LIT Film Festival heads towards The Summit

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

LIT Film Festival heads towards The Summit
LIMERICK Institute of Technology’s annual film festival will feature a masterclass with the cinematographer who worked on The Summit, the film about the events on K2 which saw Limerick climber Ger McDonnell tragically lose his life.

LIMERICK Institute of Technology’s annual film festival will feature a masterclass with the cinematographer who worked on The Summit, the film about the events on K2 which saw Limerick climber Ger McDonnell tragically lose his life.

Organisers of the fourth annual LIT Film Festival hope to also welcome the film’s director, Nick Ryan, plus a screening of the film, which has been picked up for syndication across the United States and won an award at the Sundance festival.

Cameraman Steve O’Reilly will give a masterclass - hosted by festival sponsors Canon - on Saturday, April 13 next, one of the standout highlights of a superbly programmed festival, which features a plethora of workshops, talks and classes with top actors, make-up artists and filmmakers.

Video production lecturer Simon McGuire, who founded the festival in 2010, believes the mark of its success should be judged by the number of entries of short film to the festival’s competition sections.

“The first year we had about 33 entries and it has boosted this year to 115, including those from France and Spain as well,” he explained.

“We are branching out into Europe, which is what we want to do, we want to entice Irish and European filmmakers to enter and build it up.”

In the year of the Gathering, this is an ideal project to attract people to the Mid-West, and the film festival has connected with the Government project.

“The Gathering have been promoting the festival on their website, as have Failte Ireland,” he said. “We have been using those connections and contacting people in the UK to entice people to come over, visit Limerick and see what the Mid-West has to offer.”

The festival will run in the dynamic college over three days, from April 11-13, centred around the Millennium Theatre.

Simon explained that it began as a sort of stepping stone from the Limerick based Fresh Film Festival, which caters for young filmmakers up to the age of 18.

“Fresh is fantastic, they do so much work with people under the age of 18. However, because there is so much talent in Limerick, once that is finished, they were all heading outside Limerick, so my argument was to give them an outlet after Fresh to continue on with their talent here,” he explained.

“The whole purpose of the film festival is to enhance the media and film industry in the Mid-West. Galway has the Film Fleadh, Cork has the Corona Film Festival and Dublin has the Jameson International Film Festival - Limerick really needs to step up to the mark, there is so much talent here. It gives an outlet for filmmakers to show their work.”

The criteria for the competition side of the festival differs from the other festivals, making it somewhat unique.

“The criteria is what makes us different from others - basically our criteria is you can do whatever you want, it can be on any subject,” he says, acknowledging some boundaries for taste and decency.

However, there are no age limits, and the result is a vibrant kaleidoscope of short films that reach incredible standards of quality and vision.

“We have not set an age group on anything, mainly because I have taught night classes in the VEC and I have had people of 70 years of age learning how to use a camera for the first time,” said Simon.

“There is no age limit to get into this industry, if you have a passion for film, visuals, sounds and effects, get involved.”

See www.litfilmfestival.net.