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Aspen Short Win for Declan Cassidy
09 Apr 2009 :
Whatever Turns You On
Declan Cassidy’s short film ‘Whatever Turns You On’ has scooped the Best Short Award at the Aspen Shortsfest in the US. The filmmaker has also revealed plans for two new shorts.

As an ‘Oscar Qualifier’ festival, the Aspen Shortsfest sees ‘Whatever Turns You On’ now eligible for entry to the Academy Awards next year. Having qualified from more than 2,500 entries into the Short category, the film (whose submission into Aspen was supported by Culture Ireland) was selected as the winner from the 60 finalists.

Seeing as the short was up against top films including a Sundance winner, Declan told IFTN of his utter surprise at the win: “When I got there and saw the quality of the films, I was just happy to be there and really wasn’t expecting to get anything. It was a total shock.” The judging panel for the award included Robert B. Weide, the director of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ‘How To Loose Friends and Alienate People’.

Along with this latest accolade ‘Whatever Turns You On’ has also been chosen to screen in US high schools, as Declan explains: “There’s a very healthy programme coming out of Aspen for a long time with schools. I got a request from Aspen, who felt that the message in the film about the sense of belonging and about not judging a book by its cover was important. They asked would it be okay to show it in some schools over there. Then, when I was over at the festival, a lecturer from Columbia University – which is one of the top film making schools in the US, asked whether he could use it to for his students too.”

Back home, Declan’s production company Timesnap has finished editing of his latest drama ‘The House’ which has been delivered to the broadcaster DCTV. Shot in Ballybunnion in Kerry and Dublin late last year, the drama is based on four individuals from different countries who come together to live under the same roof in Ireland.

Two new short projects are also lined up for Timesnap. On April 20th, Declan will begin shooting a new short film penned by Bill Tyson called ‘Veronique’ as part of the Irish Film Board’s Virtual Cinema scheme. The short will be based on the new generation of Sat Nav and the human reaction between the driver and his GPS. Castings are currently being held with filming taking place in and around Howth. The film makers will also commence photography on the short ‘Sotto Voce’ which will shoot in Italy this summer. In addition, two features are currently in development with Edwina Forkin from Zanzibar Films entitled ‘Warn’ and ‘Fishing with No Hooks’.

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