The last couple of weeks have been busy with entertaining guests, and attending events at the Galway Film Fleadh, and in between I’ve been trying to complete work projects. I won’t comment on my Write-a-thon goals other than to say that they in progress, and I’ll get there in the end.

On Sunday five screenwriters – Mary D’Arcy, Val Nolan, Eamon Quinlan, Will Collins and Keith Bogue – stood in front of an audience and an expert panel and pitched their hearts out for the Fleadh’s Stella Artois Pitching Award. Will is a member of the Galway Scriptwriting Group, so it was an extra pleasure to hear him deliver a knock-out pitch, and to discover later on that he won the award. I expect he’ll get a lot of interest in his passionate script, entitled My Brothers. Keith is a mate of mine also, and he made a strong case for his screenplay, The Money Boys. Keith won the award in 2005, and made it into the top five once again, so I think he’s pretty pleased with how he did.

I’d like to see the Fleadh step up and really do something with the Pitching Award next year. The Cinemobile venue is too small, and the event takes place at noon on Sunday – a notoriously difficult time for Fleadh revellers. Ideally the Award should take place in a space with a larger theatre-style space, and producers and industry executives should be invited and encouraged to attend. If it’s going to remain in its current time slot then it should be located in the hotel associated with the Fleadh to allow people to roll out of bed and down to the event. This is one of the most prestigious scriptwriting events in Ireland–since the disappearance of the Tiernan McBride Screenwriting Award–and deserves to be promoted as such.

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