Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University invites proposals for a short film (12-15 mins) aimed at audiences in the age range 10-13 yrs. on the subject of the Irish Famine / an Gorta Mór (1845-1849). The film is intended for both classroom and individual use, will be widely promoted and distributed via online platforms, and supported by specially prepared educational materials.



– should be imaginative and original with the ability to engage young audiences within and beyond Ireland. We especially encourage visual and narrative approaches that explore the reality of the famine for children (e.g. having to abandon home in search of food, contemporary sights and scenes, the experience of the workhouse, the trauma family/friends emigrating etc.)

– can be live action, animation or a mixture of styles.

– can take a documentary, fictional or docu-drama approach but should be grounded in solid scholarship on the famine and its consequences.

– should be mindful of both the specificity of the Irish famine as well as its relationship to contemporary themes and circumstances – eg famine, displacement, refugees etc. (see Micheal D Higgins quotation below)

– must include reference (either directly or for illustration) to the collection held at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University http://ighm.org


Funding for the project is up to €30,000

The deadline for submissions is 5pm, June 9th 2017 (delivery February 2018)


Projective Co-Ordinator / Executive Producer of the Famine Film project: Dr. Tony Tracy

Submissions & Enquiries: faminefilm2017@gmail.com




Who Can Apply?


Established and emerging filmmakers are eligible to apply. We especially welcome proposals from filmmakers with experience of this audience.


Writer/Directors/Producers (where the producer and director are not the same person) should have previously completed at least one short film between them.



The deadline for submissions is 5 pm, June 2nd 2017




Please include as much detail as you can in relation to the following:


  • Synopsis – Briefly outline the subject and story of the film.


  • Treatment – Clearly communicate how the film program will unfold from beginning to end.  Include details on story structure, theme, style, format, voice, and point-of-view.


  • Project Timetable – Provide an outline schedule of phases of production.


  • Budget – Include an itemized list of project costs, i.e., staff salaries, talent, post-production expenses, insurance (all elements of production, delivery, archive, clearance etc.)
  • Key Personnel – Provide biographies of the key project staff, i.e., producer, director, writer, cinematographer, editor, as well as experts, consultants, or talent.


  • Sample Work – Include samples of previous work that demonstrate the creative and production abilities of the team.



Delivery: ProRes & BluRay (February 2018)





The Irish famine (1845-1849) represents the most cataclysmic event in modern Irish history with consequences stretching down to the present day.

When a new strain of potato blight disease was accidently imported on ships from North America in 1845, it had a catastrophic effect on crops across Europe. The impoverished peasant of 19th century Ireland (particularly in the western and southern parts of the island) was heavily dependent on the potato owing to its nutritional complexity and ease of cultivation. While support and relief was mobilized elsewhere it was withheld in Ireland due to a combination of unsympathetic beliefs and policies resulting in widespread starvation and death. When relief was offered, it was either inadequate or on extremely stringent terms and did little to aleviate the situation. All the while Ireland’s grain harvest continued to be exported to Britain.

As a result, around a million people died of starvation and disease, while a million and a half emigrated. Had the famine not occurred, the population of Ireland would have been around nine million in 1851. Instead it was 6.5 million, a figure that continued to decrease in the decades ahead due to the legacy of the famine.


Death and emigration led to a rapid and widespread depopulation of the Irish countryside, with catastrophic effects on communities, customs and the Irish language.


In addition to its importance in shaping the history of modern Ireland and the New World, the experience of the Irish famine has continued resonance and relevance today. The physical and psychological suffering of the poor, the cruel and entirely inadequate relief response and the experience of enforced migration of large numbers of individuals and families, contain all too familiar echoes in our era.





The following resources represent a fraction of what is available and are intended to offer context and suggest prompts and signposts rather than dictate approach. We draw attention not only to a number of historical sources but also letters, articles, visual representations (illustrations and film) and song.




The Irish Primary school curriculum identifies the Great Famine as a possible teaching ‘strand’ in 5th / 6th class. In studying it, the child should be enabled to:

  • become familiar with ways in which the everyday lives of people changed
  • reasons for these changes and conflicts
  • people, organisations and events involved in bringing about change or adapting to change
  • local evidence of changes and conflicts
  • the long-term effect of changes and conflicts
  • examine and become familiar with evidence which informs us about the lives of people in the periods studied, their thoughts and concerns, especially evidence which may be found locally
  • record the place of peoples and events on appropriate timelines

“Encourage children to use their imagination and evidence to reconstruct elements of the past e.g. events of a 19th-century school day/emigration scene during famine times, and communicate this understanding of the past in a variety of ways – oral language, drama, writing, art work, modelling, ICT”



Write A Comment