young pitchers

Today I was part of a judging panel for the Pitching Competition at the 16th Galway Junior Film Fleadh. It’s the third year the event has run and the second year I’ve been one of the judges. The event took place in the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, and there was a sturdy turnout of people despite the gales and lashing rain.

This year saw the largest number of applicants for the award, and from them three finalists were picked:

  • ‘Rocky the Racehorse’ pitched by Aisling Dolan, Convent of Mercy, Co. Roscommon
  • ‘Web of Lies’ pitched by Emma Finnerty, Ard Scoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
  • ‘Rineen Ambush’ pitched by Paul Nolan, St Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil Co. Clare

Each of the finalists had to go up on stage and pitch their story to the judging panel, and an audience composed of their family and schoolmates. That is an intimidating prospect for an adult don’t mind a teenager. After each pitch all the judges offered feedback, and at the end of the session we retired to adjudicate.

While the judges had read an early version of the pitch, we were evaluating the candidates based on their performance on the day. All of them offered a lively and entertaining overview of their projects, which were very different in tone and subject matter.

The winner of the competition was: ‘Web of Lies’ by Emma Finnerty.

All of the entrants were of a high standard, but we were impressed with the clear character journey of Emma’s protagonist, her timely subject about the impact of technology upon today’s young people, and the development she’d put into the story since the initial pitch.

Congratulations to Emma!

I love seeing young people fired up about creative projects, and it’s a joy to be involved in such a wonderful festival.

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