7 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Cork Film Centre Builds Success
28 Oct 1999 :
Recently, a Cork shoot required an experienced wardrobe person, an assistant director, a make-up person and a camera operative all at the same time. So what’s the news angle? They rang the Cork Film Centre and training co-ordinator Felim McDermott told them “No problem, they’re all here.” Gary Quinn reports.

Felim McDermott freely admits that it excites him not to have to look to Dublin anymore for key crew. “The Cork Film Centre’s goal is to create a pool of talent in the city and to see that goal facilitated is a great boost to the centre” he explained. The Cork Film Centre runs a number of training courses but the most substantial of these is a year long FAS course which has just finished its first complete run. Launched in November 1998, the course was designed to train camera, lighting, sound and edit suite operatives. A year later the course has proved to be a great success with four of the ten participants placed with very substantial projects while the others are also all engaged in work in the industry here.

One of these, Carol O’Keefe, went to work with the BBC on their big budget TV drama, Silent Witness, as an assistant sound recordist. Another, John O’Leary, went to LA to work as a trainee cameraman, while two other course participants went to Concorde Anois to work in the Art department and as a second Assistant Director there.

Another accolade for the course and its participants came in the form of the best Made in Cork award for Carol O’Keefe’s 13-minute documentary, Inside Out, at this year’s Cork Film Festival. Shot on 16mm and produced by Sophie Turaud with photography by John O’Leary, the film documented the lives of three recovering drug addicts. The Made in Cork section of the film festival was introduced in 1997 and has since grown to reflect the huge growth in production expertise there. In ‘97there were two films shown in this section. By 1999 this had grown to a selection of thirteen from a reported ‘far greater number submitted.’ Speaking at the festival, Mick Hannigan Festival Director, referred to the fact that “the fingerprints of the Cork Film Centre are evident on most of the films selected – providing equipment, encouragement and expertise to an emerging cadre of Cork based filmmakers.”

The centre is very grateful for the support and assistance it received from FAS. At a time when Community Employment courses are being wound up it is a credit to the project that FAS have agreed to fund it for another year. This year it has been restructured and is now a New Pilot Project. As with last year, this years participants came with relatively little experience. McDermott welcomes this as it gives him a chance to mould their vision of filmmaking and get over much of the hype and Hollywood fiction which is usually associated with filmmaking. “The course is about coupling technical information with practical networking. Allowing people to get out there and make a living out of filmmaking,” he said. The first six months are focused on intensive training and the second on working and putting the skills learned into practice. As he explained, ”When you then take a step back and watch people simply working in the film industry here, it is very exciting.”

Cork Film Centre, Top Floor, ICC House, 46 Grand Parade, Cork.

Tel: +353 21 270 833.
Email: corkfilm@tinet.ie

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