So Game of Thrones is coming to an end and the world is quite rightly in mourning. But I’m not. Not just because I’m the only person in Belfast who hasn’t seen a single episode, or the only person in Belfast who hasn’t been an extra in an episode.
But because it means the amazing crew will finally be available for other work. That will be the enduring legacy of Game of Thrones and the hard work of everyone at NIScreen.
The winners are:
Ulster University, Belfast for Animation with Hunger by Matt McDyre, Scott Gill, Daniel Boyle, Hannah Loughridge and Hannah Turkington, sponsored by Performance Film and Media Insurance. Ulster University also picked up a highly commended award in this category for To The Moon by Gianni Francesco De Giuseppe, Rhea Hanlon, Phillip McDowell and Ryan Beatty.
At the early May event, producer Brian Falconer and writer/director Jonathan Beer from Belfast production company Out Of Orbit were joined by an enthusiastic group of aspiring film-makers.
During the 90-minute session, Falconer and Beer discussed how they got into film-making and showed a number of clips from films they had worked on, including their BAFTA award-winning short, Boogaloo and Graham.
Marc Downey, Joel McReynolds, Mark Rainey, James Mallaghan, Adam Irwin and Conor Dempsey from Belfast Metropolitan College scooped the Comedy and Entertainment Award with Mo Chara.
McReynolds, Rainey, Mallaghan and Dempsey also took the Short Feature Award with Kings Park Primary School.
The college’s Ryan Fitzsimmons, Michael Turner, Ryan Sewell and Ciaran Mooney won the Factual Award for The Shipyard Poet.
In the picturesque village of Greyabbey, on the shores of Strangford Lough, cast and crew assemble for the latest network drama to be shot in Northern Ireland. The Woman in White is a five-part adaptation of Wilkie Collins’s psychological thriller for BBC One. The period drama joins a BBC slate that in the past year has included The Fall, Line of Duty and My Mother and Other Strangers.
Even in the dark forest of media land, at this time of year we wish goodwill to all (while still hoping to thrash the opposition in the New Year overnights).
But, here in Northern Ireland, a true festive peace has broken out and, for once, I am not talking politics.
UTV and the BBC in Northern Ireland have worked together with local young people’s charity Cinemagic to help produce and broadcast Northern Ireland’s first ever Christmas film.
One of the best contributions to the issue of the public purposes of the BBC was written almost 20 years ago by a then-future Chair of the BBC Board of Governors, Gavyn Davies.
He wrote: “Some form of market failure must lie at the heart of any concept of public service broadcasting. Beyond simply using the catchphrase that public service broadcasting must ‘inform, educate and entertain’, we must add ‘inform, educate and entertain in a way that the private sector, left unregulated, would not do’. Otherwise, why not leave matters entirely to the private sector?”