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Transition Year Filmmakers Win Top Euro Prize
31 May 2006 :

The students in Treviso

‘Galar an Ghrá’ (Love is a Disease), a short film from Transition Year video drama students of St Joseph's Secondary School, Rochfortbridge, Co Westmeath, has won four major awards at the Ciak Junior International Film Festival in Treviso, Italy, including the top prize for Best Film.

The 14 minute film is based upon the theme of unrequited love and tells the story of student Noel who falls in love with a new teacher in his school. While he makes many attempts to woo her, he is in for a surprise after discovering that he has competition.

Students Christina Dignan, Siobhán Dolan, Aidan Fallon, Noel Gavin and Aoife Hyland wrote and produced the film from their original script. The project was overseen for the school by teacher Karen Stenson and was directed for television by 'Paisean Faisean' director Cathal Watters.

‘Galar an Ghrá’, saw off competition from student filmmakers from 11 other countries. Ciak Junior is held in conjunction with the Cultural Division of U.N.E.S.C.O. and the four day event has become one of the main youth film festivals in Europe.

In addition to the main prize, the production also took the Best Actor award (Stephen Kirwan), the Spirit of the Festival award and the TV Broadcasters' award. The students and their teacher had travelled to Italy as guests of TG4 to attend the Festival, be present when the winners were announced and celebrate their win.

The Transition Year Video competition is organised by TG4 each year. Entry details and information are posted on the channel's website www.tg4.ie. Transition Year students nationwide may submit story outlines and a script, TG4 selects a shortlist of entries and provides resources and professional television expertise to produce the shortlisted projects. The national winner is then selected from these film productions and goes forward to represent Ireland in the Ciak Junior International Film Festival in Italy. Previous TG4 winners have had success at the Ciak Festival with Alexandra College, Dublin, scooping the main prize in 2001.

Competition co-ordinator Pádraic Ó'Ráighne, TG4 comments, "To win the main European prize is an extraordinary achievement for the college. These students have shown that their work is of the highest standard and we congratulate them, their teachers and mentor Cathal Watters. This is an exciting time for young Irish film makers and TG4 is proud to be encouraging our talented up and coming generation of young film-makers," he said.

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