Eleanor McSherry reprots from the 2nd LIT Film Festival Awards Ceremony 2011, which took place in the Millennium Theatre in Limerick at 8pm the 15th of April.
It was a beautiful sunny evening on the North-side of Limerick City. Nestled in the shadow of Thomond Park, the Millennium Theatre was all aglow in anticipation of the Awards Ceremony for the LIT Film Festival 2011. The foyer of the theatre was jam-packed with nervous competitors and local dignitaries waiting patiently. It was not long before the theatre doors opened and we all flooded in.
The evening began with Simon McGuire, Chairman of the LIT Film Festival, introducing our host for the ceremony, the glamorous Michelle McMahon of Spin South West Radio. Michelle thanked Simon for asking her to host the event. She then outlined the short but successful history of the festival, now in its second year. She complimented all involved in making the festival such a success and thanked all the filmmakers for participating. Finishing by thanking all of us for coming, she invited Limerick City’s deputy mayor Cormac Hurley to the stage to open the proceedings. He also congratulated everyone involved and gave a personal acknowledgement to Simon McGuire, chairman of the festival for his enthusiasm and drive. He closed by thanking Simon for the invite and announced the evening open.
There were twelve categories in all, which were presented by members of staff from Limerick Institute of Technology, Limerick College of Further Education, Patrick Hogan of Limerick City VEC, yours truly and local celebrity Francis Ryan (Concy Ryan of RTÉ’s Storyland fame). There were brief screenings of all the shortlisted nominees before each award was announced.
The screenings were only interrupted for two musical interludes. The first featured Flaithrí Neff (musician, composer and lecturer at LIT), who played a beautiful haunting piece that had a contemporary twist on a traditional Irish air. The second was a five piece band called ‘The Fighters’ who played two very upbeat rock songs.
The award winners were:
Best Camera Forgiven
Best Lighting Dead Air
Best Sound Walsh
Best Editing Alfred
Best Script He Waits
Best Acting Freebound
Best Director Police/Cops
Best Factual Programme/ENG Video Leslie Carter Irish Muslim
Best Artistic Video Once upon a time in Siberia
Best Drama Video Starstruck
The head of the School of Science Engineering and Information Technology at LIT, Daithi Sims B.Sc. (Hons), F.T.C., E.E.P gave a short speech before he announced a special adjudicators award. He stated that he gave permission for the festival as he had faith that it would be professionally executed. He hoped that this festival, in conjunction with the college courses on offer in the city, would allow for Limerick to become a centre of excellence for Film in Ireland. He applauded his hard-working staff and paid tribute to their dedication and commitment. He gave special mention to Simon McGuire (LIT/LIT Film Festival Chairman) and Peter Diffley (LIT). He finished by complimenting all of the LIT staff, who made the festival such a success.
The Special Adjudicators award was for a film that the adjudicators felt had that extra element, an x-factor and this went to: Dark Water Silence.
The last award was presented by the host Michelle McMahon. Best Overall Film: In the Open
Michelle closed the film by inviting all who attended to the after-festival party.
Overall the week was very enjoyable. There were some great films and new talent on show. The workshops were very different and a must for any independent filmmaker or student hoping to work in film in the region. I can’t wait to see what they have on offer for next year!