‘Out There’ wins at LIT & prepares for Cannes

Conor Marren scared to look behind him

Dunsany Productions post apocalyptic horror film Out There has the best industry short filmaward at the LIT Film festival in Limerick. The festival took place during the weekend of the 1113 April.  Randal Plunkett , Lord Dunsany, the director and producer of the film, accepted the award with line producer Alan Byrne during the awards ceremony on Saturday the 13th. The award was for best industry short film and is the second award the film has received in the last few weeks.  The film also received four other nominations by LIT including best director, best camera, best lighting and best drama.

The film stars Conor Marren (True –D) and Irish sensation Emma Eliza Regan (Darkness on the Edge of Town, Love Eternal). The film follows Rob (Marren) who wakes up deep in the woods having receiving a head wound. Not knowing how he got there and suffering from temporary amnesia, he begins to re trace his steps trying to discover what has happened to him and his girlfriend Jane (Regan). His journey through the calm Irish countryside turns out to be far more dangerous then he could have possibly imagined.

Out There was filmed completely on the Dunsany Castle Estate in Co. Meath during the spring of 2012.

Out There whose success continues has just been accepted to play Short Film Corner as part of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, taking place from the 15 26 of May. The film is also to screen at other international film festivals which include Imagine: Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival,  Skopje Film Festival,  Macedonia, Dundee Horror Film Festival,  Scotland, Fright Night Film Fest in Kentucky USA, which is the largest genre festival in mid America . The  film will also Panic Fest in the  USA where it has been nominated for a HATCHET AWARD for best short film.

The trailer for Out There is available on the link below


Official Facebook page



LIT Film Festival to run from 11th-13th April 2013

Limerick Institute of Technology’s Audio Video Department, in conjunction with The Gathering 2013, are delighted to announce the 4th LIT Film Festival to promote video and film production in the mid-west region of Ireland, running from 11th to 13th April 2013.

Following the massive response to the 2012 event, the festival organisers have decided to extend the invitation to our Irish ex-pats to contribute their short films to the competition.  The invitation is also there for those who enter to return to our shores in the spirit of ‘The Gathering 2013’ campaign and enjoy all the festival has to offer including:

  • Professional equipment and industry workshops
  • Film screenings
  • Guest speaker talks and Keynote speeches
  • The now renowned  Short Film Awards Night

As always the Short Film Competition is open to filmmakers of all levels from beginner through to 2nd and 3rd level students as well as professionals. There will be categories for all and a chance for everyone to network and share ideas.

New additional sponsors are joining the festival this time around and we are delighted to announce Canon Ireland and Whelan Cameras Limerick are on board. To start their contribution to the film festival, Canon Ireland and Whelan Cameras will hold a special EOS Camera workshop on October 25th at LIT, details of which will be announced in the coming days.

‘Canon in partnership with Whelan Cameras are proud to announce sponsorship of LIT Film Festival, as part of their continued support of the Visual Arts in Limerick. In addition to sponsoring a prize Canon & Whelan Cameras have confirmed that they will provide an industry professional as guest speaker. Canon & Whelan Cameras look forward to their ongoing support to LIT student filmmakers throughout the upcoming academic year.

As always we are grateful to all our sponsors for their continued support.

The venue will be the Millennium Theatre at Limerick Institute of Technology and the lecturing staff of the Audio and Video Department, as well as the Video and Sound students, will be looking after the running of this three-day event.

More information including entry forms for the short film competition can be found on the website: www.litfilmfestival.net


LIT Film Festival: Acting workshop with Maeve McGrath

Acting workshop with Maeve McGrath

LIT Aula Maxima Theatre

Saturday 28th of April 3pm


This event was a very intense acting workshop with well-known local actress Maeve McGrath whose acting credits include: “Buddy” (IFB Short), “The Normandy Express” (Short ), “Ros na Rún” (TG4), “Mother me Daughter” (ITV), “Cowboys and Angels” (Feature), “Fair City” (RTE), “Radio Waves” (BBC), “Gold in the Streets” (Feature), “Ballykissangel” (BBC), “Last Year” (Show in a Bag-ABSOLUT Fringe), “Tea Set” (Belltable) and “A Woman of no Importance” (Abbey).


Maeve is a founding member of Sidhe Theatre and Film (www.sidhefilm.com), is drama tutor for City of Limerick VEC and also set up a drama school called “Theatreworks” in 2002.


Booking for this session was essential due to the low capacity.  I’m always a little afraid of getting my feet wet at practical sessions like this one, there is always that fear that you will make an eejit of yourself.  The great thing about Maeve is that she never let anyone feel stupid or awkward throughout the session.  She went through each activity with patience giving clear concise instructions to the participants who were of mixed ages.


The session began with some ‘warm-up’ improvisation, I thought ‘here we go, I’m bunched!’ but boy was I wrong. Maeve made everyone feel completely at ease chatting candidly about her career and adding in some amusing anecdotes.  For instance she spoke about the time when she was told to walk into a room and stand in a particular spot.  She forgot where to go and threw out all the other cast members.  She warned that if you are told to stand in one spot you have to stand there every time.  Even if you are moving into the room.


Outlining the differences between working on set to on stage she said movement tends to be more exaggerated on stage but subtlety is what is needed for screen.  When working on a play you get weeks of rehearsal but might only get a script to learn for screen the night before.  You might even get re-writes right on the set, just before you’re due to do the scene.  These tidbits were really helpful.  Most of the participants had some stage experience, so the subtle art of screen seemed a bit daunting.


The second half of the session concentrated on some script work.  This is where we saw where the real talent was.  I begged for a short script and got my way.  It was a scene from EastEnders and needless to say I nailed it!  Other pieces included Sherlock Holmes, EastEnders and other popular television dramas, these scripts can be found on the BBC Writersroom script library webpage – http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/.


Maeve finished the session with some helpful tips such as not changing your hair colour after you send in your head shot as you are being cast for how you look.  This is the first impression casting agents and producers get of you, so you only have one chance to get it right.  Do your research on the role you are pitching for and make sure that you come in prepared.  Always make sure that you are professional on set, no matter whether you’re getting paid or not.  Never be late.


Needless to say it was not my finest hour and there will be no acting agents beating down the door but I had a good laugh and everyone went away smiling and confident, which is what every acting class should be like.


If you want to contact or get further information on Maeve or any of her up and coming courses: http://www.sidhetheatre.webs.com/

Or http://www.sidhefilm.com/


Eleanor McSherry


LIT Film Festival Competition Screenings and Awards Night

Film Competition Screenings

LIT Millennium Theatre

Thursday 26th April 5-8pm and Friday 27th April 3-8pm


Over 90 films were entered into competition at the LIT Film Festival this year, a whopping 50% increase on last year, and screenings  were spread out over two days.  The standard of films on offer this year was very high; therefore it was very difficult to pick who was going to win.


Eleanor”s picks:


Ciarán              Director Diarmuid Hayes (DCU)           approx.20mins

This was a very sweet documentary about a twelve year old boy with ‘severe mental handicap’ and his family.  Most of the documentary is told in voiceover with some sit down interviews with Ciarán’s parents and members of his ‘team’ at St. Michael’s house.  They tell of their fears, joys and the difficulties of bringing up a child with disabilities.  The piece is lovingly put together by someone who really understood their material and their subject.  It is a great little documentary.


Food Art (2d Animation)          Bernard Dowd (LCFE)            approx.4mins

This was a clever 2D animation that was primarily in black and white with notable exceptions.  Although there wasn’t dialogue it was very creative and this guy will do great things in the future.


Walt     Randal Plunkett (Dunsany Productions) approx. 21mins.

This was a well-told tale of the really creepy variety.  I made the mistake of thinking this was a nice little tale of ‘boy helps old hobo-type guy’, boy was I wrong.  It turned out to be more along the lines of ‘auld fella with murder on his mind’.  It was very well shot.  It had a great story-line and an excellently simple script.  Overall a very well executed film.


Nadine’s selection of her favorite films:


John Corcoran’s Shellshock was an outstanding piece of work. A war veteran is haunted by the fact that he killed a child and this could have been prevented if he only just listened to his father and did not go to was in the first place. It would have been a sell out in any cinema.


Denise Drum’s Sisters had a few lighting and sound difficulties but it was one documentary that really would hit home with anyone who has a sister.  It showed that through five generations of sisters, all sisters are a little jealous of the each other.


Brian Dunster’s The Centre of the Universe was a fantasy film where Aisling was summoned to fix the holes in space after applying to a job on the back of a cereal box when she was young. It was technically fantastic but I think it would go down great with a younger audience and possibly make a great kid’s TV show.


One young student from LIT who sent in thirteen films deserves his own special mention and is definitely one to watch out for in future. Stephen Hall’s films spread across a range of categories; music videos, short/shorts and short film and is extremely talented and has a great creative eye.  His pieces were well shot and he used a range of cameras, including DLSRs.  He also is not a bad scriptwriter with snappy dialogue and funny plots.  This guy is one to remember!


Eleanor McSherry and Nadine Walsh

LIT Film Festival Awards Show 2012

LIT Millennium Theatre

Saturday 28th April at 8pm

The 2012 LIT Film Festival’s Award night was a glittering affair held in the Millennium Theatre nestled in the shadow of Thomond Park complete with spotlights outside lighting up the night sky.  Outside the front doors of the theatre a pair of Spin South West pink Mini Coopers welcomed the guests.


The glamorous and beautiful hostess for the night was well-known local DJ Michelle McMahon with musical entertainment provided by Flaithri Neff and Philip Diffley with a piece arranged especially for the festival. Element Picture’s Ed Guiney gave a pre recorded interview giving some great advice for future filmmakers and the was also streamed live on the internet. It is now available to watch here:



The business part of the night of course was the awards and these went to:

Best Camera – Shellshock (DIT)

Best Lighting – Let Her Go (DIT)

Best Sound – The Centre of the Universe (IADT)

Best Editing – Chop Chop (LIT)

Best Acting – All Night Long (Medicine HatFilms)

Best Script – The Road of Souls (Mixed Bag Media)

Best Director – Solaria (DundalkIT)

Best Factual – Ciarán (DCU)

Best Artistic – Food Art (LCFE)

Best Drama – Walt (Dunsany Productions)

Best Industry Film – Bogman (Mixed Bad Media)

Sony Best Overall Film (educational section) – Solaria (Dundalk IT)


The Sony Best Overall Film’s trailer can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qLBEZVIcgo


This year Sony sponsored the prize for the Best Overall Film providing camera equipment with over €12,000 which included the increasingly popular FS 100.


For further information on the festival please check out the festival website: http://litfilmfestival.net/

Eleanor McSherry



LIT Film Festival: Camera Masterclass with Den Lennie

Camera Masterclass Guest Speaker Den Lennie

Millennium Theatre Foyer

Thursday the 26th of April 3pm – 4:30pm

While at the LIT Film Festival director/director of photography Den Lennie held two masterclasses. The first on the Sony NEX-FS100 asking if it was the modern equivalent to the 1960’s super 35mm Bolex in terms of affordable film-making.  The second was on shooting live multi-camera field shoots; here he took us through the ins and outs of shooting Duran Duran’s A Diamond in the Mind: live Manchester Arena gig.

The Manchester Arena is the largest indoor arena in Europe with a capacity of 21,000.  In this masterclass we were taken step by step though the process of shooting in a large-scale venue.  Lennie acted as director of photography during the shoot of this show with Gavin Elder directing and James Tonkin producing. He stated that shooting a music event such as this, which is not being edited live, is a lot different than filming any other outside broadcast.  Trouble-shooting and preparation were his primary roles, discussing the shoot with a 14-camera crew and rigging seven more locked-off cameras to give a 21 camera shoot.  There were many difficulties with patience and clarity of mind aiding in delivering a high quality product when all is said and done.


The shoot was shot on Sony PMW-F3, NEX FS100 and HXR -MC1P.  He discussed how setting up a shoot of this scale would be implemented; first a camera plan was set up to outline where all crew would be positioned, after this all camera operators were briefed on what shots they would be responsible in picking up.


There are many obstacles to overcome when shooting any live event, particularly music events, but even more so one of this scale and magnitude.  Equipment must be checked several times to ensure everything is in perfect working order. Initial camera plans must be made available for management of both the arena and the band, this led to various changes within the shooting plan as the camera set-up locations would not fit in with audience seating plans.  Again Lennie stressed the fact that patience would aid anyone in high pressure situations like this and that panicking would only set back the shoot. Troubleshooting and focusing on the issues at hand will deal minor problems but always remember the end goal, that of producing a high quality music DVD for purchase.


I found this class to be very intriguing. Lennie went on to discuss shooting styles stating that the cinematic quality of the FS3 is what clinched the deal with Eagle Vision to produce the DVD.  The trials and tribulations of producing a live music event are difficult, this I knew from personal experience, but it was interesting to see the enthusiastic response of other audience members as the Q&A session at the end ran way over time.


Cian Hennigar

Find about more about:

Den Lennie on www.fstopacademy.com

Gavin Elder www.heyluke.com

James Tonkin www.hangmanstudios.com


LIT Film Festival: Makeup for Film Workshop with Roisín Derrane

Make-up for Film Workshop with Roisín Derrane

Millennium Green Room

Thursday 26th of April 12pm2pm

If I am honest, I expected to come out of a workshop titled ‘Make-up for TV and Film’ with tips on how to look as good as Cheryl Cole does on X Factor, not like a star of the latest Saw movie.

Roisín Derrane is an expert in the make-up trade and it shows. To name but a few she has worked on film sets such as King Arthur and Eyes Wide Shut, and also worked in London Fashion Week for Mark Jacobs. She glamorises models for numerous Glossy magazines, and even writes columns.

The session started with a demonstration of various bloods, how to make your own and which are the best to buy and where to get them. Then she showed us a grown up version of play–doh: mortician’s wax. This can be used to create bumps, protruding cuts, bullet holes, swelling and black eyes. What was helpful was that some of the items she showed can be home- made which is great for anyone who would like to experiment.

In less than five minutes my hand looked like I had been stabbed. The rest of the group hesitated as Roisín asked someone of they would like to model some wounds on their face. A brave man volunteered and ended up with a very convincing Harry Potter style scar and an open gash on his cheek bone as well as a subtle black eye.  Following that the next reluctant volunteer had a very recent black eye and we were told that bloodshot eyes are achieved by some odd eye drops or contact lenses. The last volunteer opted against gaining a beard so ended up with a very hairy Wolverine style hand. To achieve this, all Roisín did was finely chop some artificial hair and sparingly applied some glue!

She also explained how men have it a lot easier than us girls. A typical male actor needs: a light brushing of powder, a little dab of concealer and just the odd time a little bronzer and they are ready for set.

If you are thinking of getting in on the trend, Roisín warns that you will need to practice at every opportunity. She also says your basic elements are: 1: Morticians Wax 2. Collodial 3. Bloods. I know what I will be doing next Halloween.

When we were leaving I quickly wiped the blood and gore off my hands. I noticed the other causalities were simply walking out the door. I reminded them of their shocking appearances, but they simply laughed and kept walking.

The session was extremely enjoyable and the two hours flew, although a few tips on how to look good on home video would not have gone amiss! It was an excellent opportunity for all those aspiring to make films to get tips on how to make special effects on a budget.

All items mentioned in this article are available to purchase online from www.makeupforever.com

For more information or to contact Roisín check out her website www.makeupu.ie

Nadine Walsh


LIT Film Festival: FCPX Workshop with Mark Griffin and Behind the Scenes Network Event


Final Cut Pro X Workshop with Mark Griffin

Millennium Theatre

Saturday 28th April Awards Day 2pm – 3pm


On April 28th 2012, LIT lecturer and prominent Limerick media producer Mark Griffin held a brief masterclass on the new Final Cut Pro X non-linear video editing package.  There has been a lot of discussion about FCPX, some of which has been negative, Griffin himself stated that when it was initially launched he was apprehensive to make the jump from FCP7, hearing rumours that FCPX was essentially ‘iMovie on steroids’.  However, upon taking the time to sit down with the programme he felt that for small quick turnover projects, such as most online projects, FCPX is perfect.


The next hour was spent taking the audience on a short tour of the package which included launching project files, how and why the interface has changed, and the essential differences from FCP7, while also inviting  audience interaction by inviting them to pose problems they may have encountered on rival editing packages.


While Griffin is clearly well versed in FCPX, traversing the various menus and set ups, I thought the packages looked overly complicated.  I have found with FCP7, and earlier FCP packages, that basic troubleshooting can be accomplished with a little bit of common sense and patience.  FCPX however has a much more complicated look and feel, the initial interface looks clunky and confusing and the more he went into the programme the more difficult it all seemed. Griffin felt that FCPX was very straightforward and if anything troubleshooting on the programme was more clear-cut.  It is possible that from my prospective having taken a few years to get used to the original FCP interface, change has made me apprehensive.


FCPX is still in its formative years, there are many issues that may put off the potential buyer, particularly its penchant for crashing.  FCPX is only on 10.0.4 upgrade release and Griffin recommended possibly holding off until the 10.1.0 version is available, thereby giving Apple time to work out some of the major kinks with the system.  He did, nevertheless, state that in terms of affordability and turning over quick productions for consumption FCPX is a fantastic package and that in years to come this will be the way forward for non-linear editing software.  He also advised that if editors were eager to purchase the programme then they should not abandon their earlier FCP versions instead using them to compliment one another.


This master-class was quite fascinating and I would recommend anyone interested in the package to check out mark-griffin.net and view his online media tutorials and helpful guides. Griffin’s succinct and rhythmic teaching pattern made this class a joy to attend, his Q&A session was quiet candid and in no way swayed towards Apple as the future of non-linear editing packages, thereby leading to a open and honest discussion on various topics. The LIT film festival will surely invite him back in years to come to educate and promote the production industry of the mid-west.

Cian Hennigar 

LIT Film Festival meets Behind the Scenes Network

LIT Millennium Theatre Foyer

Saturday 28th of April 6pm – 7pm


The ‘LIT Film Festival meets Behind the Scenes Network’ was a networking event that offered a perfect opportunity for editors, creative people and filmmakers who work in the local film industry to meet up.  Behind the Scenes is a network of people from the midwest who are working or studying video and film production.  The group was created with the intention of bringing together like minded individuals to study and promote Film and Video Production in the Munster Area.


I have been reporting on its events now for over a year and it has grown in numbers since the first night in the Absolute Hotel over a year ago. The session began with Mark Griffin, network founder, introducing himself and explaining what the network is. Then everyone introduced themselves, explained their film’ experience, spoke about their projects old and new, and aspirations for the future.  There was also a discussion about the up and coming events for the network for the summer and beyond, which are exciting to say the least.

Behind the Scenes Network offers a way of getting crew for a film, discussing your latest project, if you are looking for work in film, learning new skills and it’s also a good way of meeting like minded people.

If you want details about Behind the Scenes Network or if you want to look for film crew in the Mid West their website is: http://behindthescenes.ie/

Eleanor McSherry


Call For Entries: LIT Film Festival deadline Friday, 9th March

Illustration: Adeline Pericart

The 2012 LIT Film Festival will take place from the 26th to 28th of April, inclusive. Over the last two years the festival has grown from strength to strength and its organizers have ambitiously decided to focus the festival on a series of events targeting the future of the industry. This will consist of an exhibition of professional film and industry equipment, workshops run by industry professionals and a film competition. The judging panel will be announced over the next couple of weeks. The end of the festival will culminate in a glittering awards night for the film competition.
Note all entries must be accompanied by an application form, which is available on the Entry Form page on the festival webpage.
This year the special prizes are for the best short film from students of either 2nd Level or 3rd Level institutions. Sony Professional are sponsoring again and the prize details will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Entries from the general public, independent and small production companies are also accepted and there will be details of prizes for this category also released in the coming weeks.
This year’s festival sees extra attention on young film makers and their ability to share their imagination on screen. There will be multiple opportunities to share ideas, listen to professionals, and sample the latest equipment available from top industry manufactures such as Sony Professional as well as Irish distributors including D&P Products.

Final dates for submission for the film competition are this Friday, 9th March.
The following formats are acceptable:
Email: simon.mcguire@LIT.ie
NOTE: The following formats are NOT accepted: VHS and compressed media, (mp4 or other similar files)…due to poor resolution and quality Playback on a projector for the Awards night.


Postal address the submission form and your piece (unless sent by
email) must be sent to:
Simon McGuire

LIT Film Festival Organizer,

Limerick Institute of Technology,




Please contact Eleanor McSherry on 086 0840137 or on elemcsherry@gmail.com  for further information!



LIT FF: Awards Ceremony


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!

Eleanor McSherry


LIT FF: Scriptwriting Workshop & The Behind the Scenes Film Network event

LIT FF: Scriptwriting Workshop
LIT Millennium Theatre
Thursday 14th of April at 5pm

I have the unusual task of reporting on the workshop I gave myself. The workshop took about forty minutes and was on the art of screenwriting. There was a good crowd considering that it was a bright Thursday evening.

The workshop began with a brief outline of my qualifications and experience. I also explained that forty minutes was not enough to cover all the aspects of a script but that it would get people started.

The workshop covered topics like: what is a screenplay, planning a script, how to think visually, script structure, the standard industry script format, some of the pitfalls and details of some of the freeware script packages that are available online.

The session ended with a demonstration of the Celtx online script package which highlighted some of its features and versatility. There was a brief questions and answers session at the end.

Overall the session went really well and everyone asked for the notes to be emailed to them at the end.

Eleanor McSherry

LIT FF: Behind the Scenes Film Network event
Absolute Hotel
Thursday 13th of April, 7pm

This evening’s offering was titled ‘speed networking’. It was hosted by Mark Griffin and Maeve McGrath, both committee members from Behind the Scenes Film Network. There was a good turn out as the workshop began. Maeve and Mark started the session by explaining what the evening was about.

The basic premise was ‘to sell yourself in five minutes’. You could talk about your qualifications,  current project, work or previous work, what you’d hope to do in the future, show a showreel, a powerpoint presentation, trailer, work from notes or just wing it.

It was a good way to practice for a competition interview or when you meet a perspective producer/director/agent. It wasn’t as easy as you’d think! Five minutes mightn’t seem that long but if you haven’t done much it seems like a lifetime. Everyone was refreshingly honest about their work which seemed to be much appreciated.

There was an eclectic mix of talent on show. A rapper/musician, a bunch of independent filmmakers, a media training businessman, an actress/PR/drama teacher/casting expert, a scriptwriter/journalist, media lecturer/film networker and plenty of film students. It all made for a very interesting evening!

Eleanor McSherry


LIT FF: Competition Screenings

LIT Film Festival

Student Film Screenings Day 1

As part of the LIT festival, a number of short films were screened on the afternoon of Wednesday, 13 April in Limerick IT. This was the first day of three with all films featured in competition and the winner will be announced on Friday, 15th April.

The screening lasted two hours and in that short time fourteen short films were shown. Each film offered the audience something different and they were brilliantly written and shot, and were directed, produced, and edited to a high standard. The film Alfred by Triu Suil was something Alfred Hitchcock himself would have been proud of. Its shots reminded me of a number of Hitchcock’s greatest films such as Vertigo and Rear Window. The film DJ by Bray Institute of Further Education reminded me of an episode of Skins, and was very well written and acted.

The film Angel, by Limerick College of Further Education was touching and thought provoking and the short horror film The Elwood Killings by I Cant Productions, reminded me of the film Saw, mixed with The Blair Witch Project and really enjoyed it. The film Forgiven by Bray Institute of Further Education was beautifully shot, excellently acted, and wonderfully directed. I also loved the film Once upon a time in Siberia, by Limerick School of Art and Design which was cute, clever and excellent. A further film by LIT was a tribute to the Irish writer Padraig O’Conaire was an excellently researched, informative, and interesting documentary. One my favourite things about the screenings was the way in which a number of different entries to this festival were mini news reports . These news reports raised important issues in today’s society such as road safety, racism, and the regeneration project in Limerick and presented these topics in an exciting, informative and interesting fashion.

Aoife Danagher

Competition Screenings Day 2

Simon McGuire, LIT Film Festival Chairman, gave a brief introduction to day two’s screening. He just told the audience to enjoy!

This was a real mixed bag of films that not only differed in length and genre but also in quality. The screening consisted of nineteen films,  there were a couple about the police, a bunch of horrors, a documentary, a couple of mockumentaries, one or two on criminality, some great dramas and a group of arty films that were just a bit weird!

Most of the films were made by students but there were also some independent filmmakers in there too. Though I would dearly love to mention all of them I can’t but some do deserve a mention.

The Island (available to view on YouTube here) was made by Fishbowl Youth and was 8 minutes 45 seconds. It was about three young lads setting off in a boat before landing on an island. Yes, you’ve guessed it! All was not well on the island. There were some technical hitches but overall it was quiet a good story and well executed.

Starstruck (also available to view on YouTube here) was made by TwoToe Films Ltd and was 10 minutes 28 seconds. This film was about two aspiring young dancers who were trying to get to a dance competition in Cork. This film was funded by the Filmbase/RTE short script award which gave it a distinct advantage. Though in saying that it had a great simple script, great actors and a talented director/scriptwriter. A very enjoyable film!

Check (Full trailer available to view on YouTube here) was made by Apate Films and it was 16 minutes and 29 seconds. It was a subtle tale about a young man’s psychological torment after his girlfriend’s suicide. It used black and white flashbacks and a weird parallel chess game to illustrate the pain of the main character. This script might need a few tweaks but it was a very clever film.

Last, but not least, my personal favourite  He Waits by 50lb Films which clocks in at 5mins 30 seconds. This was an exceptionally funny mockumentary. If I give you the plot, it will give the whole thing away. Needless to say it had a very subtly funny, unique script that didn’t give up the twist until near the end. It left the whole audience in stitches!

Eleanor McSherry

Competition Screenings Day 3

Due to technical difficulties, the 12.00pm screening of 8 short films at the LIT film festival had to be postponed. However, we did get the chance to watch 2 of the short films made by Steven Boland. The staff kindly provided the facility to screen the films in an alternative room.

Room with a Bay View was the first short film shown. It is a quirky and humorous slasher-horror shot in Kilkee, Co.Clare in late October and early November. It was a very well put together film and in particular the use of light was excellent. Coloured lighting set the tone of each scene and was also used to emphasise particular objects or events taking place in a very effective way.  The ‘serial killer’, played by Peadar Clancy was fun and the innuendo filled humour added to the quirky feel of the movie. All in all, a greatly put together piece that was thoroughly enjoyable. Steven Boland wrote and directed the film, and Philip Greaney co-directed.

The second film was a 40-second animation called Gustav Gets the Ride. It was an adaptation and interpretation of Gustav Kilmt’s ‘The Kiss’. This was also a thoroughly enjoyable piece and the director’s use of After Effects and Photoshop to portray a cool jazz vibe was fantastic.

If Steve’s short films were anything to go by, the other short pieces would have been well worth checking out. However as technical difficulties are part of the business, we were grateful to be given the opportunity to see some of the films!

The other films we didn’t get a chance to see were:

James Skerritt Glass

Ronan Cassidy Rugby A Love Affair

Ronan Cassidy Leslie Carter Irish Muslim

Vadzim Sasnouski Tost Dorcha An Gheimhridh

Kevin Glynn In The Open

Kevin Glynn Express Checkout

Alan McAuliffe


LIT FF: 'The Pipe'

The Pipe

LIT Film Festival

Millennium Theatre, Limerick Institute of Technology
12th April.

As part of the LIT Film Festival in Limerick, there was a special screening of the award-winning documentary The Pipe in the Millennium Theatre in the Limerick Institute of Technology on Tuesday, 12th April. The film, directed by Risteard Ó Domhnaill, documents the conflict between the residents of a tiny village in Rossport Co. Mayo, Shell Oil and the State about the laying of an underwater gas pipe which could potentially ruin the livelihoods of farmers and fishermen.
The film opens with an aerial shot of the West of Ireland which shows the beauty of the unspoilt landscape. The camera hones in on a fisherman – Willie Corduff in his boat talking about the generations of fishermen in his family. This highlights the crux of what is at stake if Shell manages to lay a gas pipe through this idyllic village. A battle of rights ensues.

In 1996 a natural gas source was discovered off the shore of Rossport. The State and Shell Oil decided that the gas could be pumped underwater to a refinery. Initially it promised economic prosperity and new jobs, but at what cost? The residents would effectively be sacrificing nature and its resources for Shell.

However, the residents were not informed of the dire consequences of a natural gas pipe running through their land. Not only was information withheld, but the residents of Rossport were not asked permission concerning the laying of the pipe. This raw, high energy gas pipe would run underground close to the homes of the residents. They were effectively bullied into accepting that the pipe was going to be laid despite their protests against it.

Their human rights, civil rights and safety were at stake. This caused immense frustration and resentments against Shell and the State for allowing this to happen. The fishermen ascertained that their livelihoods and the traditions of the land were at stake because of Shell’s greed for economic wealth, and that there was a constant threat over their jobs. Regardless of the lack of consent by the residents of Rossport, Shell Oil insisted on laying the gas pipe. This inevitably led to protests and numerous arrests for blockading the Shell workers.

Protesters were forcibly removed by brute force by Gardaí with some people receiving a beating by batons. The use of a handheld camera in the middle of the action effectively conveyed the aggressions and tension that was rife during the protest. Five men who continuously stood up for their rights were arrested by Gardaí. They became known as the ‘Rossport Five’. They spent 94 days in Cloverhill Prison for not adhering to a court injunction that allowed Shell workers to enter their land to lay the gas pipe. However their attempts for justice were in vain: the pipeline was laid in 2009 much to the dismay of the residents.

The Pipe is an insightful documentary that delves into conflict, injustice and the struggle to maintain lifelong traditions.

The LIT Film Festival will continue until Friday, 15th when there will be an awards night in the Millennium Theatre, Limerick Institute of Technology.


LIT FF: Media Industry Exhibition

LIT Film Festival Media Industry Exhibition

Moylish Park, Limerick.
Tuesday the 12th of April, 2011 from 10am – 5pm.

In the shadow of Limerick’s Thomond Park, the Limerick Institute of Technology’s Millennium Theatre lends itself perfectly for this kind of media exhibition. The front of the theatre building has fantastic floor to ceiling windows that allow for wonderful natural light to stream into the foyer. There was plenty of room to move around to see everything and it also had the added advantage of access to the college, so students could drop in and peruse the stands at their leisure.

The exhibition was a mixture of commercial, educational and community-based stands. Six different groups exhibited on the day: Big Wave Media Training, D-P Multimedia (Sony), Limerick Institute of Technology, Cork Community Television Ltd., The Institute of Videography and Tyrell CCT.

Eleanor McSherry


LIT FF: The opening of the 2011 LIT Film Festival

LIT Film Festival

Belltable Arts Centre Monday the 11th April at 8pm

The Film Forum in Limerick’s Belltable Arts Centre hosted the opening of the 2011 LIT Film Festival. This was the first session in a jam-packed week.

This session was an unusual, innovative and excellent way to open the festival, as it didn’t actually involve a film per se! It was in fact, a rehearsed reading of part of a feature-length film by independent Mid-West based filmmaker, Dermott Petty.

Dermott opened the proceedings by introducing his film script ‘Time Travel & The Leaving Cert’. He stated that the ‘the script does exactly as it says on the tin’ and he was absolutely right, as it was a film about time travel and the leaving cert.

It was twenty-nine pages in length. The session took about forty minutes. It was broken down into three sections and different parts of the film, which gave a good overview of the plot and narrative. Dermott introduced each section with a brief account of what was coming up in the next piece. The reading featured twelve local actors: Tom Muldowny, Stuart Mackey, Jared Nadin, Eoin Seamus Kelly, Gerr Meaney, Joanne O’Brien, Chris Rowley, Karen Fitzgibbon, Shane O’Brien, Marie Boylan, Maeve McGrath and Stephanie O’Keeffe.

The basic plot, without giving too much away, is that it’s a West of Ireland-based historical comedy about a teenager who’s about to sit the Leaving Cert. He gets thrown to and from the past at the same point in time when he finds a wormhole in a field. He also has other normal teenage issues to deal with, such as; romance, teenage angst, bullying, medieval warriors, battles, a smart mouth and mad parents. As if those issues weren’t enough, he also had to contend with the Leaving Cert. What more could you want!

There was a great Q&A session after the reading with Dermott and the audience. It brought up issues of funding, independent production and its likeness/difference from other time travel movies. Dermott assured the audience that this film would, in its finished form, be an Irish take on the genre and be historically based. He hopes to go into production by the end of the year. Overall it was a great way to start the festival!

Eleanor McSherry


Limerick Institute of Technology 2nd Annual Film Festival

Want a chance to show off that film that’s on your mobile? Or that YouTube movie that you filmed last summer? Or your final year project for college that you sweated buckets over to make? Well Limerick City’s Technical College might just have the Film Festival for you!

In 2010 Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) assistant lecturer and media professional, Simon McGuire realised that there was a need for a film festival for third level students in the Mid West. He wanted to provide a place to showcase new talent. With the current rise in film production courses and with the popularity of websites like YouTube, it seemed like just the ticket.

James Skerritt, Philip Greaney, Hugh Tiernan and Stephen Boland (Winners of Best Overall Film at 1st LIT FILM FESTIVAL 2010)
James Skerritt, Philip Greaney, Hugh Tiernan and Stephen Boland (Winners of Best Overall Film at 1st LIT FILM FESTIVAL 2010)

In its inaugural year (2010) the festival boasted a strong attendance on the day with 20 people attending the Workshops and 120 attending the awards night at the Millennium Theatre. Also there were 223 viewers (approx) online watching the live video stream (using six cameras) on www.litvchannel.net. The judging panel consisted of members of the professional media industry, who represented technical and non-technical areas. They included Matt Kelly and Marion Malone of Matt Kelly Productions and Laura Ryan of the Limerick Co-ordination office. This was excellent for a first run and showed that there was a definite need for this kind of festival in the Mid West.

Last year’s festival was only a one-day event and open to third-level students. This year the festival will be over five days and open to the general public. It will not just be about the film competition either as there will be plenty for those interested in getting into the film industry in Ireland. There will be a variety of talks, workshops, film viewings, an awards night, an industry exhibition and much more, all given by industry professionals. Its founder has great ambitions for the potential of this style of festival and they hope to add much more to its programme over the next couple of years.

Philip Greaney,  Stephen Boland, James Skerrit,  (Winners of Best overall Film ‘ Nos Na Fearatu’) Laura Ryan, Limerick Co-Ordination Office (Judge) and Simon McGuire, Lecturer, LIT, and Film Festival Organiser.
Philip Greaney, Stephen Boland, James Skerrit, (Winners of Best overall Film ‘ Nos Na Fearatu’) Laura Ryan, Limerick Co-Ordination Office (Judge) and Simon McGuire, Lecturer, LIT, and Film Festival Organiser.

The criteria for the film competition is quite open. There is no limit on the length of film. It can be in any genre. The entry form deadline is the 28th of January, with the film entry deadline on the 31st of March 2011. There is also no entry fee. All they ask is that it is on a DVD and can be played easily. So far they have a lot of interested from all over the country.

The festival will take place from the 11th to the 15th of April, 2011 in Limerick Institute of Technology. So don’t just sit there and wonder ‘what if’. Get out and film something, be creative and send it off. You never know!

For further details on entry forms or for exhibiting or sponsorship please contact Simon McGuire on: simon.mcguire@lit.ie or on http://vteditor.wordpress.com/lit-film-festival-2011/

Or find them on Facebook or Twitter under LIT Film Festival.

Photos by Herbert Knowles, Shannon Co.Clare.