Short Film of the Week: Watch ‘New Boy’ by Steph Green



After her success at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh, winning the Best Irish Feature Award for her film Run & Jump; here’s a chance to catch Steph Green’s Oscar-nominated short New Boy,which won Best Narrative Short at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar.

Based on a short story by Roddy Doyle this poignant and comedic short film deftly captures the experience of being the new boy in school through the eyes of Joseph, a nine-year-old African boy.

New Boy was produced as part of the Short Cuts scheme

DIRECTOR: Steph Green
SCRIPT: Steph Green based on a story by Roddy Doyle
PRODUCER: Tamara Anghie
MAIN CAST: Olutunji Ebun-Cole; Norma Sheahan, Simon O’Driscoll, Fionn O’Shea, Sinead Maguire



‘Oscar’ Screens at NewFilmmakers NY Winter Festival

Aoife Naughton’s short documentary Oscar has been accepted to screen at the NewFilmmakers NY Winter Festival on 16th January  at the Anthology film archive in the East Village, NYC.

The short film follows a day in the life of a small dog who waits on a pier all day for his minder to return.


Irish Documentary on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church Shortlisted for an Oscar®

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God has been shortlisted for an Oscar® in the Best Documentary Feature category. Alex Gibney’s gripping documentary  exposes the abuse of power in the Catholic Church and a cover-up that winds its way from the row houses of Milwaukee Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland’s churches all the way to the highest office of the Vatican.

The final 2013 Oscar nominations will be announced on 10th January.


‘The Shore’ wins Oscar® for Best Live Action Short Film

The Shore’s writer/director Terry George and producer Oorlagh George (Picture: Getty Images)

Terry George’s The Shore won the Oscar® for Best Live Action Short Film last night at the 84th Annual Academy Awards®.

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said, ‘This is a fantastic achievement by our local film industry. It is wonderful that local talent and hard work is being recognised on the global stage. The reputation of the Creative Industries in Ireland continues to grow and there is certainly much to be celebrated as we approach Creativity Month in March. This month will be an opportunity to highlight events and organisations that contribute to this growing vibrant section of our economy.’

The Shore is the inspiring story of two boyhood best friends – Joe (Ciarán Hinds) and Paddy (Conleth Hill) – divided by 25 years of misunderstanding. Their world and their friendship is shattered by the conflict escalating in Northern Ireland, the two boys’ lives take very different paths until, 25 years later, Joe returns for the first time to his homeland with his 24-year-old daughter, Patricia. In his absence Paddy, his best friend, has married Joe’s former fiancée Mary. What happened all those years ago? Can old wounds be healed? The answer is in equal parts hilarious and moving.



Oscar® Winners

Best cinematography

Robert Richardson, Hugo

Best art direction

Best costume design

The Artist

Best make up

The Iron Lady

Best foreign language film

A Separation

Best actress in a supporting role

Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best film editing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best sound editing


Best sound mixing


Best documentary feature


Best animated film


Best visual effects


Best actor in a supporting role

Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best original score

Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Best song

Man or Muppet, The Muppets

Best adapted screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash, The Descendants
Best original screenplay

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best live action short

The Shore
Best documentary short

Saving Face
Best animated short

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

Best director

Michel Hazavanicius, The Artist

Best actor in a leading role

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best actress in a leading role

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best picture

The Artist


Irish co-production Silent Sonata gets Oscar® nod

Silent Sonata

Co-producedby Fastnet Films Silent Sonata has been submitted as Slovenia’s 2012 Foreign Language Oscar® submission.

The film, directed by Janez Burger, was partially filmed in Co Mayo, and include Conor Barry,Morgan Bushe and Macdara Kelleher among its producers. Staragara are the Slovenian producers.


Oscar Winner to speak at Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival in Kerry

World famous Chaplin experts, Kevin Brownlow and David Robinson have been added to the line up for the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival, which takes place in August, in the picturesque Kerry village of Waterville, Co.Kerry.

Academy Award Winner

One of the experts, Kevin Brownlow, is a filmmaker, film historian, television documentary-maker, author, and Academy Award recipient. Brownlow is best known for his work documenting the history of the silent era. He became interested in silent film at the age of eleven. This interest grew into a career spent documenting and restoring film. He has rescued many silent films and their history. His initiative in interviewing many largely forgotten, elderly film pioneers in the 1960s and 1970s preserved a legacy of cinema. Brownlow received an Academy Honorary Award at the 2nd Annual Govenors Awards given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on 13th November 2010.

Official Biographer of Chaplin

Another speaker of note at the festival is David Robinson who is a British film critic and author. His books include ’Hollywood in the Twenties’ (1968) and ’World Cinema’ (1973), but he is probably best-known as the official biographer of Charlie Chaplin. ‘Chaplin: His Life and Art’, first published in 1985, and revised for subsequent editions in 1992 and 2001, is regarded as the definitive book on the subject, and Robinson has become a sort of unofficial spokesman for Chaplin in the media in recent years.

Oonagh Chaplin allowed David Robinson to examine their personal archives in Switzerland, and he makes good use of this access in his meticulous descriptions of the movies that created the legend, including ‘City Lights’ and ‘Modern Times’.

‘It is an absolute privilege and an honour to have such renowned experts speaking on Chaplin at this years festival. Both Mr. Brownlow and Mr. Robinson will provide excellent insight into Chaplin’s life and work’ said Festival Director Marita Hitmiangsong.

Waterville, the Kerry seaside village that Charlie Chaplin loved, is holding this festival, with the patronage of his daughter Josephine Chaplin, to honour the life and work of the master comedian and filmmaker, whose legacy remains both relevant and influential to comedy today. The aim of the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival is to quickly become an international fixture that will bring a smile to Kerry, Ireland and the World. With his courage and pioneering spirit, Chaplin brought laughter to millions of people through the medium of film, in very dark times. The organisers hope that the film-makers of today will follow in Charlie’s illustrious footsteps by showcasing their comedy films at the festival.

The full programme has been announced and can be seen on the festival website

This four day celebration is packed with really creative events including premiéres, film screenings, parades, talks, work-shops, street entertainment, the Film Awards Ceremony, trips to UNESCO World Heritage site The Skelligs, Gala Ball, the Tramps’ Ball, 1920′s themed parties, Chaplin films, and much more. The festival includes some truly unique venues and events, being provided in partnership with entertainers who are true Chaplin admirers. One notable venue is Fossett’s Circus Big Top which will host many of the events throughout the festival.  Some of the highlights are the screening of the Circus in the Big Top and Chaplin -The Waterville Picture, the story of Chaplin’s discovery of Waterville and his subsequent love affair with the area.

For more information on the festival, check out


Red Carpet Narcissus

Red Carpet Narcissus

Illustration By Adeline Pericart

Recognition rather than reward should be the mandate of award ceremonies.

Recently the Golden Globes Awards hit the headlines for Ricky Gervais’ comedy stylings rather than for the celebration of film. And damn right… An unlikeable man at the best of times, his uncouth personal attacks on the lives of the rich and famous, and pampered VIPs raised proceedings a fraction above the usual mind-numbing self-congratulatory glorification of dressed-up performing monkeys pleasuring each other with vomit-inducing overblown praise.

The ghost of Narcissus imbues the room as celebrity after celebrity struts about the auditorium with the smug look of the beautiful who have fallen in love with their own image reflected on screen. It calls to mind Bob Dylan’s ‘License to Kill’: ‘Now he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool/And when he sees his reflection, he’s fulfilled.’

The annual Oscar® nominations have been paraded before us with this year’s ceremony being presented by James Franco and Anne Hathaway. We’re surely guaranteed a night of witless buffoonery to match the insincere theatrics of manufactured gloss, grinning synthetic automatons and the congregated rabble of Stepford husbands and wives – all which reminds you of the Groucho Marx gag of refusing to join any club that would have him as a member.

So rather than hand out awards to overpaid celebrities who pay migrant workers to come to their houses and choke them in erotic asphyxiation sex-games, such opportunities should be used to focus the spotlight on emerging talent – those films that studios and conservative film distributors refuse to risk screening and instead ply our omniplexes with the latest and safest Hollywood product. Rather than reward, what these ceremonies should be doing is acknowledging work being done that is worthy of recognition and needs the oxygen of publicity.

This is where the IFTAs (Irish Film & TV Awards) have a vital role to play. If, by recognising the performance of Darren Healy in Brendan Muldowney’s excellent but underseen Savage, the 2010 nomination made more people aware of the film, put one more backside on a cinema seat or sells one more DVD it has done its job. However, to attempt to force-feed the torturous drip of the already over-publicised The Tourist to anyone by claiming it’s one of the best films of the year is akin to hailing Herod as Best Babysitter of the year (40 bc).

So the IFTAs, despite being our own mini-version of the ceremonial misbegotten flaunting of bogus trinkets, provides a stage to recognise and push achievements on a cinemagoing public who may otherwise not hear of certain Irish films. This year’s nominated films include some excellent work such as As If I Am Not There and The Runway. Carmel Winters’ Snap was criminally overlooked in Best Film and Best Director categories but picked up a nomination in the Actress in a Supporting Role category for Eileen Walsh’s fine performance. These are films that deserve to break out from their successful festival screenings and be seen by a wider audience in omniplexes around the country.

For the past few years it has been the documentary category that has provided the strongest fare. And at a time when Irish documentary is so strong we need to get word out there of such fine work as Burma Soldier, Pyjama Girls, The Pipe and What We Leave in Our Wake. And the IFTAs also provide a great platform to support the talent at work in short film.

The IFTAs’ role is to recognise and promote quality Irish films (our own productions and European co-productions) so that people will then have access to them through distribution and exhibition in cinemas across Ireland. While production in Ireland is getting stronger, distribution continues to be a problem for Irish filmmakers. Certain counties are fortunate enough to have cinemas that give people access to a broader range of film, but, for the most part, Ireland’s cinemas are a world that all too often ignores Irish film (along with contemporary world cinema, classic, art-house and independent cinema). The publicity the IFTAs garner should be used to push forward upcoming Irish films that have been tried and tested on the festival circuit and in this way can fulfil an industrial purpose by acting as a launching pad for quality Irish films to find a wider (and hungry) audience.

By recognising the achievements of certain films and certain people the IFTAs in some way achieves what should be their most important goal – that of promoting Irish film. Let’s promote the best we have to offer, let’s get them into our cinemas and let’s go and watch them.

So roll on The Oscars® 2011 and ignore the stars and celebrity hokum. We’re there to support The Crush, an Irish film most people outside the industry and festival circuit had never heard of until its nomination. And that’s what award ceremonies should be all about…

Steven Galvin

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