A young Clare filmmaker has won second place in the Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2020 which were held online due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
The event was due to take place at Fresh International Film Festival in Limerick in March but because of the health restrictions, the Senior awards took place instead online via Fresh Film Festival’s YouTube channel.
The event was hosted by Demi Isaac Oviawe, star of RTEs ‘The Young Offenders’. This year, the competition received a record of more than 1,700 entries.
Oisin McKeogh, aged 18, from Co. Clare was the second place winner for his film ‘Midsummer Beauty’, about a teenage girl named Luna who struggles with a crush on her best friend. Oisin described his award as “exciting”, saying, “it’s my fifth year entering Fresh International Film Festival.
“Last year I was Highly Commended for Direction for my film ‘Ode to a Dancer’ and every year I have entered I feel I have grown as a person and a filmmaker with this Festival. I am honoured to have won this award surrounded by such a talented group of filmmakers,” Oisin said.
Other films from Clare that made it through to the finals included ‘Ali’s Story’ by 16 year old’s Alisina Hussain, Jack Grace, Kian Donnelly and Cathal O’Donnell of St. Anne’s Film Club in Killaloe about a young man’s journey from Afghanistan to Co. Clare and ‘In The Future’ by St. Anne’s Film Club TY year film class inspired by the work done by Greta Thunberg on the climate crisis.
Now in its 24th year, Fresh International Film Festival invites 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 Cartoon Saloon Animation Award, the RTE 60 Second Short Film Award and the RTE Factual Award, in addition to the International and Audience awards.
Fresh International 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 Film 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 standard was so high this year,” said Jayne Foley, Director of Fresh International Film Festival. “Every year the Festival progresses we see advancements in how young people are making films.” Jayne adds, “Next year will be our 25th anniversary and in setting up Fresh in 1997 we were looking to create those shared moments. We loved cinema and we wanted to create a community of young film-makers who would bond over screenings at a Festival. The Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year competition meant that the films screened and stories told would be their own. Video was king then, and we watched as video cassettes dropped through our letterbox from all over the country. And they’ve continued coming, on shiny discs, memory sticks and links now from Ireland and across the world. We have come along way and so have our young filmmakers and I congratulate each and every one of them. Thanks to them the future of filmmaking is bright!”
The Junior Finals will air on 4 pm on Wednesday, May 20 on Fresh Film Festival’s YouTube channel. To make a donation to the work of Fresh Film go to paypal.me/freshfilm.
See www.freshfilmfestival.com for more info.