Young Clare Filmmakers named competition finalists

Young Clare Filmmakers named competition finalists


Oisin McKeogh, 16 from Clare and Rebecca Jones, 16 from Tipperary, who won the Audience Award of the Limerick Heats of Fresh Film Festival – Photo: Dermot Culhane.

Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2019 moved one-step closer to crowning its winners by announcing some of its finalists this week.

The competition, which received a record of over 1,700 entries this year, announced which short films would move on to the finals at the Limerick regional heats, which took place at the Belltable Arts Centre.

Films by young filmmakers from Germany, Denmark and the United States were also screened as part of Fresh Film Festival’s International category. Films screened at the Limerick regional heats included films from Clare, Tipperary, Kerry and Limerick.

Among the finalists was 17 year old filmmaker Oisin McKeogh from Killaloe, Co. Clare with his film ‘Ode to a Dancer’. The short film portrays a teenage girl who begins to question her dream of becoming a dancer. Oisin also has a second film through to the finals called ‘The Secret Life’, a documentary about a girl struggling with her inner demons starring Rebecca Jones, 17 also from Killaloe.

Audience Awards were announced following each regional screening, and Oisin and Rebecca were announced as the winners of the Audience Award for the Limerick Heat for the ‘The Secret Life’.

Oisin described being at the heats as “exciting”, saying, “it’s my fourth year entering Fresh Film Festival and I’m looking forward to seeing my films on the big screen.” Rebecca said they were, “both overjoyed” with winning the Audience Award saying, “that being recognised by your peers is the ultimate compliment.”

Other finalists from Clare included ‘Plastic’, a short film made to raise awareness about the issue of plastics in our oceans and the impact that can have on wildlife from Clare Youth Action. ‘Plastic’ has received national media attention and has over 60,000 views on the RTE Facebook page.

Films shortlisted for the final will be screened at Fresh Film Festival 2019 in Limerick from March 25 to 30 and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards will be presented on the March 27 for the Junior category and March 28 for the Senior category. Other highlights of Fresh Film Festival 2019 include feature screenings and workshops including an Industry Master class with The National Youth Film School.

Now in its 23rd year, Fresh Film Festival encourages young people from Ireland and overseas, aged 7 to 18 years, to create, exhibit and share films. The festival provides an opportunity for these young filmmakers to have their work seen on a cinema screen for the first time and to compete for the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year.  All films submitted are also considered for a range of Specialist Awards including the Radharc Trust Award (documentary), the Boulder Media Animation Award, the RTE 60 Second Short Film Award and the RTE Factual Award, in addition to the International and Audience awards.

Jayne Foley, Director of Fresh Film Festival said. “Storytelling is at the core,” she says, “because the budget is usually either low or non-existent, film-makers have to be very inventive with plot and location.” This year the festival received over 1700 films into its three categories Junior, Senior and International. Jayne adds, “the festival is a forum where young film-makers can meet each other. Even at that stage networking is important. You may end up meeting the same people again later in your career. As advocates of young film-making, we also try to showcase films abroad. We’ve brought Irish films and young filmmakers to Korea, Palestine, Austria, Germany, and Edinburgh. This year we are excited to have a number of International young filmmakers coming to Fresh and sharing their filmmaking experience with us.”

Fresh Film Festival encourages young people to make films by hosting an annual international film festival for young people, presenting Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards, acting as an advocate for young filmmakers and promoting their work worldwide. Fresh runs a number of initiatives throughout the year, including a Hothouse programme designed to bring young people of different ages and diverse backgrounds together to share their film experiences and create new collaborative work, as well as distributing Irish films made by young people to festivals all over the world.  The Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City and County Council and RTE Supporting the Arts support the Fresh Film Festival.

Further details are available from

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.