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26/10/2021

Filmmakers secure funding for Limerick projects through ENGINE Short Film Scheme

Filmmakers secure funding for Limerick projects through ENGINE Short Film Scheme

Representatives of the Limerick-based projects which have secured funding | PICTURE: Brian Arthur

ENGINE shorts, a short film development and production scheme for emerging film talent in Limerick, Tipperary and Clare has announced the six winning teams from the region.

A judging panel consisting of Academy Award nominee and Limerick’s own Ruth Negga, IFTA winning actor and writer Clare Dunne and Element Pictures producer Juliette Bonass selected the six winning projects following an online pitch event.

Each of the teams will now receive €12,500 in funding and further training and support to produce their project in the region.

Three Limerick-based projects were commissioned and filming will take place at locations in Southill and King's Island over the summer.

Simple Sheamy is a drama based on a true story about the power of friendship and an autistic boy's fight to save his pet rabbit, no matter the cost.

Directed by Rachel McGill and produced by Ronan Cassidy, the film is set on a local housing estate and will be filmed in the King’s Island area of the City.

Director Rachel McGill said: “I am looking forward to being on set and collaborating with other creatives to create a great film. It’s so important for me that we get to shoot this film in Limerick. It is my home and this story is such a Limerick story.”

The second Limerick projects, Sour Milk, is directed by Mark Keane and produced by Miriam Garcia Mortell. It tells the story of a teenage boy who wants the boy he's in love with to stop treating him like a joke. A carton of sour milk presents him with an opportunity.

The short film is set in Southill where it will be filmed this summer.

Director Mark Keane said: “It's really encouraging to be selected by ENGINE shorts. I'm really looking forward to casting the film and we're seeking out fresh local talent, so I'm excited to see who's out there. It's important that we see all parts of Ireland on our screens - particularly that it not be so Dublin-centric: that we reflect Irish society and culture fully. Ultimately, Limerick is my home and most of what I write is set here.”

Meawnhile, director Derek Ugochukwu and producer Greg Burrows will film Your not Home - a drama about two African brothers seeking asylum who are faced with a dark entity lurking within their direct provision centre.

“The ENGINE scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers based in the MidWest. Not only do we get the funds to produce our film, we also get mentoring and training which will prove invaluable to the filmmaking process and our ongoing careers in the industry. It's a very exciting opportunity. I've always thought that Limerick is a very cinematic and visually engaging city. There is so much potential on our doorstep and it will be fantastic to be able to shoot a high concept, ambitious piece in my hometown," commented Mr Burrows.

Commenting on the pitch event, producer and panel member Juliette Bonass said: “I was astounded at how confident, competent, intelligent and talented they all were. A massive difference from when I was growing up - that's for sure! A new fantastic and committed generation.”

Paul C. Ryan from Film in Limerick said: “We are delighted to announce the six funded ENGINE Shorts teams. From 131 applications sent in and 15 teams shortlisted - it’s been great to see the journey that the teams have taken over recent months in developing their projects. Everyone has worked so hard and the standard has been just phenomenal. We look forward to seeing the films playing on the big screen internationally and firmly putting MidWest film talent on the map.”

Two Tipperary projects and one from County Clare were also commissioned under the scheme.

The Engine Shorts initiative is run by Innovate Limerick through Film in Limerick, and is a partnership between the Local Authorities in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary, and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.

The new scheme aims to inspire and support up-and-coming writers, directors and producers to create inspiring, engaging world-class short films that resonate with a wide international audience.

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