IGNITE DOCUMENTARY TALENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
A joint initiative of Cork International Film Festival & Docs Ireland, Belfast, supported by TG4, the Arts Council of Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland, Screen Skillnet, Northern Ireland Screen, and Arts & Business NI.
IGNITE is a bilingual talent development programme directed towards emerging Irish and Northern Irish documentary filmmakers embarking on their first or second non-fiction feature film.
Cork International Film Festival and Docs Ireland are delighted to announce the six new projects for Year Two, 2021-2022.
IGNITE is a cross-border partnership that aims to foster a new generation of documentary filmmakers, an innovative collaboration between the island’s first and newest film festivals, Cork International Film Festival and Docs Ireland. The participants and projects for Year Two are:
Asking For It – Grace Sweeney (Director), Anna Callan (Producer)
Imagine a world where a man accused of a brutal murder is acquitted because he claims his female victim asked to be killed. Crime fiction? Asking For It examines the reality of the “rough sex defence”.
Chinese Takeaway Kids – Diana Cheung (Director), Sam Howard (Producer)
Three generations of Chinese immigrants in Ireland explore their relationships with identity, culture and belonging as they navigate their struggle to stop the dilution of their Chinese heritage.
Girls Who Run The World – Lia Campbell (Director), Anna Callan (Producer)
Two unlikely places – East Belfast, Northern Ireland and Bekoji, Ethiopia – both home to some of the worldʼs most promising female athletes. This documentary film follows these promising young runners, asking why they are the girls who run?
Shay – Mia Mullarkey (Director), Collie McCarthy (Producer)
Fr. Shay Cullen has spent five decades rescuing exploited children from the sex industry and adult prisons in the Philippines. This feature documentary is an intimate portrait of a humanitarian hero.
The Inner Voice Of Tony Cascarino – Jonathan Farrelly (Director), Anna Mannion (Producer)
Tony Cascarino looks back on his life through the lens of his ‘Inner Voiceʼ, that little part of him that seemingly never wanted himself to succeed.
Unsilencing: My Journey to Carlow – Sandrine Ndahiro (Director), Alison Byrne (Producer)
Question your bias and delve into the exploration of the dual nature of the Irish identity. Shining a light on lived experiences from other ethnic minorities, Unsilencing shows the triumphs and challenges that have been faced by those on their quest of integrating into Co. Carlow, Ireland.
Year Two of the IGNITE Documentary Talent Development Programme follows the success of Year One where six feature documentary projects from emerging filmmakers were developed through training, workshops and one-to-one mentoring. This is a project-led scheme, which supports the progression of the selected projects and their teams through training focused on the development process of documentary from inception to exhibition. The scheme fosters a new generation of creative non-fiction talent from all over Ireland to pursue their first or second feature, and to provide them with a platform to develop the spectrum of skills and knowledge required to succeed as a feature documentary filmmaker on an international level.
During this comprehensive training initiative, participants will gain a grounding in all facets of project development, they will acquire market knowledge of the documentary industry, learning about the current trends in non-fiction film production, and an expansive understanding of the sector. The programme will include workshops, masterclasses, and in person conversations with established documentarians, broadcasters, funders, sales agents, and other industry professionals. All training will take place in a relaxed learning environment to allow for maximum learning potential and the opportunity to network and foster new relationships.
The IGNITE programme will provide a long-term engagement, comprising:
- Training days of workshops at Cork International Film Festival in November 2021, and Docs Ireland in June 2022
- An out-of-festival training event in early Spring 2021
- The opportunity to attend a leading International Documentary Film Festival
The Ignite Documentary Talent Development programme is supported by TG4, the Arts Council of Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland, Screen Skillnet, Northern Ireland Screen and Arts & Business NI.
IGNITE YEAR 1 TESTIMONIALS
“The support and expert guidance we’ve received through IGNITE has helped us shape and develop the project along a path that feels true to the film and to us as filmmakers, and we’ve been able to identify a place in the film world where this project will thrive.” Michael Barwise & Sean Mullan – Co-Directors, Hy-Brasil
“We’ve learnt so much about the feature documentary world from fundraising, how to hone your pitches and stand out in the marketplace. It’s also been great to connect with peers across Ireland and build networks with people internationally and many who are well established in the industry.” Gillian Callan – Director, Beatle Island
“The highlight, for us, was (virtually) attending the Hot Docs festival. The engaging and entertaining sessions and films were hugely inspirational. Overall, the scheme has given us the confidence to navigate the sometimes confusing world of documentary pitching, funding, sales and distribution.” John Conroy & Mairead Ní Threinír – Director & Producer, Pascal (Learning to Fall)
“Providing us with the opportunity to engage with industry experts who generously shared their knowledge and gave insightful feedback on our project, the Ignite programme exceeded my expectations in the variety of speakers and assistance offered. “ Lorraine Harton & Laura Smith – Producer & Director, The Honeypot
“Through its various workshops, webinars and information sessions, IGNITE gave me real insight and access to the workings of the feature documentary world not only in Ireland but across Europe and North America. Ignite provided us with real practical help with our films through pitching, treatment development, finance plans and strategies.” Cara Holmes – Director, Searching for Space
“The IGNITE programme delivered a well planned, constructive and encouraging series of training, discussions and workshops with many inspiring speakers from the world of documentary.” Evan Horan – Producer, Searching for Space
“As a first time feature director and producer, I have gained confidence in how to approach the intimidating market landscape . . .It’s clear the experience and knowledge gained on the Ignite programme will provide a steady foundation for my career ahead.” Ross McClean – Director, Untitled Hydebank Project
Further information on Cork International Film Festival & Docs Ireland:
CORK INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Cork International Film Festival is Ireland’s first and largest film festival and celebrates its 66th anniversary edition in November 2021. The Festival is proudly supported by Principal Funder the Arts Council, along with Cork City Council, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Creative Europe MEDIA, Screen Skills Ireland, BAI, ESB Energy for Generations Fund, Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, The Gate Cinemas, Murphy’s and UCC. Media Partners are RTÉ Supporting the Arts, the Irish Examiner and Red FM.
Doc Day at Cork International Film Festival is the festival’s flagship industry event, and seeks to inform, inspire and connect established and emerging non-fiction directors, producers and writers with international producers, directors, programmers, sales agents, distributors and film sector leaders to further understand and develop opportunities in the documentary landscape.
For full details, visit corkfilmfest.org, or see:
Docs Ireland is an annual industry focussed, all Ireland International Documentary Festival. Docs Ireland 3 was held in two parts this year with an Industry focused series of online events from 16th – 19th June including a marketplace, pitching sessions, masterclasses, new talent focus and funding information events. The second part was held in August, taking place in person and offering documentary lovers the best of this year’s Irish/Northern Irish, new and international documentaries, shorts and features.
Docs Ireland is proudly supported by principal funders NI Screen, Department Of Communities, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, alongside TG4, Arts & Business NI, Belfast City Council, Film Hub NI, BFI FAN, Yellowmoon, Belfast Media, Screen Producers Ireland and Creative Europe Media.
For full details, visit docs-ireland.ie or see:
MORE ABOUT IGNITE
Created in collaboration between Cork International Film Festival (Ireland’s first and largest film festival and destination for cinematic documentary) and Docs Ireland (the all-Ireland documentary focused festival from Belfast Film Festival), this cross-border partnership seeks to foster a new generation of Irish documentary filmmakers from the north and south of Ireland.
Feature documentary in Ireland has developed exponentially over the past decade, with countless award-winning non-fiction films gaining traction and being showcased both nationally, and on an international level; through festivals, cinema releases, television broadcast and VOD. The aim of Ignite is to aid in the long term sustainable growth and artistry of talent in the Irish documentary film community, through training and skills development, mentorship and drawing from the resources and expertise of both festivals.
The scheme is project-led, and supports the progression of the selected projects and their teams, through training that focuses on the development process of documentary, from inception to exhibition. The scheme aims to foster a new generation of non-fiction creative documentary talent from all over the island of Ireland to pursue their first or second feature, and to provide them with a platform to develop the spectrum of skills and knowledge required to succeed as a feature documentary filmmaker on an international level.
During this comprehensive training initiative, participants will gain a grounding in all facets of developing their project, and will acquire market knowledge of the documentary industry, learning about the current trends in non-fiction film production, and giving them an expansive understanding of the sector. The programme includes workshops, masterclasses, and in person conversations with established documentarians, broadcasters, funders, sales agents, and other industry professionals. All training takes place in an intimate environment, which will allow a hands-on approach; facilitating maximum learning potential and the opportunity to network and foster new relationships.
The 2020/2021 programme provided a long-term engagement, comprising:
- Training days at Cork International Film Festival in November 2020, and Docs Ireland in June 2021
- An out-of-festival training event in early spring
- The opportunity to attend a leading international Documentary Film Festival
In the current environment of the Covid-19 Global pandemic, we are continuously monitoring prevailing government and health guidelines; should guidelines change, we will pivot the programme to be delivered digitally.
Full Project / Participant List
Beatle Island – Gillian Callan (Director), Ciara Bresnihan (Producer)
A utopia lost off the West Coast of Ireland. Beatle Island is a tragedy about a group that attempted to create a new form of society on John Lennon’s island in Clew Bay, and the conflicts they had with the people of Westport.
The Honeypot – Laura Smith (Director), Lorraine Harton (Producer)
“If you find us, don’t revive us”. When burglars came across this note, they inadvertently stumbled upon the tragic trail of intrigue and deception left by international con-woman Julia Holmes.
Untitled Hydebank Film – Ross McClean (Director / Producer)
Ryan spends his last season as an inmate caring for a flock of sheep inside a Northern Irish prison’s walls. Upon release, he is thrust back into a precarious political environment as he ventures to raise his own flock, putting faith in the only occupation he has known to bring him solace.
Hy-Brasil – Michael Barwise (Co-director), Sean Mullan (Co-director)
A journey to find what you’re looking for. A storyteller embarks on a voyage to find the phantom island of Hy-Brasil, allegedly located 200 miles off the west coast of Ireland.
Pascal – John Conway (Director), Mairéad Ní Thréinir (Producer)
An old man living alone in a battered caravan, perched on the edge of an island on the Connemara coast. His legs are failing, his cancer is spreading, he couldn’t care less. He’s back on the island where he was born to live out his days, content in the knowledge that he didn’t waste a moment.
Searching for Space – Cara Holmes (Director), Evan Horan (Producer)
An intimate portrayal of a community of activists, creative artists and misfits told through lesbian lines – one of the oldest LGBT+ helplines in the world.