10th Clones Film Festival Preview – 26th-30th October

(In Sunshine or In Shadow)

The 10th Clones Film Festival will take place from 26-30 October. As part of our 10th birthday celebrations we’ll be pushing the boat out with an action-packed programme featuring new Irish & international cinema releases, interviews, documentaries, kid’s films, short films and nightly festival club with live music.
Opening Night
On opening night, Wednesday, 26th October at 8.30pm in the Lennard Arms Hotel, re-live the excitement that engulfed Clones one hot summer’s night when Barry McGuigan won the world featherweight boxing title in 1985 (In Sunshine or in Shadow) and meet the man himself when he officially opens this year’s festival. Enjoy our wine & cheese 10th birthday party and help us celebrate into the wee hours with Clara Rose in our festival club. Admission is free and all are welcome. Please come early to guarantee a seat as we expect this to be a full-house event.

Pat McCabe and Paddy Treacy in Conversation
Other highlights include a walk down memory lane on Thursday, 27th Oct in the Lennard Arms with honorary patron Pat McCabe, who will interview Paddy Treacy, retired projectionist at the once-upon-a-time elegant Luxor Cinema Clones, followed by a screening of the first ever film shown on the big screen in Clones I See a Dark Stranger.
Horslips Legend to screen new feature
A Kiss for Jed Wood, the latest feature written by Horslips Legend, Barry Devlin, will be screened on Friday 28 October in the Cinemobile, followed by an interview with Barry himself. Later, Barry will take to the stage of the Lennard Ballroom with a bunch of his well-known friends – Johnny Fean, Paddy Goodwin, some Holy Ghosts and who knows who else! Were you there in February..? Not to be missed.

Closing Night – The Francies Awards

Last but not least, the festival will wind down with our closing night awards ceremony, on Sunday, 30th October in the Lennard Arms, where the winners of our 48 hour short film challenge will compete to take home a coveted ‘Francie’ award. This is a not-to-be-missed, packed-out affair every year, so book your seats now by calling the Lennard on 047-51075.


Don’t miss…

Other confirmed titles on the programme this year are Submarine, The Runway, Of Gods and Men, Senna, As If I Am Not There, Charlie Casanova and Biutiful. Full programme details will be available to download shortly on www.clonesfilmfestival.com.

In addition, a host of documentaries, kids’ films and short films awaits you in the Cinemobile, Lennard Arms and restored Clones Courthouse for cinema-lovers of all ages over the 5 days of CFF as well as many live music events in our CFF Festival Club. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more details. Once again, we extend our thanks to Clones Credit Union, SuperValu Clones and Scanbitz Truck Parts as well as our many local business sponsors who help us out generously every year.

Another date for your diary: don’t forget that, to kick start the birthday celebrations, we will host our birthday party on Thursday, 20th October in Clones Library at 7.30pm. This will be a night of fun, nostalgia (looking back on 10 years of CFF in our exhibition) and refreshments (including birthday cake!). We hope to see you there.


Issue 134 – The Best Medicine


Everyone enjoys a good laugh. It’s one of life’s simplest pleasures, and yet complex and unique in its manifestation. Laughter is, unquestionably, good for the soul and, as the man once said, a cure for every sorrow. On a quest to enlighten the masses, the great and the good of comedy writing gathered for the second instalment of BSÉ/IFB’s Give Me Direction. Shane Kennedy reports from this year’s Give Me Direction comedy screenwriting conference.

Curated by Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & Paul, Garage), Sharon Horgan (Pulling, Angelo’s) and Pat McCabe (Breakfast on Pluto, The Butcher Boy), the convention attracted a stellar line up of comedy writers, featuring, amongst others, Bobby Farrelly (Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary) and Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain (Peep Show, Four Lions). Little wonder, then, that hordes of comedy lovers and aspiring comedy scriptwriters descended on The Merrion and Cineworld for a two-day, comedy love-in.

Farrelly funny

So, let us get down to business. How does one write good comedy? First up was Bobby Farrelly. The Farrelly brothers’ success story has a distinctly American ring to it. With Dumb & Dumber, the brothers’ debut feature, the acquisition of the soon-to-be very, very hot property Jim Carrey proved to be pivotal in their success story. Dumb luck, indeed. When pressed on the brothers’ source of inspiration, observation and life experience are very much to the fore. ‘When my brother and I were growing up, we were always drawn to the unusual characters. We embraced those guys. We thought, “there is comedy here”. The black sheep is always funnier than one hundred white sheep.’

In terms of the comedy that Farrelly has produced, his writing partnership with Peter is very much key. Writing five pages every day, the brothers have a methodical approach to this part of the process. ‘Don’t force it’ is the message. Their writing process has a quirky idiosyncrasy – the brothers themselves do not know where the narrative is going. ‘We don’t know in advance what the story will be. It can’t be too linear, the audience can’t be able to second-guess what is going to happen.’ The ability to balance narrative against laughs is central to any comedy success, and the Farrellys have their own technique for cramming in mini laughing orgies without interrupting the flow of the storyline: the montage. ‘It allows us to take a break from the story. Take the audience on a little trip. It provides a release from the narrative, and the crowd go with it. It works,’ adds Farrelly.
A further tip in terms of technique is the element of surprise. Citing the introduction of the black father of Cameron Diaz’ WASP princess in There’s Something About Mary as an example, it underlines the fact that good comedy need not be complicated. Just find that funny bone and tickle it. Interestingly, Farrelly is the first to admit that the brothers’ gags can only go so far. Without an experienced and skilful crew, their vision won’t ever make it onto the big screen. ‘I mean, we’re not camera guys. We just make sure we can get the best DOP we can find.’ Even the best need help, it seems.

Fooling around

Next up is the Los Angeles-based Nicole Holofcener, best known for talky, urban comedies such as Walking and Talking and, screened during the convention, Please Give. Holofcener’s is a gentler and more nuanced comedy, something of a departure from the Farrellys’ slapstick romps. Her stories are very much character-based, with the narrative driving the comedy, never vice versa. ‘I try to derive comedy out of characters. Catherine Keener’s (the female lead in Please Give) character is comedic because she is a fool.’ Holofcener is not afraid to engage in a spot of navel-gazing in her quest for inspiration. ‘And I love writing fools – I am the first fool I am writing about. And if you can laugh at yourself, I think you should.’

The full article is printed in Film Ireland magazine, Issue 134.


Give Me Direction Screenwriting Conference

Bord Scannan na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board has announced three guest curators as part of the Give Me Direction Screenwriting Conference 2010. The programme consists of a day and half of public interviews, debates, screenings and readings, on the topic of comedy in filmmaking.

Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & Paul, Garage, Prosperity), Sharon Horgan (Pulling, Angelo’s), and Pat McCabe (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto) will select some of the people they think are funny and smart who will in turn talk about and screen some of the things that they think are funny and smart.

The event will take place in Dublin from Thursday 17th – Friday 18th June 2010. Further details of the event and the release date for tickets will be announced shortly.

Give Me Direction is run in association with the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

For more information visit www.irishfilmboard.ie


Adaptation Adepts

Adaptation Adepts
Adaptation Adepts

Declan Recks talks to Roddy Doyle, Pat McCabe and Eugene O’Brien about the art of adaptation. Words by Eamonn Gray. Photos by Nicola Bodano.

Read Part I here
Read Part II here