For the past few years I’ve been involved in judging for the Galway Junior Film Fleadh, which is a task I enjoy tremendously. I love witnessing the enthusism among young people for cinema.
Previously I was part of the jury for the Script Pitching competition, which is a live event delivered in front of an audience – a feat that would make most adults nervous. This year I couldn’t be part of the jury due to a schedule clash, but I’m pleased to report that the 2011 winner is Amanda Honan Coyle from St Joseph’s Community College, Kilkee, Co Clare. Her project, titled “A World of Our Own”, wins her a place in the summer drama camp with the Galway Film Centre.
Instead I was a juror for the Young Filmmaker Shorts (ages 13+). I’m delighted to announced that the winner in this category is “The Ragdoll Girl”, created by Rachel McCluskey & Bridget Mary Wilson from St. Cecelia’s College in association with The Nerve Centre in Co. Derry.
This short film is a dark fairy tale about a ragdoll girl who haunts a ruined house, and features an impressive performance by the lead actress (Emma Craig), a coherent, spooky storyline and a lovely bit of stop-motion animation. It was the clear winner in the category, and the jury was impressed by the production quality, performances, attention to detail and evocative storytelling.
Personally, as a horror writer and fan, I was delighted to watch such a well-crafted supernatural short film that was created by a team comprised mostly of girls. This short film is superior to many horror shorts I’ve watched, and desevers a spot on the horror film festival circuit. There are plenty of adult filmmakers who could learn something from this short dark tale.
Finally, in the Junior Filmmakers Shorts (ages 7 – 13), the winner was “Dublin Zoo No 2” made by the Young Irish Film Makers from Kilkenny, and directed by Garry McHugh.
For those of you who are interested, here is “The Ragdoll Girl” on YouTube: