4 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish participants at Equinoxe Screenwriting Workshop
28 Apr 2009 :
Two Irish screenwriters Abbie Spallen (Pumpgirl) James Phelan (Rasai na Gaillimhe) have been chosen as part of a group of ten European writers to attend the latest Equinoxe screenwriting workshop currently being held in Balestrand in Norway.

The residential workshop sees experienced industry advisors work intensively on selected screenplays. Advisors include James V Hart, writer of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and Lisa Fruchtman, editor of ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘The Right Stuff’.

Award winning playwright and screenwriter Abbie Spallen brings the project ‘The Courtship Gift’, an adaptation of a novel by Julie Parsons. This year’s recipient of the Stewart Parker Award, Abbie recently adapted her very successful play ‘Pumpgirl’ into a feature film with funding from NI Screen and BBC NI. ‘Pumpgirl’ was screened at the Belfast Film Festival in April 2009. In 2007 she won the Tony Doyle Award for her screenplay ‘Seven Drunken Knights’.

James Phelan’s feature screenplay ‘Banshee’ was also selected for the workshop. The supernatural period thriller is set in Donegal and Waterford in 1898. It follows the unraveling of a mystery by an inquisitive doctor when an affluent family is besieged by a vengeful supernatural spirit.

James recently wrote the seven part comedy drama ‘Rasai na Gaillimhe/The Galway Races’ for TG4. Starring Don Wycherley (Bachelors Walk), Owen Roe (Cromwell in Ireland) and Ruth Bradley (Alarm), it will be broadcast this autumn on TG4. The series was directed by Robert Quinn and produced by Great Western Films.

James’ short film ‘Poetic Licence’ will soon be showing at the Mid Ulster Film Festival and the Fastnet Film Festival in Schull, County Cork. ‘Poetic Licence’ centres on a young poet for whom rhyming becomes a prison and where silence is his only escape. The cast includes Glenn Barry (The Big Bow Wow), Katie Kirby (Jellybaby) and Bosco Hogan (The Tudors). David Kelly (Waking Ned) provides narration on the dark fairytale which was also produced by Great Western Films and co-funded by Filmbase and RTÉ.

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