7 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Inaugural Dingle Distillery International Film Festival comes to a close
15 Nov 2022 : News Desk
Dingle Distillery International Film Festival
The Dingle Distillery International Film Festival wrapped its inaugural year over the weekend, which featured talks from leading crew members of Normal People, eminent director John Sayles, and 5,000 awarded to its first bursary winning short film.

Festival attendees joined casting director Ros Hubbard, talent agent Lorraine Brennan, and talent agent Josh Muldoon as they presented a workshop on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of acting as a career. Actors’ rights, the effects of streaming services on the film and TV world, how to get on the books of an agent, and nab that longed-for part were all topics covered in this in-depth three-hour session as well as self-taping, coping with rejection, and getting to grips with an ever-evolving industry.

Other luminaries such as eminent director John Sayles (Lone StarMen With Guns) delivered an Acting Master Class, while a day-long session with Cinematographer Owen McPolin (Game of Thrones, Vikings, Penny Dreadful) gave DOP-hopefuls all the tips and tricks of the trade. 

Over the weekend, the festival screened 82 films from 23 countries with 30 incredible Irish films also showcasing the amazing homegrown talent here at home. These were shown in the stunning surrounds of An Díseart and the Blasket Centre film, although there is hope that when the festival returns in 2023, the unused Phoenix Cinema, which is currently for sale and at the centre of a “Save The Phoenix” campaign locally, may become the focal point of the film-filled festivities in future.

Giving her support to the cause, Ros Hubbard said: “As the only cinema on the peninsula and all the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland, the beautiful Phoenix Cinema, has been closed for the last few years, we showed the films in other locations in Dingle, which were brilliant but it is a shame as The Phoenix would be such an iconic venue. However, it would be the hope among the community that when the festival returns next year it will be the heart of the festival.

On Sunday, the closing day of the festival, Philip King of Other Voices and John Sayles led a panel discussion at Dingle Distillery on film making in Ireland, with a focus on Kerry as a shooting location, something it is already well known for, as the backdrop to the likes of Star Wars and Far and Away. Meanwhile Andy Clarke (Brooklyn, Normal People) gave a talk on the Art and Science of Visual Effects, and Eugene McCrystal, whose film and TV work includes Conversations With Friends, Normal PeopleThe Quiet Girl and Joyride, shared his insights as one of Ireland’s leading colourists.

Festival Director Thom Palmen said: “On behalf of the entire board of the Dingle Distillery International Film Festival I want to thank everyone who joined us in Dingle this weekend. I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all our award winners, the future of film is in safe hands with you. I would also like to share my appreciation for everyone who has helped make this event a success this year, including The Skellig Hotel and our partners Dingle Distillery who kindly donated a cash prize of €5,000 to our winning International Short film, The Trip.”

The festival finished with an award-ceremony for the winning films chosen by a jury of industry experts, where winning films were awarded The Dovinia, a trophy created by local designer Brian de Staic. The Feature Zone winner Klondike, Ukraine’s entry for this year’s Oscars was accepted by Ukrainian volunteer Katerina Kobylnik (pictured) at the festival who moved to Dingle after the outbreak of the war.

Full list of winners: 

Feature Zone: Winner - Klondike by Maryna Er Gorbach

Shorts Zone: International winner - The Trip by Rimantas Oičenka (winner of the €5,000 donated by Dingle Distillery); Best Irish Short winner - For The Birds by Ciaran O’Connor

Documentary Zone: Winner - Little Palestine by Abdallah Al Khatib

IFTN Festive Q&A with actor Albrecht Schuch
IFTN Festive Q&A with director Luke McManus
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