School days film makes the cut

A Sligo school’s re-enactment of local life and schooling in the 1930s won it the top prize at a national film competition.

School Days Over was the entry of St Colman’s National School from Ballymote in the FÍS Film Festival and earned pupils and their teachers the accolade as best history short movie but also the top prize, the Aileen Mackeogh Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film Making.

The event in the Helix theatre at Dublin City University (DCU) brought together 24 shortlisted films from schools around the country and each came away with a category prize.

The winners included five Cork and four Kerry schools, including three with Killarney addresses: Lauragh NS for The Magic Box (best production design), Fossa NS for use of location in The Gold Cross of Fossa, and Scoil Réalt na Mara for best action in The Will. The best documentary was Gone FÍS-ing by pupils of Cappabue NS in Kealkil, Co Cork, featuring some underwater shots as they filmed a field trip to collect wildlife from a local pond.

“All creatures were returned safely to Brídín’s pond... but the children had to return to school,” read the closing credits.

For Junior Chefs Ireland, the pupils of Scoil Barra in Ballincollig were named as Junior Film Making winners, while I’m Behind You earned St Peter’s NS in Dungourney the best horror title. A comedy called Jabberwocky won a prize for Scoil Chaitigeirn in Eyeries, Co Cork and Scoil Mhaoilíosa in Upton picked up the best editing award.

It was the ninth year of the FÍS Film Festival and yesterday’s prizes were presented by Sinead Kennedy of RTE, with The Voice star Eoghan McDermott also among the special guests at the event attended by more than 800 people.

The project is run by the Department of Education’s Professional Development Services for Teachers’ Technology in Education to help pupils and staff learn about film and digital media. Third-level students of the Institute of Art Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire also gain experience at organising and running the event.


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