In this Film Ireland podcast, Gemma Creagh talks to 3 filmmakers whose films are screening in this year’s Dublin Comedy International Film Festival: Zoë Brennan-Whitmore (Unhinged), Jeda de Bri (Ghosted) and Aoife O’ Kelly (Panic).
The Dublin Comedy International Film Festival takes place from 29th November – 2nd December 2023.
Unhinged (DIR: Zoë Brennan-Whitmore • WRI: Mary Kirwan)
Following a recent sighting of her office crush on a dating app on the eve of his leaving party, an overthinking millennial searches for reassurance that her feelings are reciprocated before it’s too late.
Ghosted (DIR: Jeda de Brí • WRI: Sarah Jane Scott)
When Corina is ghosted by the charming Paul, she calls her best friend for comfort. But serial killer-obsessed Anne Marie is suspicious as to the whereabouts of Paul and convinces Corina to go on a mission to find out where he went.
Panic (WRI/DIR: Aoife O’ Kelly)
After finishing up her demanding Job, Emma, an isolated thirty-something, finally has time to focus on her ambition of writing a book and sure how hard could that be, when you have all the time in the world…?
Zoë is an award-winning director, producer and writer from Dublin, Ireland. Zoë has
worked in the Irish production industry for a number of years, working as a
director/producer alongside production companies such as Samson Films, Shinawil
and currently at female lead production company Heritage, as their Creative
Director. Zoë is a previous winner of the Virgin Media Discovers Award in 2022 and
was named ‘Best Producer’ at the Emerging Director Awards 2022. Also in 2022,
she produced Burna Boy & Ed Sheeran’s music video ‘FOR YOUR HAND’ with
Atlantic records, which has reached over 120 million views on Youtube. During that
same year, Zoë was awarded the DLR First Frames Short film fund, she was
nominated for a 1.4 European directors award and she was selected for the Screen
Ireland diploma in Advanced Producing which Zoë graduated with distinction.
Zoë’s debut short as a director UNHINGED premiered to a sold out audience at the
Dublin International Film festival in February 2023 and will now have its North
American premiere at Newport Beach Film Festival in LA this October. Zoë also has
two other short films on the festival circuit, SOULMATE WANTED and BABY
STEPS which were also released in Summer 2023, with Soulmate Wanted having
it’s world premiere at the Oscar and Bafta qualifying Flickers Rhode Island Film
Festival in the US and Baby Steps which she produced winning ‘BEST DEBUT
SHORT’ at Galway International Film Festival 2023 and ‘BEST NEW TALENT’ at
Kerry International Film Festival 2023. This autumn, Zoë has been accepted for a
writers residency at the prestigious Tyrone Guthrie Centre to further develop her
first feature screenplay and she is also in development with a TV series with Screen
Ireland and support from Virgin Media.
Jeda de Brí
Jeda de Brí is an award winning director and writer for stage and screen. Most recently she was awarded funding under the Focus Short scheme with Screen Ireland for her script, Naked Lights which she will be directing with the production company, Carbonated Comet. She wrote and directed the Screen Ireland funded short flm Procession with 925 Productions (Best Short Bellingham Music Film Festival 2019, Offcial Selection Newport Beach Film Festival 2019, Aer Lingus In-Flight Programming) and co-wrote and directed the play TRYST (Project Arts Centre, Lyric Theatre, VAULT Festival London, Nominee Fishamble Best New Writing Award, Published by Oberon Books).
She is currently developing TRYST as a feature flm with Treasure Entertainment. For stage her recent credits include Windows 21 for Fighting Words at The Abbey Theatre as well as one of 14 short flmed plays as part of 14 Voices from the Bloodied Field in remembrance of Bloody Sunday also with the Abbey Theatre.
Other directorial credits include: The Screen Ireland/Actor as Creator short GHOSTED. SAUCE (Nominated: Little Gem Award, Dublin Fringe) Brendan Galileo for Europe (Winner: Little Gem Award, Nominated: Best Director, Broadway World Awards), GPO 1818 (Fishamble), The Egg is a Lonely Hunter (Dublin & Edinburgh Fringe, Nominated: Little Gem Award & First Fortnight Award at Dublin Fringe & First Fortnight Festival). Further flm credits include Chimneys (Nominated: Louis le Prince Award, Leeds International Film Festival, Screened: RTÉ Shortscreen 2016) and Spacer (Nominated: Best Short, Fingal Film Fest, Screened: RTÉ Shortscreen 2017.)
She is currently developing feature flms with Screen Ireland, Samson Films and Treasure Entertainment as writer and director. She is represented by Lisa Richards.
Aoife O’ Kelly
Aoife O’Kelly is a writer and director, originally from Limerick and currently based in London.
After graduating from English Literature and Psychology at UCC, Aoife went on to pursue her love of film in Dublin, working with a number of TV & Film production companies over the years and learning the ropes across many different departments.
It wasn’t long until she decided directing was what she wanted to do and was soon accepted onto the MA in Directing Fiction at Goldsmiths University in London. Her graduation short film Lula, travelled the festival circuit including London Short Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh and Newport Beach Film Festival, gaining several awards and nominations along the way.
She directed her first feature film, Walking with Shadows in collaboration with The Initiative for Equal Rights in Lagos, Nigeria. The film premiered at the BFI London Film Festival 2019 and was nominated for outstanding first feature at the Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2021.
She returned to shorts in 2022 to make offbeat comedy Panic, which won Best International Director and was nominated for Best Comedy Film at the Portland Film Festival in Oregon. The Film is still on the circuit with next stop being the Dublin International Comedy Film Festival.
In the last year, Aoife has been participating in the Screen Ireland Mentorship Scheme being mentored by Wildfire director Cathy Brady and was selected as a Screen Ireland fellow for the Stowe Story Labs Connemara Writer’s Retreat 2023 to work on her next feature script. Most recently, she was invited to become a member of BAFTA under the BAFTA Connect scheme 2023.
Alongside writing and directing fiction, Aoife also Edit Produces in unscripted television in London and internationally, working for networks such as Discovery, Channel 5 and Sky History.
You can find out more or get in touch on her website: aoifeokelly.com
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