Director Brendan McCallion and producer Frank O’Malley were both students at IADT/NFS Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, and their film was named Best Drama at the RTS Republic of Ireland Student Awards earlier this year.
RTS Republic of Ireland
“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.
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!”
Kelly, who covers technology both on air and online for the Independent Irish radio station, said that social media, while you “might not agree with what it has to say, never sleeps and is always engaging”.
She went on to outline what the multitude of different social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, has to offer in TV and radio. As with many things in life, she added, posts offer “the good, the bad and the ugly”.
He has served on the RoI committee since the centre launched in 1996 and took over from founding Chair Al Lennon in 2000. “Al was the inspiration for the RoI centre and it’s been a great honour to continue his work,” said Byrne.
He is proud that the centre’s Student Television Awards have grown over the past decade: “I’ve been delighted that jury chair Marie Penston and I have been able to build up the awards. For a small centre, we have enjoyed great success at the national awards in London.”
The National Film School’s Éabha Bortolozza and Jack Kirwin took home the Animation award for their film about alcoholism, The Usual. “The composition and flow of the imagery is creative and demonstrates a high standard of animation direction,” said the judges.
Brendan McCallion and Frank O’Malley’s farm-set film, Backwater, won the Drama award and featured “a strong acting cast”, with “good scripting, detailed camera shots and set design [making] this a decidedly powerful production”.
The show, the international version of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, began its third series at the beginning of the year. It is made by ShinAwiL for RTÉ, and hosted by Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne.
A team of 120-150 people are involved in the production of the two-hour live broadcast, which has been compared to “producing a Eurovision Song Contest every week for 12 weeks”.
Executive producer and ShinAwiL CEO Larry Bass said that the dance floor was bigger than the area used in the original BBC version of the show.
Dr Una Agnew, the author of The Mystical Imagination of Patrick Kavanagh, gave a fascinating insight into the life and works of the poet with her brother Art Agnew and Peter Murphy.
Kavanagh wrote of everyday Irish life and his best-known works include the poems On Raglan Road and The Great Hunger, and the novel Tarry Flynn.
The film was shot and produced by Godfrey Graham, who revealed at the RoI event that, at the time, Pierre had been a Swedish researcher working at RTÉ Television. She was fascinated with the Irish writer and approached Graham, who took on the challenge of producing the tribute to Behan.
A Jar with Brendan Behan features Níall Tóibín as Behan, who died in 1964. Tóibín also appeared in a stage adaptation of Behan’s Borstal Boy on Broadway, as well as acting in the movies Ryan’s Daughter and Veronica Guerin.
In his presentation at RTÉ Television Centre, Dublin, Peter McEvoy explained how the Radharc – Gaelic for vision – films started in the early 1960s. They are not religious programmes as such, but reflect a spiritual ethos.
McEvoy, a former RTÉ producer, used excerpts from the films to illustrate Radharc’s remarkably broad reach, both geographically and thematically.
The first Radharc programme was aired in January 1962 and over the next 34 years RTÉ broadcast more than 400 from Ireland and around the world.