Moya Doherty delivers inaugural Gay Byrne Memorial Lecture on public service broadcasting

"I am convinced that public service broadcasting is essential to public life in contemporary Ireland, [but] I am also aware that what we have traditionally understood to be public service broadcasting may no longer be fit for 21st-century purpose.”

These were the forceful opening remarks of Moya Doherty in delivering the RTS Republic of Ireland’s inaugural Gay Byrne Memorial Lecture at the Light House Cinema, Dublin, this month.

Why RTÉ's Reeling in the Years is still going strong

John O’Regan created Reeling in the Years, which first aired in 1999, and has subsequently produced the series.

The show – inspired by the BBC series The Rock ’n’ Roll Years, which dates from the 1980s – mixes archive material with music and has grown into something quite extraordinary, tugging at the public’s heart strings in a unique way. 

The key to the success of the series lies in its clever editing, and O’Regan gave a masterclass in this TV craft, offering an exceptional insight into the production process.

Oscar winner honoured at RTS Republic of Ireland Awards

Belfast actor James Martin was awarded the Outstanding Newcomer prize at the RTS Republic of Ireland Awards (Gradaim RTS) in late March. Martin starred in the Oscar-winning short film An Irish Goodbye in which he played the bereaved brother Lorcan.

Gogglebox Ireland, shown on Virgin Media Television, was named the Factual Entertainment winner for the second year running.

The Drama prize went to another Virgin Media show (a co-commission with ITV), Redemption, a crime series set in Dublin starring Paula Malcomson.

RTÉ enjoys strong night at RTS Ireland Television Awards

RTÉ thriller­-come­-family drama Smother, starring Dervla Kirwan, won the coveted Drama award. One of the stars of the Irish broadcaster’s gangster series Kin, Yasmin Seky, took the Newcomer prize. In total, RTÉ won seven of the 11 categories.

Finding Jack Charlton, Virgin Media’s moving film about the England World Cup win­ner and former Republic of Ireland manager, won the Sport category.

Republic of Ireland Student Awards 2020 winners announced

From Left: Brian Redmond, Jenni McNeaney, Adrian Lynch, Bill Malon, Agnes Cogan, Alan Esslemont (Credit: George Adjaye)

The National Film School IADT Dún Laoghaire notched up two wins in the main categories, taking home awards in the Drama category for Starry Night and in Short Form for Looking For.

These two films picked up further awards in the Craft Skills categories, with Jack Desmond winning the Cinematography prize (Looking For) and Lori Stacey the award for Editing (Starry Night). 

Filmmakers discuss the significance of TV archive

“Raiders of the (lost) archives” featured a distinguished panel, who discussed why and how programmes are saved and stored – and the value of archive material to film-makers.

Documentary film-maker Sé Merry Doyle recently donated much of his work – the Loopline Collection, named after his production company Loopline Films – to the Irish Film Institute (IFI). Volume 1 of the collection includes Doyle’s 1999 documentary about the lives of Dublin street traders, Alive Alive O: A Requiem for Dublin.

TV producers discuss the importance of locally produced drama in Dublin

Zoe (Amy Manson) in Raw (Credit: RTÉ, Ecosse Films & Octagon Films)

Remaining “local” in terms of story, themes and talent was key. In fact, Paul Marquess – MD of PGM TV and a veteran of soaps including Brookside and Hollyoaks – argued that what worked, in his experience, was being “very local”. 

Marquess said: “It is much harder to build a franchise with global appeal… but there is a huge appetite for quality English-speaking drama.” He called for more locally produced drama in Dublin, adding: “This is a cool place!”