Irish Film Board to help young filmmakers

A new film course aims to scout new talent and award funding of €750,000 to three filmmakers.

A new film course aims to scout new talent and award funding of €750,000 to three filmmakers.

The catalystproject is inviting people to apply for an intensive two-weekend seminar in April after which the winners will be selected in September.

The Irish Film Board said the three winning projects, which will each receive €250,000, will be selected for their freshness, talent, conviction and originality.

The initiative has high-level support from the Irish Film Board, FAS Screen Training Ireland, Filmbase, The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, TV3 and the Arts Council.

Irish Film Board chief Simon Perry said: “The workshops are designed to give Irish filmmakers the knowledge and the tools needed to make a real piece of cinema with limited resources.”

The seminar will train filmmakers in the art of low-budget filmmaking and will be mentored by award-winning producer Christine Vachon (Boy’s Don’t Cry, Infamous, Far From Heaven) and renowned producer and consultant Bruce Block (As Good as it Gets, The Holiday, What Women Want) .

The initiative comes on the back of recent low-budget successes like John Carney’s Once, which won the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance film Festival last month.

Adam and Paul won an IFTA gong for Best Director and was also honoured at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival.

Another movie about a Traveller family, Pavee Lackeen premiered in Critics Week at the Venice Film Festival, also in 2005.

Filmbase spokesman Seamus Duggan added: "Because the funding is stand-alone, the projects are freed from the conventional considerations of the marketplace“.

TV3, which will screen the successful films, has been a long-time supporter of Irish films like Watermelon, The Mighty Celt, Honeymooners and the The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

Artistic director of catalystproject, Liz Gill said: “The catalyst project is a unique training opportunity for writers, directors and producers, in which they get intimate contact with international and Irish low-budget practitioners, and the potential opportunity to make a feature film.

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