Caroline Farrell at Connemara Writers’ Retreat, with Mark McNally just behind her, October 2022
Caroline Farrell at Connemara Writers’ Retreat, with Mark McNally just behind her, October 2022

Caroline Farrell Announced as the Stowe Story Labs / Galway Film Fleadh Fellow 

Stowe Story Labs has announced that Dublin-based screenwriter Caroline Farrell has been awarded a fellowship to attend the July 2023 Marketplace at the Galway Film Fair as a result of her success in the First Annual Stowe Story Labs/Connemara Writers Retreat in October, 2022. Farrell will be presenting her horror feature Iona’s House.

The story is about Kate Dillon, who is haunted by the devastating grief and shame of knowing that her baby’s death was her fault. When she reluctantly rents the remote Iona’s House, she begins to sense the presence of the undead, who haunt her to tease out the truths she hides. 

This fellowship is made possible through a collaboration between Stowe Story Labs, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (Screen Ireland), Northern Ireland Screen, and the Galway Film Fleadh. As the Galway Market Fellow, Farrell has been invited to the 2023 Galway Film Fair to pitch her project to the market’s decision-makers, and she will receive support from Stowe Story Labs team members and mentors to prepare for the Fair.  

In alignment with the Stowe Launch model, the Stowe team will guide Farrell through the advanced script development process to help her prepare for the Marketplace. Steps will include further script notes; the development of ancillary materials such as a lookbook, one-pager, treatment, or budget, all as needed and appropriate; help developing and perfecting a pitch of the material; and help with researching and planning how to best use the time at the Marketplace.

The Marketplace at the Galway Film Fair, the industry arm of the Galway Film Fleadh, mirrors the festival’s uniquely intimate, informal and accessible atmosphere to act as a key industry networking event on the international film calendar and a launchpad for projects at various stages of development through its vibrant marketplace. The Marketplace is known as an important international co-production hub.

I’m honoured to be selected ‘Stowe Story Lab / Galway Film Fleadh Marketplace Fellow 2023. I want to share massive appreciation to Stowe Story Labs, Screen Ireland and the Galway Film Fleadh, and also huge respect to the talented screenwriters, producers, speakers and supportive mentors I had the opportunity to work with and be inspired by during the inaugural Connemara Writers Retreat 2022. I’m excited to be awarded this amazing opportunity and to be moving forward with my feature screenplay, Iona’s House. I would encourage more Irish screenwriters to apply for the many wonderful opportunities that Stowe Story Labs currently offer. Through their partnerships with Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and the Galway Film Fleadh, they provide support and encouragement to progress your work through a highly professional and personable process, not to mention the nurturing atmosphere of Renvyle House!

Caroline Farrell, Writer

We loved working with all of the writers and filmmakers in Connemara. The breadth of talent and story was empowering and the mentors were wonderful. To cap the experience by supporting Caroline as she works to get Iona’s House made is an honour.

David Rocchio, Founder and Director – Stowe Story Labs

There was a lot of stellar work and talented writers at Connemara, so I can only imagine how tough the decision-making process must’ve been. But Caroline Farrell and Iona’s House is well, well deserved. I wish her all the best and I hope to see her work brought to life! Certainly, with regards to the script I brought to the retreat, Nothing Happens Somewhere, the experience has proved ever fruitful. I think about it frequently. And without saying too much, the response to my script in the world has been stellar. And I wouldn’t be here without your encouragement and the work at the Retreat.

Mark McNally, Northern Ireland Screen Fellow

We are  delighted to support Caroline Farrell with a fellowship for the Marketplace in 2023 with her project IONA’S HOUSE. The Connemara Retreat was full of wonderful writing and people. It is a testament to Caroline to earn this spot, and we congratulate her and very much look forward to working with her.

Miriam Allen, CEO – Galway Film Fleadh

Our congratulations to Caroline Farrell for her selection as the Stowe Story Labs / Galway Film Fleadh Fellow following this year’s successful inaugural edition of the Connemara Writers Retreat. Screen Ireland is proud to support emerging screenwriting talent and the development of innovative and creative Irish screen stories. We look forward to seeing Caroline further develop her creative work for next year’s Fleadh Marketplace.

Gráinne Bennett, Skills Development Executive – Creativity & Creative Collaboration – Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland

All participants in the 2022 edition of the Connemara Writers’ Retreat will be awarded admittance to the 2023 Galway Film Fleadh, including a place in the festival’s annual Screenwriter’s Masterclass. Participants will also receive an application waiver for their projects for the festival’s marketplace, the 2023 Galway Film Fair.