22 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Aoife Barry and Vanessa Gildea set to judge the 2023 Westmeath Film Award
21 Jun 2023 : News Desk
Aoife Barry and Vanessa Gildea
The Westmeath Film Award offers a bursary of 10,000 to a filmmaker towards the creation of a short film or documentary in Westmeath.

Aoife Barry, bestselling journalist and broadcaster, and Vanessa Gildea, award-winning filmmaker and Head of Department Film + Media at the National Film School are set to judge this year's 2023 Westmeath Film Award.

This award is funded by Westmeath County Council Arts Office and the Arts Council of Ireland. It provides support to filmmakers early in their career, enabling professional development by financing the creation of new work. It aims to foster talent, creativity and activity in filmmaking in County Westmeath.

“It’s a privilege for the Westmeath Arts Office to welcome Aoife Barry and Vanessa Gildea to the judging panel for this year’s Film Award,” said Westmeath Arts Officer Miriam Mulrennan. “Aoife and Vanessa both have such valuable experience in the arts, particularly in film & television. I’m certain that they will bring fresh insights and perspectives to the award. We are looking forward to meeting with them later this month to select the winner of the 2023 Award.”

Aoife Barry is an arts and culture journalist and broadcaster based in Dublin. She is the author of the bestselling book Social Capital, about Ireland’s relationship with social media. A former assistant news editor at The Journal, she reported on the 2023 Oscars from Hollywood. She has interviewed filmmakers and actors including Cate Blanchett, Pedro Pascal, Colm Bairéad, Neil Jordan, and Paddy Breathnach. She has MC’d live interviews for the Dublin International Film Festival and led workshops for Young Irish Film Makers. Aoife has been published by outlets including the Irish Times, Irish Independent, and Examiner, and features regularly on RTÉ Radio, Ireland AM and Today FM. Her essays have been published by Banshee journal, Visual Verse, and featured on Sunday Miscellany.

Vanessa Gildea is an award winning Producer/Director/Writer and Head of Department Film + Media at the National Film School, IADT. She has a Masters in Screenwriting from the NFS and a BA in Media & Communication and English. Vanessa has received five IFTA nominations. She is a former vice-chair of Women in Film & TV Ireland, serving on the board for three years, and co-founder and documentary programmer of the Catalyst International Film Festival.

Vanessa’s credits as writer/director include I Am Ireland, The Lunch, The Abandoning, The 34th, Keeping the Beast at Bay, O Béal go Bhéal um Nollaig, and The White Dress.

Vanessa has worked freelance as a producer and director with a variety of companies including Loopline Film, COCO TV, Harvest Films and RTÉ Arts & Culture on projects suh as the Culture Night Live concert at Collins Barracks, curating the RTÉ Tent at the All Together Now Festival, The Irish Folk Awards Film Tributes, Dermot Bannon’s Incredible Homes and with director Dearbhla Walsh on I’m Roger Casement.

Read more about the 2023 Westmeath Film Award.

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