Filmbase Filmrace

Filmbase Filmrace

Being a film student is awful. I’ve been one, and it’s a wonder I didn’t end up in hospital with a stomach ulcer from worry. While other students may feel their lot is bad, nothing, NOTHING is as poor as the lot of a film student. You attend class, talks, workshops, do the necessary assignments, oh and yeah-make a film or two. Now that doesn’t sound so bad, I know. But it is. A film, a feature film is a faceless monster on any occasion. But for a student, well…to be frank…it’s a mind screw,

First, you must get a hold and grasp of the basics; script, camera, lights, sound: then comes casting, costumes, equipment, locations, sets, safety regulations, rights, accounts, catering, transport, VFX, editing…oh and one other little thing, that floats the whole circus, money. That last one, right there, is what keeps a film student panicking.

Who will fund your film? And let you make and control it, the way you want? Film isn’t like other college projects or exercises. Like many it requires immense teamwork, creative communication, long hours, but how many projects, require the student to find the cash to fund the work? Film making is an expensive business, and sometimes educational institutions need a helpful wallet.

And so, the students from Filmbase, find themselves in a ‘Filmrace’. The aim of the game is to raise 25,000 euros to make two feature films. The first, is Poison Pen, written by the international best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl books, Eoin Colfer. It’s a romantic comedy that deals with love, vanity, and deception. PC Molloy, a has-been literary master, is blackmailed into working for a tabloid gossip magazine. Cultures clash and sparks fly as the cerebral Molloy reluctantly becomes the celebrity interviewer for vain celebrities. Will Molloy be seduced by the trappings of fame or will he be seduced by April Devereux, the fiery editor of Poison Pen?

The second feature, Light of Day is a mocumentary set against the backdrop of low-budget horror filmmaking. Written by Filmbase graduate, Chris Brennan, Light of Day follows the doomed crew of First Bite is The Deepest – a cheap vampire flick as they struggle to make their film. With an inept director, world-weary producer, meddlesome writer, star with a peanut allergy and the worst product placement deals in history there’s more horror behind the scenes than in the film. The only hope their film will ever see the light of day rests in the hands of Michael and Sarah, the only two sane people on the production.

Both films are part of the Filmbase MSc Digital Feature Film Production course. The aim is to create two industry standard productions that will boost the future careers of the students involved. Filmbase has gone on similar such ventures in the past with Keys to the City and How to be Happy both produced on the course in previous years. Both films sold out festival screenings worldwide and are securing distribution deals. The latter How To Be Happy, I saw screened at the Galway Film Fleadh last summer. It gleaned rave reviews from audiences and extra screenings had to be scheduled. No easy task with 30 degree sunshine outside, and no air conditioning in sight.

Needless to say the productions from Filmbase have an excellent track record in quality and success. All that’s holding the students back is funding. So, fancy opening that helpful wallet of yours, to educate the next generation of Irish filmmakers? Who knows, they might take over RTÉ someday, and show ‘em a thing or two.

If you are interested in supporting their project, please visit

There are great rewards for anyone wishing to help out and more will be added to the list. If you’d like to support the project but would prefer to help out in other ways, please contact Alan Fitzpatrick at Filmbase (

Check out facebook and twitter for regular updates on the campaign.

Any thoughts? Email me at

Lorna Buttimer. Follow me on twitter @buttimer_lorna



The following is a list of suggestions which you may heed or ignore as you see fit. Mostly, it’s a list of elements we’ve seen many times, and if something has been done many times, it would be worth your while to find a new way to do it. If you’re thinking of making a short film, you will most likely want to find ways to set yourself apart, or at least to avoid cliches or mistakes made by others. No park benches No cafes No establishing shots—Specifically, don’t start a scene with a shot of whatever building the characters are in. This is not The Golden Girls. If you want to establish the location, try doing it creatively, within the action of the scene No random shots of things that are in the location. Some people seem to think this is what a “cutaway” is. If there is no reason to cut to something, don’t. Leave it alone. It’s fine for setting the scene, but not if you’re just trying to add variety to what’s on screen. No scenes where the protagonist stares at him/herself in the mirror No shakycam unless it’s for a particular emotional reaction No Reservoir Dogs knock offs (I’m amazed that people are still making these, but they are. It’s great that you want to emulate your hero, but it’s been done. Maybe instead of referencing movies you like, you should try remaking the movies you hate. That would at least be a bit more creative). No Amelie knock offs (See above—I swear there’s at least one storybook-style magic realist riff at every festival) No Wes Anderson knock offs (See above—I love Wes Anderson, but really, all you’re saying is “I love Wes Anderson”) No covering entire scenes from multiple angles, especially if it’s just a dialogue scene. Pay attention to the sound. Even if the sound design isn’t anything special, it’s still better than bad sound, which is awful and makes a film seem completely amateurish. Film is indeed a visual medium, but that doesn’t just mean take out the dialogue. It means use images, actions, and edits to tell your story. But also, use dialogue, sound and music. You have all these tools at your disposal—make the most of them. No stories about writers. There are many, many professions out there that are far more interesting visually. No stories about writers with writer’s block, who discover a Muse who inspires him (It’s always a him) to write a story that’s basically the film we just watched. Just, please. Especially if the Muse is sacrificed in the process. No films about film-making. It is, however, totally OK to make your film a metaphor for filmmaking. Try to avoid the kind of short that’s just a set-up and a pay-off, where most of it is just illustrating a situation rather than telling a story until the twist happens. If you must make it, keep it short. And maybe find a second twist. People always expect a twist in a short film, they might be surprised by a second one. No films about serial killers.

By Tim Hanan

Irish Film Festivals

Irish Film Festivals

To start the new year off with a bang, here’s a list of Irish, and Irish-themed, film festivals that—although they’re not this one—still have their merits.  Some are more focused on shorts than others (ADIFF, for example is more of a feature film festival, so sending something independent in on spec is taking a big chance). Some are also more focused on documentaries or animation, or have themes that may not be appropriate for your own work.  Finally, remember to be kind to your wallet and keep an eye out for Early Bird deadlines.


Belfast Film Festival

Capital Irish Film Festival (Solas Nua)

Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival

Chicago Irish Film Festival

Clones Film Festival


Darklight Festival

Dingle Film Festival

Dublin International Film Festival

Dublin Animation Film Festival

Dublin Web Fest

Fastnet Film Festival

Feminist Film Festival

Fingal Film Festival

Fresh Film Festival

Foyle Film Festival

Galway Film Fleadh


Guth Gafa

IFI Festivals


Kerry Film Festival

Limerick Film Festival

London Irish Film Festival

OFFLine Film Festival

The Richard Harris International Film Festival

San Francisco Irish Film Festival

Shebeen Flick

Silk Road Film Festival

Stranger Than Fiction

Underground Cinema

Waterford Film Festival

Dublin International Short Film and Music Festival

PS If there’s any we missed, please feel free to add them in the comments.

Written By Tim Hanan

DISFMF 2016 Winners

DISFMF 2016 Winners

Winners 2016



Best Director, Gui Campos, Rosinha, Brazil
Best Producer, Savio Sequeira & Anthony Renwick Mc Gill, The Job Paradox, Ireland
Best Script, Maurice O’Connel, Proclaim, Ireland
Best Music Video, Veto By Son Directed by Abderrezak Chriette, Germany
Best Cinematography, Sam Heasman, Miracle On Canary Wharf, Directed by Bradley Porter, UK
Best Edit, Gurmmeet Singh, All I Want, Directed by Venika Mitra, India
Best Animation, Little Flower, Directed by Brigette Heffernan, Ireland
Best Sound Design, Livia Rusic & Keith Thomas, Silence, Directed by Dejan Mrkic, Australia
Best Student Short, Ella, Directed by Damian Madden , Ireland
Best Music/Score, Martina Walker, Elga Fox, Melanie Hoskin, Staged, Directed by Sonya Mulligan and Rachel Gregan/ Ireland
Best Actor, Graham Earley, Numb, Directed by Dara McConnell, Ireland
Best Actress, Olga Skvortsova, Call It As You Wish, Directed by Kiryl Halitsky, Belarus
Best Documentary, Code Therapy, Directed by Divya Pathak, UK
Best Irish Short, Leave, Directed by Mike Hayes

Short Films Programme 2016

Short Films Programme 2016

Programme 1, Thursday 6th October, Cineworld 12:00pm

Proclaim!, Directed by Maureen O’Connell, 20min, Ireland 2016, Drama History
Silence, Directed by Dejan Mrkic, 15min, UK and Australia 2016, Drama
Tunisia 2045, Directed by Ted Hardy-Carnac, 4min, France 2016, Science Fiction
Solid, Directed by Patrick O’Shea, 16min, Ireland 2016, Crime-Drama
Rosinha, Directed by Gui Campos, 14min, Brazil 2016, Drama
Miracle on Canary Wharf, Directed by Bradley Porter, 8min, United Kingdom 2016, Drama
Slices, Directed by James Murray, 13min, Ireland 2016, Comedy

Programme 2, Thursday 6th October, Cineworld 14:00pm

Space & Time, Directed by Camps Aureliane, 16min, France 2015, Fiction
Recycled Equestrian, Directed by Jessica Lamb, 8min, Ireland 2016, Documentary
Midnight of my Life, Directed by Phil Davis, 8min, United Kingdom 2016, Comedy-Drama
A Beautiful Death, Directed by Patrick McDermott, 8min, Ireland 2015, Drama
Son, Directed by Cyrus Neshvad, 14min, Luxembourg 2016, Drama
Fuller Democracy, Directed by Jonathan Victory, 13min, Ireland 2016, Documentary
The First Ride, Directed by Stephanos Melikidis, 2min, Cyprus 2016, Advert
The Spark, Directed by Alan Buckley, 19min, Ireland 2016, Romantic Comedy
Misty Mid – Lina Button, Directed by Flavio Gerber, 4min, Switzerland 2015, Music Video

Programme 3, Thursday 6th October, Cineworld 16:00pm

Babe, I fucked Bunbury, Directed by Teresa Bellon and Cesar F Calvillo, 3min, Spain 2016, Comedy
Miah, Directed by Daniel Corcoran, 17min, Ireland 2016, Drama
The Confession, Directed by John La Raw, 20min, South Korea 2015, Drama
In The Valley of the Moon, Directed by Brian Rossney, 14min, Ireland 2015, Drama
The Land of Exodus, Directed by Skinner Myers, 11min, United States 2015, Drama
Date Night, Directed by Ross Carey, 12min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Limoncello, Directed by Alessandro Dioguardi, 13min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Numb, Directed by Dara McConnell, 15min, Ireland 2016, Thriller
Notorious Corn, Directed by Mallory Grolleau, 1 min, France 2015, Animation
Tiger Tiger, Directed by Donnagh FitzPatrick, 12min, Ireland 2015, Drama

Programme 4, Friday 7th October, Cineworld 12:00am

Competition, Directed by Artur Boruzs, 7min, Romania 2015, Drama
Nymphet, Directed by Laura Hermanides, 12min, Belgium-Ireland 2016, Drama
3xLOVE, Directed by Olga Chajdas,, 17min, Poland 2016, Experimental-Drama
Nach Spiel (Aftermath), Directed by Ralf Beyerle, 10min, Germany 2016, Comedy Drama
Just Like a Mother, Directed by Lauren Fee, 11min, Ireland 2016, Documentary
The Blow-In, Directed by Teresa O’Brien, 8min, Ireland 2015, Documentary
Jacked, Directed by Rene Pannevis, 15min, United Kingdom 2015, Drama-Crime
Bio, Directed by William Morgan, 10min, Ireland 2016, Drama

Programme 5,Friday 7th October, Cineworld 14:00pm

Gone Viral, Directed by Charlo Johnson, 7min, Ireland 2016, Comedy
A House Downstairs, Directed by Emily Murray, 4min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Date:Time, Directed by Paul Corey, 15min, Ireland 2016, Drama-Romance
The Observation Level, Directed by Aidan Duffy, 5min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Happy Tuesday, Directed by Wouter van Couwelaar, 19min, Netherlands 2016, Drama
My Mother Once Told Me, Directed by Phil Davin, 7min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Enclave, Directed by Martin Curley and Lauren Shannon-James, 13min, Ireland 2015, Drama-SF
Proposal, Directed by Abraham Tarrush, 6min, Ireland 2016, Drama-Comedy
Dead Sharks, Directed by Nik Barker, 16min, Australia 2015, Drama

Programme 6, Friday 7th of October, Cineworld 16:00pm

The Closet, Directed by Patrick McKnight, 20min, Ireland 2016,
Egreto, Directed by Dimitrios Maggioros, 13min, Greece 2016, Drama
More Than A Barber Shop, Directed by Xandru Fernandez and Fernando Otero, 19min, Ireland 2016, Documentary
Time, Directed by Tim Hanan, 2min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Thorn, Directed by David Scott, 5min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Drop the Hand, Directed by Simon O’Neill, 23min, Ireland 2016, Comedy-Drama
Ergo, Directed by Alice Sephton, 5min, United Kingdom 2016, Drama
F430, Directed by Yassine Qnia, 22min, France 2015, Drama
RCP 5, Directed by Garry Miley, 12min, Ireland 2015, Drama
One Minute of Silence, Directed by Guillaume Renusson, 1min, France 2013, Drama

Programme 7, Saturday 8th October, Cineworld 12:00pm

Istoria Lumina, Directed by Francois Barbier, 10 min, Romania 2016, Drama
The Apparel, Directed by Peter Delaney, 16min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Leave, Directed by Mike Hayes, 15min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Wifey Redux, Directed by Robert McKeon, 22min, Ireland 2016, Comedy-Drama
Ella, Directed by Damien Madden, 8min, Ireland 2015, Documentary
Little Flower, Directed by Brigette Heffernan, 3min, Ireland 2016, Animation
Torsion, Directed by Garrett Lynam, 5min, Ireland 2016, Drama
The Perfect Kiss, Directed by Garrett Lynam, 11min, Ireland 2016, Comedy

Programme 8, Saturday 8th October, Cineworld 14:00pm

Call It as You Wish, Directed by Kiryl Halitsky, 30min, Belarus 2016, Drama
Reverie, Directed by Peter James Melrose, 14min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Staged, Directed by Sonya Mulligan and Rachel Gregan, 19min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Summon Her Children, Directed by Wesley O’Duinn, 25min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Believe It or Not, Directed by Carl Murphy, 6min, Ireland 2016, Comedy-Thriller

Programme 9, Saturday 8th October, Cineworld 16:00pm

Lhari, Directed by Robert Hloz, 27min, Czech Republic 2015, Dark Comedy, Drama
The Presence, Directed by Declan Loftus, 15min, Ireland 2015, Drama
Age of Unreason, Directed by Christophe Louis, 19min, France 2015, Drama
Look Closer, Directed by Aleksander Szeser, 15min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Redo, Directed by Gine Therese Grønner, 15min, Norway 2016, Drama


Programme 10, Sunday 9th October, Sugar Club 14:00pm

Save, Directed by Ivan Sainz-Pardo, 4min, Spain and Germany 2016, Thriller
Moose, Directed by Arka Das, 10min, Australia 2015, Dark Comedy
Minh Tam, Directed by Vincent Maury, 24min, France 2016, Drama-Human Rights
Luz, Directed by Lena Weiss, 15min, Austria 2016, Documentary
Family Bonds, Directed by Takashi Yamamoto, 19min, Japan 2015, Family Drama
Blodimery, Directed by Francisco Denis, 10min, Venezuela 2016, Comedy Film Noir
Rum, Directed by Russell Haigh, 4min, United Kingdom 2016, Animation

Programme 11, Sunday 9th October, Sugar Club 16:00

Bank Robber’s Serenade, Directed by Guillaume De Ginestel, 23min, France 2015, Comedy-Crime
All I Want, Directed by Venika Mitra, 7min, India 2016, Drama
Music Video Project:Veto by Sohn, Directed by Abderrezak Chriette, 5min, Germany 2015, Music Video
Contact, Directed by Stephen Brady, 15min, Ireland 2015, Drama
Drifting, Directed by Alexander Kuribayashi, 2min, Ireland 2016, Music Video
Robot Koch & Delhia de France – ‘Dark Waves’, Directed By Sven D., 4min, United States 2015, Music Video
Circles, Directed by Dean Puckett, 15min, United Kingdom 2015, Comedy Horror
Code Therapy, Directed by Divya Pathak,15min, United Kingdom 2016, Documentary

Programme 12, Sunday 9th October, Sugar Club 18:00

Wait, Directed by Audrey O’Reilly, 12min, Ireland 2015, Drama
The Job Paradox, Directed by Savio Sequeira, 29min, Ireland 2016, Drama
Hand in Hand, Directed by Sarah Dempsey, 10min, Ireland 2015, Documentary
We’ve Got Wings, Directed by Roxana Vilk, 4min, United Kingdom 20165, Music Video
Latchkey Kids, Directed by Elad Goldman, 22min, Israel 2015, Drama
Children’s Allowance, Directed by Brian Stynes, 8min, Ireland 2015, Drama
The Monster, Directed by Bob Pipe, 16min, United Kingdom 2015, Comedy-Horror

20:00pm The Awards Ceremony at The Sugar Club