Junior Category Screening Programme Award Ceremony
Thursday the 31st of March, 10.00am – 2.00pm at the Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick.
There was a great atmosphere at the junior category awards screening on Thursday morning. It began promptly at 10am with Chiarda Tobin, Fresh’s Young Film Makers Advocate, introducing the screening. She took control of the crowd immediately by getting them to give themselves a big round of applause before going onto explain that these awards were for the under twelve’s category of the competition. This category consisted of films made by groups and a small minority were by individuals. Chiarda finished by stressing how amazed the committee were by the talent of the entries and that there were also some international films mixed in with the competitors. These international films were not in competition here but were there to inspire.
The first session consisted of twelve films and were of a great mix of themes such as vampires, murder, aliens, racism, the recession, a donkey, faith, a docudrama and even a pineapple love story.
There were a couple in the group that deserve special mention; Countdown and Mouse.
Countdown was made by the 5th and 6th class, Patrickswell NS in Limerick and was 6 minutes 30 seconds. The film used popular culture to explore what the recession means to one unlucky family. It was a very clever idea that used the Countdown theme and nifty graphics to show how a family manages its budget over a month. It covers themes such as moneylenders, bills and how a family’s expenses can spiral out of control. A very apt piece in light of what’s happening today!
The second film is Mouse. It was made by Hal Warner-Clayton from Kilkenny and was 1 minute long and was a Lego animation. This was one of three films he entered and was his best offering. Its story is that a man finds a mouse and tries to catch it in a variety of far-fetched ways. It was well made and thought-out. What was amazing about this piece is that it was produced solely by one individual.
Gauging the audience after this session the money was on Mouse to win!
There was a short break and then straight into the next session. This screening consisted of fifteen films. There were films as Gaeilge, a couple of plasticine animations (or Claymations), horrors, murders, robberies and one docudrama. A couple that deserve a mention are; Go Sona Sásta, Feirm Factor and The Waterbirds.
Go Sona Sásta, bhí déanta aige ag na páistí ar ‘Inis Arcain’ scoil náisiúnta ó Chorcaigh. Ba é seo an scannán amháin sa Ghaeilge. Bhí sé ina scéal an-mhaith faoi groom drogall roimh a bainise. Bhí sé an-greannmhar agus tógtha go maith. Bhí sé iontach a fheiceáil scannán gaeilge.
Feirm Factor was made by 6th class in Balinadee National School in Cork. This is a plasticine animation and is about a bunch of farm animals competing for Feirm Factor and the prize of a new tractor. It was very funny, very well done, a bit gross and contained some great scenes. What was especially good was the fact that the judges in the piece were Barrack O’Bama, Simon Fowl and Gráinne Show-off. Really enjoyable!
The Waterbirds was made by Tiernan, Erin, Sedhna, Lara and the Puppet Portal Project from Westmeath. It was 1 minute 19 seconds and is about the different birds who visit a waterhole in South Africa. It featured original soundscape and was a lovely piece of shadow puppetery. It was very tranquil and transported the audience to South Africa. Very well done!
The last session consisted of seven films. By this time the young audience was getting restless. Chiarda explained that we would go straight into the prize giving after the screenings. This last grouping had films about murder, Star Wars, spring, magic, Dublin Zoo and two foreign films. The couple that deserve a mention are: Area 51 Where’s Rex and Dublin Zoo Number 2.
Area 51 Where’s Rex was made by Oisín Gogerty, Ben and Jack McKeon from Limerick. It was 4 minutes 18 seconds and was a Lego animation, intercut with graphics and subtitles. Area 51 is a military base, constantly under attack. Commander Cody and Captain Rex are sent to help, but they get more than they bargained for. This was a great action packed story and contained a lot of work and the boys must be commended for it.
Dublin Zoo Number2 was made by James Matthews, Ethan Doran and Young Irish Film Makers from Kilkenny. It was 5 minutes 10 seconds and told the story of how a little girl goes to visit Dublin Zoo but finds some strange people who are acting like animals. It was a well executed piece and cleverly used language to add a nice element to the story. The soundtrack gave a good sinsiter tone to the piece. It also contained a good twist at the end and was very well done.
Chiarda introduced Jayne Foley the Festival’s artistic director to start the awards ceremony. Jayne told the young competitors that while not everyone got an award it was the taking part that mattered before going on to thank all the festival’s sponsors, film partners and her own committee. She was thrilled to announce that over 2,000 films had been entered into the competition and that all were of an excellent quality. She explained that some of the Irish films that competed would be entered into international film competitions, some from last year had been in the Berlin Festival for example. All children would receive a certificate for their efforts. She finished by introducing Ivan Minnock, from TRTÉ’s Elev8 to present the awards.
Commendations: Go Sona Sásta – SN Inish Arcain, Cork.
Radarc Award: The First Rose – 5th Class Scoil Eoin, Kerry (Presented by Peter Dunn Radarc).
First Prize: Spring, Mouse and The Messenger Bag Caper – Hal Warner-Clayton.
Second Prize: Fatman – 5th Class Our Lady of Good Counsel BNS, Drimnagh, Dublin.
Third Prize: Upside-Down Town – Ethan Doran and Young Irish Film Makers, Kilkenny.
Overall it was obvious from the beginning that some films got more help than others. This however was not a problem. Chiarda explained that for the competition committee the most important thing was that all the stories were written, acted and driven by the children. They were being judged more on the overall package and less on production values. It was a place for the children to show off how great their imaginations were so every piece had an equal chance of winning.
It was a great experience to see such great innovation and talent coming from young Irish people. I would advise any child who is interested in film to get started now, to get their piece together for next year!