Archive for March, 2010

Shorts Shorts Deadline

31st March 2010 by Maura McHugh

Bord Scannán na hÉireann / The Irish Film Board has announced a call for submissions for the next round of the Short Shorts scheme. The new deadline for the scheme is Friday May 7th.

The Short Shorts scheme has funding for up to seven, 3-5 minute films and aims to encourage the making of very short films that are innovative, provocative or in some way risky and rule-breaking. A unique feature of the scheme is that the films must now conform to a particular genre or theme chosen for each year. In 2008, Short Shorts had to be musicals; in 2009, they had to be films with no dialogue.

This year’s Short Shorts, whether live action or animated, must adhere to and explore a theme, which is: Ireland, I Love You or Grá mo chroí í Eire.

Short Shorts generally have better access than longer shorts to commercial distribution. Equally, if this year’s crop is especially rich, the common theme may allow BSÉ/IFB to package the films together for screening in a wider choice of situations so that their international exposure is enhanced. The portmanteau films Paris, je t’aime and New York, I Love You have proved to be festival favourites.

We hope the collection of films made under this year’s Short Shorts scheme will run the gamut of love in contemporary Ireland – and love for Ireland. Love declared, love unrequited, love lost, love reawakened, love misunderstood, love tormented, love ecstatic. Love of someone, or something, or somewhere.

Films may be made in Irish or English with Irish applications being actively encouraged.

Information on the application process is on the web site.

Adaptation Course

30th March 2010 by Maura McHugh

The éQuinoxe Germany International Screenwriters Workshops aim to get the best possible result out of strong stories with an inherent cultural identity, and enable talented screenwriters to learn from the best in the business.

In April 2010, éQuinoxe Germany brings its International Screenwriters Workshop to Connemara, and FÁS Screen Training Ireland, in association with MEDIA Desk Ireland and MEDIA Antenna Galway, is delighted to support two local industry Masterclasses as part of the éQuinoxe Germany programme.

One course is Adaptation OR Anatomy of a Screenplay, and takes place on the 25th April 2010 in the Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin.

Course Profile:
In this screenwriting masterclass, award-winning Australian screenwriter and playwright Andrew Bovell will discuss his writing process, and deconstruct his screenplay for “Lantana”. Bovell will also discuss his San Sebastian award-winning screenplay “Blessed”, and thriller “Edge of Darkness”.

The masterclass will begin with a screening of “Lantana”, and will cover the following:

• The writing process
• Structure
• Narrative Shape
• Principles of adaptation
• Unconventional and conventional script structures.

The masterclass is free, the application deadline is Tuesday 13th April 2010, and applications are processed online.

Deconstructing Dracula

29th March 2010 by Maura McHugh

The éQuinoxe Germany International Screenwriters Workshops aim to get the best possible result out of strong stories with an inherent cultural identity, and enable talented screenwriters to learn from the best in the business.

In April 2010, éQuinoxe Germany brings its International Screenwriters Workshop to Connemara, and FÁS Screen Training Ireland, in association with MEDIA Desk Ireland and MEDIA Antenna Galway, is delighted to support two local industry Masterclasses as part of the éQuinoxe Germany programme.

One course is called “Deconstructing Dracula”, and will take place on the 16th of April, 2010 in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway.

Course Profile:
This masterclass will explore how award-winning screenwriter Jim Hart adapted “Dracula” for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s horror classic.

Following the screening of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, Hart will deconstruct the structure and introduce his “Hart Chart”, a tool for optimizing script structure, and explain how he came to develop it after working with Francis Ford Coppola.

• Getting to the heart of the source material
• Idea to screen – how to stay true to the core of the idea
• Structure and Character

The masterclass is free, the deadline for applications is Tuesday 13th April 2010, and applications are processed online.

WTD: US Message

27th March 2010 by Maura McHugh

Here is the US Message by playwright Lynn Nottage for World Theatre Day:

It’s been said that the role of an artist is to keep their eyes open, when everyone else’s are shut.

It’s a beautiful and simple sentiment. We are cultural watchdogs. We stand at attention, observing and reacting. We excavate, uncover, interpret and unravel. We protect tradition and shape new ones. We look inward…and then outward to find ways to better understand our selves.

We live in a world that has become increasingly interconnected through the ascendancy of new media, yet paradoxically more fractured by racism, religion, politics and economics. Our venerated financial institutions are crumbling and petty partisan fights paralyze our governments. Our insatiable need for oil and precious minerals fuel deadly armed conflicts in places like Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Poverty and suffering have become givens in a world of abundance, and women continue to fight for basic human rights and dignity in most countries. Hate, not love, fuel religious revolutions, poisoning generations of young men and women merely searching for meaning. We look for solutions in the recycling bins, and turn on the television to drown out our woes. This is our world, shaped by our own design, chaotic and unruly, yet beautiful and infinitely fascinating.

As artists and global citizens, the world continues to demand our attention, and as such we must be intrepid explorers, daring to venture into uncomfortable zones to unearth difficult truths. We must be unafraid to look honestly at the human condition and try to come to terms with its contradictions and flaws. That means approaching our work not as journalists, but as fabulators, storytellers, breaking rules to help reimagine the world. We must be truthful, while spinning yarns. It is the paradox of our creative process that gives us access to places we dare not go in our everyday lives. It emboldens us to ask difficult questions about war, race, religion, poverty, love and hatred.

Theatre is a place where we can collectively share our laughter, shed our tears and loudly demonstrate our joy or frustration. Theatre has the incredible capacity to be soul healing; it allows both the audience and artist to purge toxins and exorcise collective demons.

I challenge all of us to sustain the complexity of our world; to invite a multitude of diverse voices onto the stage. We must open the doors and windows of our theatres to let the world in. It is our responsibility; it is our burden and our gift.

We are fabulators….we are cultural watchdogs.

WTD: International Message

27th March 2010 by Maura McHugh

Here is the International Message by Dame Judi Dench for World Theatre Day:

World Theatre Day is an opportunity to celebrate Theatre in all its myriad forms. Theatre is a source of entertainment and inspiration and has the ability to unify the many diverse cultures and peoples that exist throughout the world. But theatre is more than that and also provides opportunities to educate and inform.

Theatre is performed throughout the world and not always in a traditional theatre setting. Performances can occur in a small village in Africa, next to a mountain in Armenia, on a tiny island in the Pacific. All it needs is a space and an audience. Theatre has the ability to make us smile, to make us cry, but should also make us think and reflect.

Theatre comes about through team work. Actors are the people who are seen, but there is an amazing set of people who are not seen. They are equally as important as the actors and their differing and specialist skills make it possible for a production to take place. They too must share in any triumphs and successes that may hopefully occur.

March 27 is always the official World Theatre Day. In many ways every day should be considered a theatre day, as we have a responsibility to continue the tradition to entertain, to educate and to enlighten our audiences, without whom we couldn’t exist.