special Du Jury award at the Angers European First Film Festival.

Peacefire is an adaptation of Vallely’s play, which won the Edinburgh Fringe First Award, and was also shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.

The film was shot entirely in location in Craigavon, Co. Armagh, where Vallely grew up, and it was the first feature funded through Northern Ireland Screen’s low-budget feature fund.

Screenwriting the Future

27th January 2009

De Montfort University in Leicester is hosting a one-day seminar on TV screenwriting on Saturday 7th March 2009 at the Leicester City campus, and the focus will be on Fantastic Writing – science fiction, fantasy and magic: Writing the future, the past and other worlds.

Confirmed guests include James Moran (Doctor Who, Torchwood and Spooks), Phil Ford (Sarah Jane Adventures, Dr Who and Torchwood), Stephen Volk (Afterlife) and Graham Joyce – winner of the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Angus Award and the O Henry short story prize. Graham has also written screenplays for Hollywood studios and is currently commissioned to work on the story line for the computer game DOOM 4.

Stephen Volk created and was lead writer of the award-winning ITV drama series Afterlife starring Lesley Sharp and Andrew Lincoln, called ‘terrific television’ (The Guardian) and ‘Unmissable’ (Mail on Sunday). A BAFTA-winning screenwriter, his TV and movie credits include Ken Russell’s Gothic, Octane, Shockers and the notorious, almost legendary, BBC ‘Halloween hoax’ Ghostwatch.

Event organiser and course leader for the unique MA, Christopher Walker says “This is a rare opportunity for scriptwriters of all levels, from complete beginners through to those who have already had some success in the industry, to hear from industry professionals – there are two keynote speakers and two question and answer panels. Events like this are usually restricted to London so it’s a way of giving opportunities to writers from the East Midlands to meet with industry professionals, network and get inspired to boost their writing careers.”

A place on the course costs £65 per person including lunch, refreshments, and parking, and can be booked via the web site.