Junior Certificate students at Ennis Community College attended a world premiere on Friday – of a film they conceived, wrote, starred in and produced.
Titled ‘Down with Miss Nettleworth’, the film is a comical short produced by the students under the guidance of their teacher Ms Niamh Crowe, with artistic and creative direction by local photographer and filmmaker Ms Ciara Malone. The project is part of the Junior Certificate School Programme, which emphasises active learning and the development of skills.
English teacher Ms Crowe explained:“ I felt that this particular cohort of students had an artistic edge that I wanted to harness and I thought the process of creating a film of their own was the right avenue for them”.
“We knew the project had to be a hands-on learning experience for this group. Finding the right role for the each student was a challenge, but Ciara felt it was crucial for their own individual creative progress. Tapping into their individual strengths, we were overwhelmed by the emerging talents of this eclectic bunch of scriptwriters, directors, editors, storyboarders, actors and camera crew”.
The students faced a demanding production schedule, learning in the process about the real work involved in creative media. To begin with, auditions were held in an X-Factor format, where ‘wannabe’ actors were put through their paces in front of a panel of teachers. Filming took place ‘on location’ in the school classroom, the Burren and in the village of Crusheen.
Filmmaker Ciara Malone commented: “I couldn’t believe their raw talent and the ease with which the students took direction. They inspired me as an artist. I’m extremely proud of what they have created, considering that they had no former experience”.
Ms Crowe described the project as a tremendous success and expressed thanks to Ciara Malone, to the JSCP Initiative who funded the project and to the students and their families. The college plans to submit the film to the Fresh Film Festival for young filmmakers in Limerick, in March.
”Who knows? We might have a star or more in the making!”, she added