The Sky Road TV & Film Festival has announced details of its inaugural programme, an exciting selection of Irish TV and filmmaking talent across features, shorts, documentaries and new media in both English and Irish language. The new three day festival takes place at the The Station House Theatre in Clifden Co. Galway from September 5th to 7th.
Festival Chairman Eamonn Ó Cualáin says, “Our festival aims to shine a spotlight on the best of Irish Film, Television and New Media. The quality and quantity of submissions in this our first year has been overwhelming which has made the final selection process very difficult. We are very excited about our first programme and look forward to presenting audiences in Clifden with a unique festival experience.”
The Festival programme will feature over 60 screenings over the week-end including Irish premieres of feature documentaries Endure, a first hand account of the cycling challenge two young Irish lads set themselves to cycle 26,000km across 27 countries on 5 continents in 11 months; One Ocean, No Limits, which follows a young rower through the highs and lows of rowing unassisted as part of a six man crew across the vast Atlantic ocean from Morocco to Barbados, the first ever Irish documentary on the subject of extreme Ocean Rowing. Other highlights include Torthai Na Daoirse – Blood Fruit; From Tee to Green, The Story of Irish Golf, a three part sporting history, featuring great players, spectacular courses and moments of high drama, The Last Days of Peter Bergmann and Ceolchuairt where Belfast troubadour embarks on a musical pilgrimage to Jamaica to the roots of Bob Marley.
The Festival are delighted to screen the Roger Corman documentary It Came From Connemara, followed by a Q&A with director Brian Reddin. “The documentary tells the story of how the Corman studio ignited film making in the west of Ireland, inspiring the growth and development of a wealth of creative talent and energy that is visible as the talented vibrant film community of today. We are excited to also premiere low-budget, martial arts Corman feature Bloodfist 8: Trained to Kill following the Q&A. Audiences will readily recognise a lot of the locations and indeed many younger local familiar faces who are now key talents in the film making community here,” says Ó Cualáin.
The closing feature will be the World Premiere of Tommy: To Tell You The Truth, an edgy and revealing observational documentary directed by Pat Collins which provides an insight into the life and creative impulse of Tommy Tiernan, one of the leading comedians of his generation and one that is always pushing both himself and the boundaries of his material. Comedian Tommy Tiernan will attend the screening with a Q&A afterwards.
The festival will bring unexpected stories to audiences throughout the three days, both entertaining and thought-provoking from a broad range of emerging and established filmmakers, all of whom will be in the running for the Festival awards which will be announced on the Sunday night following the closing film.
“We have nine awards to be presented at our awards ceremony night on September 7th,” says Ó Cualáin. “These prizes are in association with industry organisations such as TG4, RTE, BAI and the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. and we thank them sincerely for their support and vote of confidence in this our first year.”
The categories are: Best Short Film and Best Short Film, First Time Director; Best Feature Film; Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Documentary Series; Best 3 minute short, New Media, filmed on a mobile or smart device and Best 1 minute short, New Media, filmed on a mobile or smart device; the Spirit of the Festival Award will be presented in recognition of a film, television programme or event that encapsulates the spirit of the Sky Road TV & Film Festival each year.
The judging panel will include a range of figures from the Irish film Industry and film journalists including Jim Sheridan, Bob Quinn, Ross Whitaker is one of Ireland's most respected documentary filmmakers. His work includes Katie, Between Land & Sea and Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story., Martha ONeill, Paddy Hayes, Jill Beardsworth, Barbara McCann and film journalists Tara Brady, Donald Clarke, Daniel Anderson and Nicola Timmons.
In a unique and exciting opportunity TG4 are offering aspiring filmmakers a chance to pitch their ideas to make a 25 minute documentary worth €25,000. Participants will pitch to commissioning editors on stage at the Festival in either the Irish or English language. “Its an amazing opportunity. Applicants will have 5 minutes on stage; 2 minutes pitching their idea and 3 minutes of questions and answers immediately after with commissioning editors. If TG4 considers that the pitches are of an acceptable standard one pitch will be selected and we will announce the winner on Sunday September the 7th at the closing ceremony.” says Ó Cualáin.
The pitching session will take place at 1pm on Saturday September the 6th at the Station House Theater, Clifden, Co Galway. The selected pitch has a number of conditions attached e.g. the winner will need to select a television production company with a track record to contract with TG4. To register and Full details are on the festival website.