PIC: Director Elijah Egan, winner of the Best Film Award for First Kiss
Ellen Murray reports from March on Film Festival, which highlights Ireland’s burgeoning filmmakers.
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and if the March on Film competition proves anything, it’s that nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a deadline.
The concept behind the competition is simple; aspiring filmmakers, young and old alike, are given the month of March to create a short film between 3-6 minutes in length. To ensure that the finished work was made specifically for the competition, the filmmakers must all incorporate one prop (a candle), one line of dialogue (“Say that again?”), and one character name (Andy Connolly) chosen by the event’s organisers into their films. Rather than limiting, however, the diverse execution of these requirements in each film highlight that, in filmmaking, the director’s individual vision can be everything.
The screening of the top ten finalists’ films last Sunday acted as a showcase of everything the Irish film industry could be – certainly, if anything is lacking, it’s not talent! From comedy to horror, every genre was explored. After a few initial technical glitches, the night was kicked off with a screening of the hilarious ghost-hunter mockumentary Ghostly Truths from the Ectoplasm team (“We are not orifices for your pleasure!” may be one of the most memorable lines I’ve heard in a film this year).
The bar was set high from the get go, and while each film did undoubtedly vary in quality, the skill and thoughtfulness each team brought to their prospective work was clear. Other standout films of the night included Team Gibson Karate’s Tapped – with its clever plot and engaging dialogue it snagged the award for best screenplay and won third place overall in the competition.
Sir Paul Coolcat Productions’ mind-bendingly intelligent Creativity Requires Courage also swept the awards, with director Diarmuid Hayes scooping up the Best Director and Best Editing honours, plus sharing the Best Production award with fellow teammate Sarah B Wicker. Utilising different filmmaking techniques, such as animation, this is a work with many layers. Both Hayes and his film are ones to watch.
The Best Film Award ultimately belonged to the Seven Figure Films team and their powerful piece First Kiss, directed by Elijah Egan. A perfect blend of grit and emotion, plus a great soundtrack, this film shows that a talented director doesn’t need a big budget or an extended deadline to tell a good story.
Festival founders and organisers Kristian O’Neill and Julie Hannon have created an event that shows off the potential this country has to create a strong and vibrant film industry. The main thing to get excited about- this is only the beginning.
The March On Film Finalists Screening and Awards Ceremony took place at The Sugar Club on 10th May 2015