OFFline Film Festival is celebrating a three­fold increase in submissions to the OFFline Short Film Competition. Open to films under 15 minutes from any genre, almost 600 films have been submitted from 52 countries around the world.

This impressive increase will double the amount of short film screenings, and films will now be judged in two separate categories, Best International Short and Best Irish Short. Thanks to the Festival’s partnership with accessCinema, the winner of Best Irish Short will be distributed to over 80 official film clubs all over Ireland. There’s also a prize pool to the value of €2,000.

“We’re thrilled with the massive increase in submissions this year”, commented Festival Director Gary Hoctor. “It’s a great boost in terms of recognition of OFFline Film Festival worldwide.”

This year’s Festival will open with the world premiere of Irish feature-­length documentary The Iron Man, directed by Nicky Larkin and produced by Niall Cahir of Rain Chill Productions.

As well as screening features and shorts from around the world, OFFline will also include a workshop in Special Effects Make Up & Prosthetics hosted by Julie Ann Ryan, a variety of animation workshops facilitated by Paper Panther Productions, a tailored Sensory Screening for children with autism at IMC Tullamore, Parent & Baby Screenings at Birr Library, and screenings for school­children at libraries all over Offaly.

A highlight of the Festival, the OFFline Filmmaking Challenge, will see teams from all over Europe arrive in Birr to shoot and screen their short films in less than 60 hours.

Now in its 5th year, OFFline Film Festival runs for 5 days from October 8th ­to 12th. The Festival programme will be officially launched on Culture Night at 7pm on September 19th at the Edit Shed in Birr.

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