Four successful filmmaking teams have been chosen for Focus Shorts, the cornerstone short film scheme from Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland. The scheme, which will see €200,000 invested in the development of up and coming creative screen talent, will support four projects, each of which will receive €50,000 to go into production. With strong competition for the scheme, over 130 applications were received, and the final short films will go on to screen in festivals around the world after a Screen Ireland-supported World Premiere at home.
Focus Shorts is the agency’s flagship short film scheme, supporting emerging Irish filmmakers as they tell bold, original stories with strong production values. Making the final selection this year was particularly tough given the exceptionally high quality of the applications. We eagerly anticipate the production of the four selected films, which we are delighted to say show strong female representation both in front of and behind the cameras.
Emma Scott, Production and Distribution Manager – Screen Ireland
Lee Magiday, the producer of Academy Award-winning The Favourite, Frank Berry, the Irish writer/director behind Michael Inside, Eimear Markey, Development Executive and Lesley McKimm, Project Manager at Screen Ireland, all formed part of the lengthy selection process and panel, working together to review, shortlist and select the successful teams.
Focus Shorts aims to encourage strong, original storytelling, visual flair, and production values appropriate to the big screen, offering an opportunity for producers, directors and writers with at least one previous credit. Since its establishment in 2017, short films produced under the scheme like Steve Kenny’s Time Traveller, Eamonn Murphy’s A Better You and Kate Dolan’s Catcalls have seen international success at the Tribeca Film Festival, the BFI London Film Festival and the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival.
The successful short films for Focus Shorts are:
Too Slow, written by Sarah Ahern, directed by Mia Mullarkey and produced by Claire Mc Cabe. A lonely woman and a unfortunate young girl in a council estate in Dublin escape from their lives for a day, but actions of intended kindness are soon misunderstood by all.
Bad Boy Buck, written and directed by James Fitzgerald and produced by Simon Doyle. After a one-night stand with another man, a married farmer attempts to hide the affair from his family as the truth begins to terrorise him.
Lamb, written and directed by Sinead O’Loughlin and produced by Lara Hickey. An ordinary day takes a sinister turn for a woman and her child when a stranger walks into their isolated rural home.
Shadow, written by Ash Corristine, directed by Janna Kemperman and produced by Maggie Ryan. When her mother dies, a 10 year old girl secretly runs the family dairy farm to help her distraught father, until it becomes too much.