Archive for January, 2010

IFB Awards

21st January 2010 by Maura McHugh

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has announced the latest teams selected for the third round of Signatures and Reality Bites projects.

Signatures is a short film scheme for the making of live-action fiction films that act as a proving-ground for Irish creative talents. It is an opportunity for producers, directors and writers to work in a professional environment that will allow them to further their experience.

We received 108 applications and following a very competitive selection process the following five teams of filmmakers have been awarded funding for their project.

  • “Pentecost”, to be written and directed by Peter McDonald and produced by Eimear O’Kane for EMU Productions.
  • “This Is A Test”, to be written by Eoin Rogers, directed by Ruairí Robinson and produced by Nick Ryan for Image Now Films.
  • “The Christening”, to be written and directed by Oonagh Kearney and produced by Rachel Lysaght for Underground Films.
  • “Shoe”, to be written and directed by Nick Kelly and produced by Seamus Byrne for Zanita Films.
  • “Crossing Salween”, to be written and directed by Brian O’Malley and produced by Gary Moore.

The Reality Bites scheme aims to encourage experimentation and a fresh approach to short non-fiction filmmaking, focusing on the use of the documentary form.

Over 40 applications were submitted for this scheme and the successful four projects are as follows.

  • “Collaboration Horizontale”, to be written and directed by Ciaran Cassidy and produced by Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films.
  • “Blue Rinse”, to be written and directed by Matt Leigh and produced by Nodlag Houlihan.
  • “Needle Exchange”, to be written and directed by Colm Quinn and produced by Andrew Freedman for Venom Films.
  • “How Can I Play With What I Cannot Hear?”, to be written and directed by Hilary Fennell and produced by Martha O’Neill.

The Signatures and Reality Bites shorts will be premiere at the Cork Film Festival.

Blackburn Prize Nominees

20th January 2010 by Maura McHugh reported yesterday that the short-list for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has been announced.

This international award is given each year to a woman who has written an outstanding new work for the English-speaking theatre.

The ten nominees are:

  • The Aliens by Annie Baker (U.S.)
  • The Language Archive by Julia Cho (U.S.)
  • This by Melissa James Gibson (U.S.)
  • it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now. by Lucy Kirkwood (U.K.)
  • The Shipment by Young Jean Lee (U.S.)
  • The Nature of Love by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (U.K.)
  • East of Berlin by Hannah Moscovitch (Canada)
  • The Swallowing Dark by Lizzie Nunnery (U.K.)
  • Enron by Lucy Prebble (U.K.)
  • Strandline by Abbie Spallen (Ireland)

The 2010 Blackburn Prize will be marked with a ceremony in New York in early March, honouring all finalists. The winner will be awarded $20,000, and will also receive a signed and numbered print by renowned artist Willem De Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. A Special Commendation of $5,000 may be given at the discretion of the judges, and each of the other finalists receives $1,000.

GFC Short Film Award

20th January 2010 by Maura McHugh

The Galway Film Centre invites applications for the 2010 RTÉ/GFC Short Film Award. The award will be given to the best original script for a short drama. Designed to promote filmmaking throughout the regions, the scheme, funded by RTÉ, is open to filmmakers from all over Ireland. The winner will receive a production fund of €9,500 as well as the use of facilities from the Galway Film Centre. The winning film will be screened twice by RTÉ.

Only one script per applicant is acceptable so please submit your strongest choice and all applicants must be members of the Galway Film Centre.

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday 26th February, 2010.

For further information and an application form contact the Galway Film Centre on 091 770 748 or email

Irish Theatre Awards Nominees

19th January 2010 by Maura McHugh

The nominations for the Irish Theatre Awards were announced in The Irish Times at the weekend.

The entire list is on the web site, and here is the Best New Play category:

  • Barry McKinley: For Elysium Nevada produced by Bewleys Cafe Theatre
  • Michael West: For Freefall, produced by Corn Exchange Theatre
  • Richard Dormer: For The Gentlemen’s Tea-drinking Society, by Richard Dormer produced by Ransom Theatre Productions
  • Manchán Magan: For Broken Croí/Heart Briste, produced by Manchán Magan

Awards Weekend

18th January 2010 by Maura McHugh

The awards season kicked off properly this weekend in the USA.

On Friday the Critics’ Choice Awards were announced, and here are the two screenwriting categories:


Winner: Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds


  • Mark Boal – The Hurt Locker
  • Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – A Serious Man
  • Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber – (500) Days Of Summer
  • Bob Peterson, Peter Docter – Up
  • Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds


Winner: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner – Up In The Air


  • Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach – Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell – District 9
  • Geoffrey Fletcher – Precious
  • Tom Ford, David Scearce – A Single Man
  • Nick Hornby – An Education
  • Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner – Up In The Air

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan also won the award for Best Young Actor or Actress for her performance in The Lovely Bones.

Last night the winners of the Golden Globes were broadcast. The lone screenwriting category was:


Winner: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner – Up In The Air


  • Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell – District 9
  • Mark Boal – The Hurt Locker
  • Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds
  • Nancy Meyers – It’s Complicated
  • Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner – Up In The Air