‘The Keys’ Screens on RTÉ

Ciaran Flynn in The Keys

Ciaran Flynn in The Keys

Fleeing another family fight, Darren sets out on a journey that will change him forever.

John McDonnell’s The Keys will make its TV debut on RTE 2 tonight Monday, 17th February at 23:30 – 23:45 as part of Shortscreen.

The Keys was funded by Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme.

Director: John McDonnell
Writer: Oran Doyle
Producer: Nuala Carr
Production Company: Seaview Pictures
Running Time: 9mins
Key Cast: Ciaran Flynn, Deborah Davis, Tommy O’Neil
DOP: P.J. Dillon





Filmbase/RTE Short Film ‘The Question’ Finishes Production

‘The Question’ (MPH) credit Alex Brenner

Production has just been completed in London on a new Irish short entitled The Question, a visually stunning and compelling science fiction film directed by Danann Breathnach. Danann’s recent credits include a number of internationally recognised short films such as Irish Film Board funded Team Sleep. This is his first foray into the world of science fiction, and Danann’s eye for stylistic detail in previous productions including a number of high concept music videos, ensures this futuristic drama is an exciting departure for this rising director.


Danann Breathnach previously had a career as a TV presenter and actor for the likes for MTV, Fame Academy and Hollyoaks. The Question features Owen Mc Donnell and Phoebe McIntosh in the lead roles.


The story of The Question is an intriguing one. SHE is a woman with an unknown past, jolted back into life from a cryogenically frozen state by an ambitious doctor intent on pushing the boundaries of creation. SHE has been somewhere for over 100 years, and although the scientists want to erase what few memories have tenuously survived, everyone else hungrily wants to know who she is and where she has been. But does she remember, and should she tell them? Ultimately this film asks whether or not there is life after death and pits science against religion in an ethical battle for identity and freedom.


Cinematography on the film was carried out by Dan Stafford Clarke, and a small team of people led by Beck Rainford and Fiona Allbrow set about the challenging role creating the costumes and visual world of our characters who exist in an imaginative future on a very tight budget. Talent and innovation came to the fore with some stunning results.


Produced by London based Irish filmmaker Mark Downes, and co-produced by Dublin based Anna Rodgers, the film was made by MPH Films in London through the Filmbase/RTE short film award. Danann Breathnach co-wrote the script with talented young writer Jessica O’Toole, and the film spent a year in development allowing the unique world of the main characters to be envisaged. The film is now in post-production and will be premiered later this year.



March deadline announced for the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film funding award scheme


Do you have a great script that needs to be made?  Do you want to take your first major step on a professional filmmaking career? Then apply now for the first round of the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film award scheme 2012! 


The Filmbase/RTÉ short film award scheme is seeking the next generation of Irish filmmakers.  This scheme is a fantastic opportunity for new and emerging filmmakers to get their films made with funding and industry support.  Filmbase and RTÉ will support four short film projects with funding and facilities worth up to €20,000 each in 2012.  The next deadline for the award is 5pm on Friday 30th March; up to two awards will be made in this round.


Short films have long been the proving ground for many professional filmmakers.  To date the Filmbase/RTE Short Film Award scheme has funded over 100 short films.  Filmmakers who have received early career support from the scheme have included Kirsten Sheridan (In America, Disco Pigs, August Rush), John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix), Martina Niland (producer of Once) and 2011 IFTA/Irish Film Board Rising Star nominee Ian Power (The Runway).


Competition for short film funding in Ireland is intense and the Filmbase/RTÉ scheme is one of the few opportunities open to new filmmakers. The emphasis in the Filmbase/RTÉ scheme is on the quality of the creative ideas therefore the initial application only requires entrants to submit a script; production notes are not required until the interview stage.

Anyone interested in applying should check out the Filmbase website at www.filmbase.ie/awards for details on the award.  Make sure to read all of the guidelines thoroughly before applying even if you have applied for the scheme before as updates/changes are made between rounds.  There are also additional resources available from the Filmbase website including notes from readers, a case study of a Filmbase/RTE funded short and more.


Filmbase/RTE Short Film Award Scheme Deadline: 5pm on Friday 30th March 2012 (up to two awards will be made in this round) 



Writing Great Short Films

Filmbase will also be hosting a special masterclass with Karen Lee Streeton Writing Great Short extensive international experience of short films. Using her background in script development, Karen will run an intensive one-day workshop on the fundamentals of good short film writing. Through a mixture of lecture, tutorial, workshop and case study, participants will learn how to write and craft a great short film script that will stand out.  Anyone interested in attending can opt for Friday 9th OR Saturday 10th of March.

Places are limited so book early.



Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award Winners

Filmbase and RTÉ have announced the winners of the first round of the 2009 Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme 2009. This round was the most competitive yet with over 340 applications being submitted, so congratulations to the three winning teams for making it through. All three teams will receive €10,000 along with matching equipment and/or post-production facilities at Filmbase to realize their individual projects.

The winners are as follows:

Cold Turkey, written and to be directed by Gavin Keane with producer Ruth Coady on board from Parallel Films. Cold Turkey concerns the misadventures of a frustrated Foley artist, curious children and petrified poultry.

Cured, an unconventional love story with a meaty twist, was written by Louise Ní Fhiannachta and will be directed by Mary Redmond and produced by Laura Ní Cheallaigh.

Windows, written and to be directed by Ken Walshe, is the story of a local misfit whose attempts to save a beautiful girl from a ruthless criminal ends in tragedy. Windows will be produced by John Wallace of Blacksheep Productions.

Commenting on the round, Jo Schofield, Development Executive at the IPU in RTÉ said ‘It’s fantastic to see the RTÉ/Filmbase short film award go from strength to strength as it continues to support new and emerging filmmakers. This shortlist was particularly impressive this year and I am delighted with the three teams selected in this round. The winning films promise a range of talent and diversity and I look forward to seeing the final results.’

Alan Fitzpatrick, Filmbase MD added ‘Filmbase is delighted to see such a hunger for short filmmaking and is keen to see more new talent come to the fore in the rounds to come. We’re extremely proud that this scheme has continued to support the development of filmmakers’ careers at such a crucial stage and are delighted to say that the latest batch of shorts to come through the scheme are already clocking up festival screenings at home and abroad. We expect the latest three shorts to continue this trend in the coming year.’

The next round of the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme is the June round and the deadline is fast approaching. All applicants to the scheme must submit their script to Filmbase by Friday 26th of June to be in with a chance to compete for this highly coveted award. Click here for more details and to download the application form or contact clare@filmbase.ie


Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Awards Advice from Alan Fitzpatrick


Alan Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Filmbase, sits on the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Awards panel, where twice a year 3 short scripts are chosen to receive funding of €10,000 each plus matching facilities from Filmbase. Ahead of the next application deadline of Friday 26th June, Alan gives an overview of the scheme, the application procedure, the process of whittling the applications down to a short list of 10 and some advice should you reach the short list interview stage.

For more details on the scheme click here


Play Podcast




Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award 2009

Filmbase is calling on all emerging filmmakers to apply for the January round of the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme. Aspiring and seasoned scriptwriters, producers and directors can apply for this award which will fund up to three new short films from a total fund of €30,000 (an additional production and post-production facilities package is also offered to each production team as part of the award). Applications for the award will be accepted from Friday 16th of January. All applications for the award must be at Filmbase by the deadline, which is 5 pm Friday 30th January.

Ireland’s longest running short film award scheme, the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award aims to uncover new talent and encourage a fresh approach to filmmaking. This award is suitable for those looking to break into the Irish film industry or for those more experienced filmmakers who may be looking to develop a new approach to their craft. The award is not suitable for full-time students; however, recent film graduates are welcome to apply. Over the last two decades numerous films have been made under the scheme, many of which have screened and won awards at film festivals both nationally and internationally.

For more info, or to download the application form, click here or contact Clare at Filmbase by email on admin@filmbase.ie or phone 01 679 6716.