Five films have been selected to begin production through the Northern Ireland Screen Short Steps Scheme. The scheme helps writers and directors from Northern Ireland develop scripts over a six-month period by holding intensive training sessions with local industry professionals.
Marie-Therese Mackle will produce all five films for Stirling Film and Television Productions over the summer. Speaking of the scheme, Marie-Therese said: “This scheme is really useful for emerging writers and directors and I am very excited to be a part of it this year. I feel that the selected scripts are really strong stories, well written, and I’m looking forward to actually making them for the screen.”
Each film will be shot in Northern Ireland, giving local industry professionals the opportunity to work on them. Marie-Therese added: “As well as an opportunity for these writers/directors to emerge onto the film scene here, it also provides fun projects and training for other young professionals in the film industry who will make up the crews. I am certainly keen to be introduced to new talent who I will hopefully work with now and in the future.”
The following scripts have been selected for production by Northern Ireland Screen:
Writer/Director: Michael Barwise
A tender but illicit affair comes to an end for young lovers Johnny and Cathy during a holiday to a remote beach house.
Writer/Director: Peter Stephenson
A mime artist, Marcel, falls for a mysterious passer-by, and must overcome different communication barriers in order to win her affections
‘Taking the Boat’
Writer/Director: Lisa Keogh
A story about isolation and compassion: On a difficult journey across the Irish Sea, a woman in trouble makes a connection with a young girl in the same predicament.
‘The Lighthouse Keepers’
Writers: Stephen O’Hagan & Aislinn Clarke
Director: Aislinn Clarke
‘The Lighthouse Keepers’ is a silent, black and white short, shot as a 1920’s expressionist-style horror melodrama. It tells the dramatic story of a pair of lighthouse keepers, a father and son, who meet a sorry fate in isolation, whilst carrying out their duty.
‘Two Little Boys’
Writer: Deirdre Alexander
Director: Ryan Tohill
Traumatised soldier Sean seeks comfort in his old family home but the horrors of war haunt him wherever he goes.