Mayo County Council Arts Service is launching a new initiative, Film Mayo, on December 1st at 6pm in Knockranny House Hotel, Westport. Film Mayo is a new website, dedicated to the development of film in the county, which will act as a primary contact point for anyone interested in working in the county, from directors to producers, actors, T.V professionals or young film makers.

The project is an initiative of Mayo County Council’s Arts Service, working with the former County Development Board, E.U. Creative Industries Projects: Cisnet and CINEW, Mayo Ideas Lab, Westbic, and Mayo County Council departments of Community & Integrated Development, Enterprise & Investment Unit and the Local Enterprise Office, all of whom will work in partnership to further the opportunities for the film sector within the county.

The development of the website has been underpinned by extensive research and gathering of all the relevant information and resources which would be useful to film-makers. Local photographers have generously given access to their archives to showcase the extraordinary landscape and amenities within the county, including Liam Lyons, Anglea Campbell, Heverin Photography, and Photography by Jessica.

The launch will be preceeded by the inaugural Film Mayo Networking Event at 2.30 pm, for film and TV industry professionals. This will provide an opportunity for local, regional and national networking in the La Fougére restaurant in Knockranny House Hotel, surrounded by stunning views of Croagh Patrick.

Following the Networking session, an illustrious panel of film experts will take part in a conversation and Q&A about their extensive experience in the world of film. This panel includes Pat O’Connor, Anthony Foutz, Mike Cockayne, and Tim Palmer.

Guest of honour, Pat O’Connor, is a renowned director whose films include: Cal, Fools of Fortune, A Month in the Country, Circle of Friends, Dancing at Lughnasa, and The Ballroom of Romance (filmed in Ballycroy, Co. Mayo). O’Connor is a BAFTA and Jacob’s Award winner and has worked with internationally renowned actors including Meryl Streep, Kenneth Brannagh, Colin Firth, Helen Mirren, and Joaquin Phoenix.

Legendary screen-writer Anthony Foutz is a current Mayoresident, and has an extraordinary film pedigree. Saturation 70, his most famous work, was shot (but never completed) at a 1969 UFO convention at Giant Rock, near Joshua Tree in the Mojave desert, and in Los Angeles. The lost film was recently featured in an exhibition at the Horse Hospital, London. The son of a Walt Disney company executive, Foutz earned his stripes in the film industry working as an assistant director in Italy to such luminaries as Orson Welles, Gillo Pontecorvo, and Marco Ferreri. He was also part of a hip, avant-garde set that included artist Mario Schifano and Anita Pallenberg. Other works in his archive include Maxagasm, a film vehicle for the Rolling Stones, co-written by Sam Shepard.

Mike Cockayne is the writer, producer and director of the Hardy Bucks T.V series and film. Mike is also an award-winning music-video director having worked a huge variety of performers including Atomic Kitten, The Darkness, Liz McClarnon, and Ultrabeat. He won the Observer Magazine Sports DVD of the Year award for his film: Ricky Hatton – A Life Story. Through The Hardy Bucks, Mike has had huge experience of Mayo. “Filming in Mayo has been an amazing experience for us whilst producing both The Hardy Bucks TV series and The Hardy Bucks Movie. The diversity of location possibilities combined with the warm welcome from the locals and ease of filming combine to make Mayo an outstanding location. In fact I loved filming here so much I actually decided to move here!”

Tim Palmer is an award winning producer and writer, who began his career in the film business as a film editor, working for CBS 60 Minutes in London. In the early 90’s he formed Parallel Films to develop and make feature films and high quality television drama. Tim Palmer’s feature credits include Mike Newell’s Into the West, David Keating’s The Last of the High Kings, and Sydney Macartney’s A Love Divided, which Best Film at the 1999 IFTAs. In 2007, Tim Palmer formed Ignition Films to develop and produce feature films. Their newest feature Patrick’s Day, from director Terry McMahon, was co-winner at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh for Best Feature Film Award.

This panel covers the full spectrum of filmaking, both in domestic and international terms, and will inform and inspire any practicing or potential filmmakers attending the launch.

Cinew EU Creative Industries Project will also be launching its Creative Industries Funding Scheme which aims to support attendance at international film festivals and training events.

Those interested in attending any of the events are asked to contact Orlagh Heverin, Assistant Arts Officer, at filmmayo@mayococo.ie or 094 90 47471.

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