‘Fading Away’ Premieres @ Cork Film Festival

3 Fading Away Antonia Campbell Hughes

Fading Away is set to premiere at the Cork Film Festival (6 – 15 November 2015) on Saturday, 14th November. The film was made as part of the MSc. Digital Feature Film Production at Filmbase, which places an emphasis on practical filmmaking to prepare students for a future in film production.

Fading Away is described as a “psychological horror”, telling the story of Leila, the fearsome front-woman of a struggling rock band who has a diehard belief that her music will change the world. After meeting a mysterious mentor she inadvertently wishes the iconic album ‘Golden Boy’, from the band Double Eagle, out of existence, leaving the music hers for the taking. As she struggles with her music, band and new love, her supernatural mentor proves to be a darker force than she realised.

The successfully crowd-funded film stars Antonia Campbell-Hughes with Kate Stanely Brennan, Emma-Eliza Regan and Mark Huberman, with music by Irish band The Minutes.

The film is directed by Edwina Casey, David Johnston, Lisa Winstanley and produced by Dave Minogue, Grace Coughlan and Andrew Loughran.


Fading Away screens 14th November at 20:45 at the Gate Cinema / Book Now

View the full programme for Cork Film Festival 2015. View the digital brochure here.




‘Monged’ Completes Shooting


Monged wrapped principal photography on the 5th May after a 19-day shooting schedule in nearly two dozen Dublin City Centre locations. Directed by Brian Quinn, David Prendeville and Rory Mullen, the film has an extensive cast of up-and-coming young actors, as well as some well known faces.

Monged takes place over one drug-fuelled weekend in Dublin and stars Graham Earley, John Connors and Rex Ryan in the leading roles of Dave, Bernard and Ray – three mismatched friends. Dave owes a debt to pyschotic drug dealer Corkfella (Joe Rooney) to the chagrin of his loving girlfriend Samantha (Aoibhin Garrihy), while Ray is a failed musician turned radio DJ who finds out that his girlfriend Linda (Clare Dunne) is pregnant in the middle of his seemingly endless struggle with his sexuality. Bernard, meanwhile, is the socially awkward office worker with no friends and no clue how to talk to girls until he meets Nadia (Alicja Ayres). After meeting at a house party, these three very different guys enjoy a comically riotous weekend cocktail of narcotics, alcohol and heavy partying – with trouble and crazy situations facing them at every turn.

Based on the play of the same name by Gary Duggan (RTE’s Amber), with a screenplay penned by Barry Dignam, Monged is produced by the students on the MSc Digital Feature Film Production course at Filmbase.


‘How To Be Happy’ Screening at Cork Film Festival

how to be happy

Filmbase’s MSc Digital Feature Film Production film How To Be Happy has been selected for the 58th Cork Film Festival.

The feature screens on Friday, 15th November at 7.30pm.

Brian Gleeson (Love/Hate) stars as Cormac Kavanagh who, after a bad breakup, starts sleeping with his clients in a misguided attempt to reignite their passions. Things get complicated when he falls for Flor, played by Gemma-Leah Devereux (Stitches, The Tudors), a private investigator charged with investigating his affairs. Meanwhile, his cousin Al, played by Stephen Mullan, is an accountant with a marriage in crisis who tries to get Cormac back together with his ex-wife. In a twisting comedy of misunderstandings, their worlds will come crashing together before they all learn How to be Happy.

Further details can be found on the Cork Film Festival website http://www.corkfilmfest.org/2013/festival-events/happy/

Further details on the MSc programme can be found at:


Cinema Review: What Richard Did

DIR: Lenny Abrahamson • WRI: Malcolm Campbell • PRO: Ed Guiney • DOP: David Grennan • ED: Nathan Nugent • DES: Stephanie Clerkin • Cast: Jack Reynor, Roisin Murphy, Sam Keeley, Gavin Drea


Although director Lenny Abrahamson is keen to stress that What Richard Did is separate from the Brian Murphy / Annabel’s case, it’s impossible to watch this without acknowledging it in some manner. There are simply too many similarities between the two to be ignored. That said, the film doesn’t comment on the case or the social / class issues that the case raised in Irish society. What Richard Did is a study of pressure and consequence. The titular character, Richard (Jack Reynor), is the atypical Celtic Tiger cub. He’s young, affluent and attends a private school in South Dublin. However, as the film progresses, it’s slowly revealed that Richard is not as happy as he initially seems. Constantly held up as the example and alpha of his peers, the conditioning that is worked on him begins to take its toll on him. As he begins a relationship with Lara (Roisin Murphy) that sees his teammate Conor (Sam Keeley) edged out, the film’s emotional content comes to the fore and culminates in a violent encounter outside a house party.


Abrahamson’s direction is muted and stable. There are no cinematic flourishes; here, the cinematography matches the mood of each individual scene. When Richard is withdrawn and sullen, the colours drop to a dull, familiar grey and pulled over curtains. As well as this, the dialogue is both authentic and economical. Malcolm Campbell’s script cleverly leaves out the characters’ thoughts and emotions in dialogue, instead allowing the actors to portray them using their own means. In particular, one scene involving Richard finally cracking from the tension is riveting to watch. Screaming wordlessly and pounding like a maniac, Reynor’s performance is unsettling and difficult to watch, but is also entirely believable. Supporting Reynor is Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen who plays his father, Peter. Mikkelsen’s measured tones and glacial exterior hint at someone who’s dealt with emotional issues like what Richard is going through – though not to his extent.


Overall, What Richard Did is a powerful drama that doesn’t cast judgement on individuals or society as a whole. It simply tells the story of a young man and his attempts to cope with unbearable pressure. The film’s pacing is slow and, at times, it can seem like the story isn’t moving forward – instead focusing on an individual mood or scene. However, nothing feels superfluous or unnecessary – it’s more that the point or thrust of a scene is being hammered home when it doesn’t need to be. It’s a minor complaint in an otherwise exceptional film. Both Reynor and Abrahamson have marked themselves out as singular talents; this is Reynor’s first lead role and will go on to impress again. Likewise, Abrahamson continues to lead the pack in Irish cinema and will undoubtedly move beyond our shores to become a force to be reckoned with.


Brian Lloyd

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)

What Richard Did is released on 5th October 2012

What Richard Did   –  Official Website


MSc Feature Film ‘Keys to the City’ to receive World Premiere at Galway Film Fleadh

Next month a feature film produced by the students on the MSc Digital Feature Film Production course at Filmbase will receive its world premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh. The course was launched in September 2011 and the film, Keys to the City, is the first feature to be produced under the supervision of the course which is a collaboration between Filmbase in Dublin and Staffordshire University in the UK.

With a cast that includes Rory Keenan (The Guard), Conor Mullen (Holby City), Una Kavanagh (Garage), Natalia Kostrzewa (The Looking Glass) and David Murray (King of the Travellers), it was a hugely challenging endeavour and provides a film for our times with characters struggling to survive in a recession-era Dublin.

Eoin (Conor Mullen) is a businessman who can no longer pay the bills or the mortgage, Paul (Rory Keenan) is a landlord with the banks breathing down his neck and Monika (Natalia Kostrzewa) is a Polish cleaner whose minimum wage job is under threat. All three are struggling for survival and forced to increasingly desperate actions in the hope of keeping their lives and families together. Through separate, but interlinked stories their choices will affect their own lives as well as each others.

To complete the film, students collaborated with established Irish film directors Conor Horgan (One Hundred Mornings), Conor McDermottroe (SwanSong) and James Fair (Watching and Waiting) to write the scripts and producer John Wallace (Dollhouse, Rewind) who mentored the production.

The students were in charge of directing, producing, shooting and crewing the film. Laura Way, best known as an actress with credits including The Clinic and Silence was one of the directors chosen for the project. ‘We made the film as part of a course but we always wanted it to be seen by audiences and judged as a film. It was incredible to have so many established filmmakers, actors and crew willing to help out which adds hugely to the production of the film. We were delighted when it was chosen to screen at the Galway Film Fleadh, which has a great reputation as an industry festival, and now we hope that audiences respond to the work we’ve done.’

The MSc course was established in Ireland last year by Filmbase, in association with Staffordshire University to respond to the identified need to prepare filmmakers for the reality of producing feature films in new digital formats. The success of Irish films including One Hundred Mornings, and Rewind (IFTA Winner Amy Huberman, Best Actress) which were made as part of the Catalyst Project, promoted by Filmbase in association with the Irish Film Board, had proven that creative Irish filmmakers could make successful films in digital formats on low budgets. Building on the opportunities offered by this radical change in model, the MSc course was designed to equip film students with both creative and technological skills for future roles in digital film production and the creative industries.

Further information on the screening can be found here

Further information on the MSc course can be found here www.filmmasters.ie


Filmbase and Staffordshire University Launch MSc Digital Feature Film Production

(James Fair in centre with Kate O’Toole on the right)

Filmbase, in association with Staffordshire University, is proud to announce the Irish launch of an industry-facing Masters-level course aimed at preparing filmmakers for the reality of writing, developing, pitching, producing, shooting, editing, posting and distributing feature films in digital formats.


Digital techniques have removed many of the barriers between traditional film, video and computer systems, creating new platforms for digital production. Recent Irish successes such as the IFTA winning One Hundred Mornings and Rewind, produced through the Irish Film Board and Filmbase sponsored Catalyst Project scheme, have proven that creative filmmakers can produce original and distinctive work at much lower budgets than traditionally possible. Building on the opportunities offered by this radical change in model, this innovative course equips film students with both creative and technological skills for future roles in digital film production and the creative industries.

James Fair, Course Leader and Lecturer in Film Technology at Staffordshire University, states “We see it as developing a pathway for existing and aspiring filmmakers to get their skills accredited and recognised at an advanced postgraduate level while still fully engaging in the practice of filmmaking. If we are going to be serious about filmmaking we need to be making films, not just reading about them”.

Alan Fitzpatrick from Filmbase adds “We are delighted at the industry response to this course. Everyone felt there was a need for something like this to happen and right across the board support for the programme, both here and internationally, has been exceptional. Motivated students will really benefit from the industry connections supporting the programme.”

The course will run for one year full-time from Filmbase. Optional modules will also take place throughout the year in London and in Berlin during the European Film Market.

In addition to the one year full-time course for new filmmakers, a limited number of industry places are available for filmmakers who have already completed feature film work. In such circumstances, professional filmmakers can apply to have their existing work validated and may earn the MSc qualification on completion of a supervised thesis and academic modules.

Filmmakers interested in applying for the course can find more details on www.filmmasters.ie