21 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Shorts Round-Up
17 Nov 2015 : Seán Brosnan
A still from short documentary ‘Ladies of Science’
Snugboro Films short documentary ‘Ladies of Science: The Extraordinary Story of Mary Rosse and Mary Ward’ wins two more awards in Milan, three IFB funded short films confirmed for Foyle and Bootstrap Films short ‘What If’ played to over 700 at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, England.

Short documentary ‘Ladies of Science: The Extraordinary Story of Mary Rosse and Mary Ward’, produced by Snugboro Film, has won two awards at the Film Fest International in Milan.

The documentary, which tells the previously untold story of two pioneering women from the 19th Century, won awards for Best Short Documentary and the Scientific & Educational Award.

The short doc has also made recent appearances at the Life Fest Film Festival in Hollywood where it won ‘Best Short Documentary; and the St Tropez Film Festival, in France where it was nominated for awards including ‘Best Director’, ‘Scientific and Educational Award’, ‘Best Short Documentary’. The documentary went on to win the award for ‘Best Editing Documentary’ for editor John Desay.

In addition to this, ‘Ladies of Science’ has been selected for the Long Island International Film Expo 2015.

The award winning documentary’s ensemble cast includes Alex Cusack and Nelly Henrion who portray Mary Rosse and Mary Ward respectively. For the first time the life works and previously unknown accomplishments of both Mary Rosse and Mary Ward have been collated in a series of interviews; and retold through dramatisation.

Other contributors include Brendan Parsons Earl of Rosse, descendant of Mary Rosse, Alisson Countess of Rosse, Mary Mulvihill , RTE journalist and broadcaster, Luke Drury, 54th President of the Royal Irish Academy and David Davison, photographer and historian of Mary Rosse as well as many others.

The film tells the story of Mary Rosse was famed locally for her work as an architect, a blacksmith, and perhaps most notably, a pioneer photographer. She was also heavily involved in the construction of the ‘Monster Telescope’, otherwise known as the ‘Leviathan’; it was the largest telescope in the world for over seventy years. It also tells the tale of her friend, Mary Ward, who became a highly regarded scientific expositor; microscopist; and astronomer. She often visited Birr Castle where she documented and studied the wildlife in the ground; as well as illustrating with minute detail, the night skies as seen by the Leviathan. Directed by Alessandra Usai, produced by Liam Grant, shot by Domicjan Rozz and edited by John Desay, key crew also includes, Assistant Director Ruth Callinan, Composer Tamas Rabel, Cast Director Francesca O’Rafferty, Writers Katie Keane and Lisa Burke, Cameraman Keith Graham, Sound Recordist Gary Hoctor while the set designers were Mary Doherty & Francesca O’Rafferty.

The production was shot on location in Dublin’s ‘Castle Hotel’ and Birr Castle, Co. Offaly between February and May 2014. The story is told through a series of interviews, narration and dramatization. The documentary is supported by original materials; including the original photographic equipment; the original copies of Mary Ward’s books; family portraits; project notes; and architectural designs drawn by Lady Rosse; as well as original photographs and sketches of the telescope. The narration is provided by Lalla Ward, the great-great granddaughter of Mary Ward. She is a noted actress and author, best known for her role as Romana in the original BBC series of Doctor Who.

For more information on ‘Ladies of Science’, follow their Facebook page here.

IFB funded shorts at Foyle

The lineup of the Foyle Film Festival has been unveiled, with three short films funded by the Irish Film Board amongst the titles showing at the Academy Award accredited festival. ‘How Was Your Day?’, ‘Blight’ and ‘A Coat Made Dark’ will each screen at the festival, which takes place in Derry-Londonderry.

‘How Was Your Day?’ was directed by Damien O'Donnell and was adapted from a short story by Nollaig Rowan and stars Eileen Walsh (The Magdalene Sisters) as a woman excited about the approaching birth of her first child. Produced by Emmaline Dowling for Suitable Films Limited, ‘How Was Your Day?’ also stars Seán Duggan, Aidan McCardle, Janet Moran, Eamonn Hunt and Molly McNamara. It will screen on Saturday 21st November at 3:00pm as part of the Light in Motion Awards Short Film Programme 2.

Brian Deane's ‘Blight’ follows a priest who is summoned to a remote Island to help save the life of a young girl who is being tortured by a sinister entity. The short was written by Matthew Roche and produced by Anna O'Malley for TW Films Ltd and stars George Blagden, Alicia Gerrard, Joe Hanley, Marie Ruane, Matthew O'Brien and Tristan Heanue. It will screen on Sunday 22nd November at 12:30pm as part of the Light in Motion Awards Animation Programme 2.

In animation, ‘A Coat Made Dark’ directed and written by Jack O'Shea tells the story of a man who follows the orders of a dog to wear a coat with impossible pockets. It was produced by Damien Byrne for STILL Films Ltd and features the voices of Hugh O'Connor, Declan Conlon and Antonia Campbell Hughes. It will screen on Sunday 22nd November at 2:00pm as part of the Light in Motion Awards Short Film Programme 4.

For more information on the Foyle Film Festival, visit their website at www.foylefilmfestival.org.

‘What If’ selected for Aesthetica Short Film Festival

‘What If’ the IFB partly funded short film was nominated and screened in competition at the BAFTA approved Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York last week (5-8 November).

Produced by John Phelan (Bootstrap Films), the short film was directed by Alan Walsh and starred Simon Delaney. It played to a massive audience of over 700 in York Opera House during the festival.

Speaking about the reception of the film, Producer John Phelan said: "We were thrilled with the audience response and it has opened to door to a possible feature film.”

Oscar-nominated Todd Field discusses directing at IFTA Masterclass
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