Virgin Media TV - Screen Ireland

Virgin Media in association with Screen Ireland announce €150,000 prize fund for short film makers

Virgin Media in association with Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland today unveiled a €150,000 prize fund for the Virgin Media Discovers short film competition – to promote and support new and established Irish film making talent and development, with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

Virgin Media is committed to discovering different voices in film, and are calling for ideas that bring diverse tales, voices and stories to life. New and established filmmakers are invited to submit a brief pitch document by 30th November for a proposed 10-minute short film, from which 10 projects will receive €9,000 funding each for complete script development. 

All of the funded projects will then receive high-quality exposure at the 2021 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival and two overall winners will receive €30,000 each and production assistance to create their films. These will then be broadcast nationally on Virgin Media Television and at a special premiere event during the new year. The competition is open to new, emerging talent and also to established industry talent with a diverse story to tell. Details of how to enter are at: www.virginmedia.ie/discovers.

This is the second year Virgin Media has run its competition to look for fresh and fearless filmmakers in Ireland, in association with the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival. Last year’s winner was Innocent Boy, created by Cluster-Fox Films, co-owned by actor John Connors and Tiernan Williams, telling the story of a deaf Traveller boy.  They won the overall prize, premiered as part of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival and was broadcast nationally on Virgin Media Television and on Virgin Media On Demand.  

At Virgin Media, we know these unprecedented times demand creative support. We’re fortunate to have a strong and collaborative network of partners such as Screen Ireland which allows us to back emerging and established filmmakers as they develop bold new work. This year, our commitment is to discover ideas and content focused on diversity and inclusivity. As a leading national broadcaster, Virgin Media Television is strongly focused on supporting the independent production sector. This competition and funding will ensure that the essential activities of scriptwriting and film making are promoted during these times and are given a platform to broadcast to the nation.

Paul Higgins, Vice-President of Commercial – Virgin Media Ireland

As part of the recently announced €3 million July Stimulus Support Package for Television Drama, Screen Ireland has allocated funding to support this unique initiative and ensure the development and growth of the Television Drama & Scripted Sector. This targeted competition will help to support the development of our creative talent base from writers and directors through to actors and crew.  We are very pleased to support this competition and continue our investment in Diversity and Inclusion opportunities across all levels of production and creativity.

Andrew Byrne, Television Project Manager – Screen Ireland

In its first year, the Virgin Media Discovers competition made a significant impact on the Irish filmmaking community, drawing a record number of entries, it has quickly established itself as a key initiative to showcase new talent and an opportunity to celebrate and discover diversity on screen. The addition of Screen Ireland as a partner in its second year will further expand the potential of this exciting scheme and I look forward to participating as part of the judging process.

Gráinne Humphreys, Director – Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival
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