On Winning a ZeBBie: Antoin Beag Ó Colla

28th April 2015 by Maura McHugh

A native of Donegal, Antoin won his first ZeBBie award in 2014 for his short film Rúbaí, snagging honors for Best Short Film Script.

‘Winning the ZeBBie to me was huge, at the time Rúbaí was my only project and at the time I was working in Penneys in Galway,’ Antoin said. ‘In fact, on the day of the ZeBBies I was up at half five in the morning to do a half six to three shift, I then went home, showered, changed and straight up to Dublin for the ZeBBies at about seven or eight.

‘It was really overwhelming to be in this room with a bunch of really great working writers. I felt quite intimidated, and like I was going to be found out at any moment for being an impostor.’

Antoin’s Irish-language production focuses on 8-year-old Rúbaí’s refusal to fast in preparation for her First Holy Communion. A self-pronounced atheist, Rúbaí faces intolerance from all around, engaging in philosophical and religious debate and falling prey to emotional blackmail. The film leaves viewers questioning the perceived “modern” Irish culture.

‘The ZeBBie has given me a confidence that I haven’t had before,’ Antoin said. ‘When people ask me what I do, I used to say I work in a shop, but since the ZeBBies I now say proudly that I’m a writer.

‘When I’m doubting myself as a writer and wanting to take a risk in my scripts, I do see the ZeBBie and it just makes me say to myself “go for it.” Just trust your instincts and go for it.’

Aside from the ZeBBie, Rúbaí also received honors as the Best First Short Drama at the Galway Film Fleadh along with Best of Drama and Best of Festival awards at the Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival.

Since his ZeBBie win, Antoin has taken a position in the script department at Red Rock, pitching story ideas and characters and creating a shadow episode soon. Additionally, he is developing his own show for TG4: the world’s first Irish-language sex comedy. Six months in the making, Antoin is hoping to make it back to screen soon.

Write a Comment