Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2019 moved one step closer to crowning its winners by announcing the Limerick finalists on Tuesday, March 5. The competition, which received a record of over 1,700 entries this year, announced which short films would move on to the finals at the Limerick regional heats, which took place in the Belltable Arts Centre. Films by young filmmakers from Germany, Denmark, and the United States were also screened as part of Fresh Film Festival’s International category.
Films screened at the Limerick regional heats included films from Clare, Tipperary, Kerry, Offaly, and Limerick. Films by young filmmakers through to the final include ‘Chewing’ from Limerick Youth Theatre, ‘Stars’ by Meghan O’Shaughnessy from Kerry, ‘Ode to a Dancer’ by Oisin McKeogh from Clare, ‘Plastic’ by Clare Youth Action and ‘On Track’ from Sacred Heart Secondary School, Co.Offaly. Limerick Schools Ardscoil Rís and Limerick Educate Together both have animated films through to the final meaning the possibility of winning this year’s Boulder Media Animation Award. Audience Awards were announced following each regional screening, with the winner of the Audience Award for the Limerick Heat announced as Oisin McKeogh, 16 from Clare and Rebecca Jones, 16 from Tipperary, who won for their film called ‘The Secret Life’, a documentary about a girl struggling with her inner demons.
Films shortlisted for the final will be screened at Fresh Film Festival 2019 in Limerick from March 25 to 30 and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards will be presented on the March 27 for the Junior category and March 28 for the Senior category. Other highlights of Fresh Film Festival 2019 include feature screenings and workshops including an Industry Master class with The National Youth Film School.
Now in its 23rd year, Fresh Film Festival encourages young people from Ireland and overseas, aged 7 to 18 years, to create, exhibit and share films. The festival provides an opportunity for these young filmmakers to have their work seen on a cinema screen for the first time and to compete for the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year. All films submitted are also considered for a range of Specialist Awards including the Radharc Trust Award (documentary), the Boulder Media Animation Award, the RTE 60 Second Short Film Award and the RTE Factual Award, in addition to the International and Audience awards.
Reflecting on the volume of entries for this year’s competition, Fresh Film Festival Director Jayne Foley commented, “Fresh Film Festival is all about encouraging young people to tell their stories through film, so the record number of submissions this year shows we have a nation of young storytellers with something to say and the creative means to say it. We’ve been overwhelmed by the entries this year: The future of filmmaking in Ireland is bright”. She went on to note the importance of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year, “Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Competition gave all these young people a focus – an event to aim for. This is the core part of the festival – young people making and screening their own stories before an audience of their peers”.