Leading Film Industry Luminaries Confirmed For Foyle Film Festival Conference



Foyle Film Festival will welcome acclaimed directors Jon S. Baird (Filth) and Damien O’Donnell (East is East) to Derry on Friday 20th November as part of its ‘From Shorts to Features’ industry conference.

The award-winning filmmakers will be interviewed about their recent work, career to date, and their successful transition from shorts to feature films. The free one-day conference will be held in the Nerve Centre.

Baird’s first short film, It’s A Casual Life, led him landing a role as associate producer on the feature film, Green Street (2005), starring Elijah Wood and Charlie Hunnam. His directorial debut feature, which he also wrote and produced, was the highly acclaimed Cass (2008). His second feature Filth (2013), based on the best selling novel by Irvine Welsh and starred James McAvoy, won numerous awards and played at several international film festivals. Filth is now in the top ten highest grossing UK 18 certificates of all time.

He has recently just returned from New York where he directed an episode of the Martin Scorsese produced HBO show Vinyl, and next year will direct Stan and Ollie; a feature film about the comedy legends Laurel and Hardy, for BBC Films and The Weinstein Company.

O’Donnell will also take part in a Q&A about his full-circle career in shorts and features. His highly acclaimed short film Thirty Five Aside, won more than 30 awards worldwide. Five years later in 2000, his first feature film, East is East won the Prix Media at Cannes and a BAFTA for Best British Film in 2000. He also won the Empire Award for Best Newcomer in the same year and received a British Independent Film Awards nomination.

He has just completed a new short film, How Was Your Day? which will screen as part of the Festival’s Oscar® affiliated Light in Motion Awards competition.

In the afternoon a panel will explore how filmmakers can use digital media to bring their work to a global online audience. Panellists include Debs Paterson (pictured), director and writer, known for Supraman and the School of Necessity (2008), We Are All Rwandans (2008) and Africa United (2010) and Martin Gooch, who has directed more than 20 short films and his second feature film The Search for Simon in 2012 premiered at the BFI Sci-Fi London Film Festival, winning several awards.

Throughout the day there will be opportunities for filmmakers to make contacts and network with their peers.

In the evening conference attendees will have the opportunity to attend, either a special screening of Blood Rising, a documentary detailing artist Brian Maguire’s portraiture and activism in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, or a panel discussion with screenwriting duo Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry (Good Vibrations) and producer Mark McCauley on the adaptation process of turning a novel into a screenplay.

The Foyle Film Festival is the only Oscar® affiliated festival in Northern Ireland and, in addition to the conference, will offer an exciting programme of in-competition documentaries, short films and animations from across the world. The 2015 winners will be announced on the Closing Night at Brunswick Moviebowl.

Foyle Film Festival is a flagship project of the Nerve Centre, funded by DCAL through Northern Ireland Screen and by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Registration for Foyle Film Festival’s free CONF15 ‘From Shorts to Features’, is now open. Visit www.foylefilmfestival.org for further information on the conference and to download the full Festival programme, which will run from November 18 – 22.


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