Celebrating Outstanding Achievement in Film Making by Irelands’ Youngest Film Makers.
Today, RTÉ presenter Sinead Kennedy hosted the prestigious annual FÍS Film Festival where 25 schools from across Ireland were honoured for their film making endeavours.
Entries came in from across the country and all nomination categories were tightly contested. After much deliberation the judging panel shortlisted 26 films for the 13th FÍS Film Festival Award Ceremony 2017.
The FÍS Film Festival is the highly successful outcome of the FÍS Film Project. The festival seeks to celebrate creativity, imagination and to acknowledge the way stories and ideas are communicated using digital media technologies. Awards are made for Outstanding Achievement in Film Making for Acting, Animation, Cinematography, Documentary, Originality, Science Fiction, Soundtrack and Best Newcomer amongst others.
A capacity audience in the Helix Theatre, Dublin saw awards given to schools from across Ireland, from Dublin to Galway and Kerry to Mayo.
County Kerry schools scooped three awards in total including the coveted Aileen MacKeogh Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film making – FILM OF THE YEAR 2017. The winning film ‘The Gooseberry Fair’ from Ardfert National School was screened at the ceremony. In a beautifully creative and prescient interpretation of an old story, a stranger’s mysterious death teaches an important lesson in caring for one another. The film also earned Ardfert NS the award for Production Design. The Aileen Mac Keogh Award / Film of the Year 2017 was announced by Guest of Honour, Dr. Annie Doona, Chair of the Irish Film Board and President of the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dún Laoghaire (IADT). The prize includes filmmaking equipment and a tour of IADT’s state-of-the-art National Film School.
The festival is a unique collaboration between first and third level education working together as students from the IADT’s National Film School, MA in Broadcast Production for Radio & TV are responsible for the broadcasting and filming of the ceremony. The event was streamed live via the FÍS Film Project website courtesy of the National Education & Research network, HEAnet.
The FÍS Film Project is an initiative of the Department of Education and Skills managed by Institute of Art, Design & Technology’s in collaboration with the Professional Development Service for Teachers (Technology in Education Dept.)
Film & Award Information
From Kerry, newcomers to the FÍS Film Festival, Presentation Primary School were delighted to take the award for Curriculum Relevance in Social Issues back to Listowel. Their film, ‘Respect’, firmly put the spotlight on online bullying issues.
Dublin schools topped the award table with six winning entries. Ladyswell National School, Mulhuddart won the Editing award for their fun and frolics tale ‘Monkey Madness’. Gardiner Street Primary School, Dublin 1 scooped the award for Horror with a haunting film called ‘The Spooky School of Gardiner Street’. Dublin 7 school, St. Paul’s CBS (aka The Brunner!) won the award for Adaptation for their lovely treatment of a story about unwelcome visitors to the classroom, called ‘Teachers Pet’. The FÍS office was delighted that 2017 marked an increase in Irish language entries and so the competition for ‘An Scannán is Fearr as Gaeilge’ was tough but St. Mochta’s National School from Clonsilla won the award with ‘Thar an nGeata’. Another Dublin 15 primary school, Sacred Heart of Jesus NS took home two awards – Cinematography for their thrilling tale of bad teachers, thievery and detention ‘The Last Laugh’, and the Original Storytelling award for ‘Frozen Fortune’, a story about hazardous cookies!
County Cork schools are always strong contenders for FÍS Film Festival awards and this year four were successful. A humorous time travel film, ‘The Time Cube’ from St. Peter’s NS, Dungourney, took home the Science Fiction award. A beautifully filmed feel-good environmental documentary ‘Dig It’, secured the Documentary award for St. Patricks NS, Skibbereen. Beautiful voices and music stood out in Mitchelstown Scoil na mBráithre’s animated tale of Tom Crean’s exploits ‘Fear Cróga Fear Gealgháireach’ which earned them the Original Music award. Rounding out the Cork wins with the award for Special Effects was ‘School for Super Heroes’, a cliff hanger of a less-than-ordinary school day produced by Sundays Well Boys National School.
The Best Newcomer award went to County Clare national school Scariff Central for their stop motion tale ‘as gaeilge’, Ní Banphrionsa Mé. While Milford National School, Castletroy, Co. Limerick scooped the award for Direction with ‘Emigrant Spirits’ – a timely rags-to-riches story of emigration that clearly resonates today.
A total of three entries from Galway were shortlisted. Claregalway Scoil Padráig Naofa’s entry ‘The Miracle of Milk’, the story of milk from grass-to-glass, earned them the Best Animation award. ‘An Féileacháin Oíche’ produced by Gaelscoil Riabhach, Baile Locha Riach depicts a moth trying to find its’ place in the world for which they took home the award for Curriculum Relevance in Geography. The Best Junior Film went to Galway city based Scoil San Phroinsias’ 2nd class pupils for their heart-warming depiction of the life of a butterfly aptly called ‘Where Do Butterflies Come From?’
Two schools from Mayo also took home honours. The Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction went to Scoil Raifteirí for ‘Ads from the Archives’ – a hilarious take on the Irish Film Institute’s recently released advertisement archive. While Behy National School won the award for Storyboarding with their cautionary tale, ‘Boo!’.
There were two successful entries from Sligo, St. Aiden’s, Monasteraden received the award for Soundtrack for a heartfelt reminder of the futility of war and touching adaptation of WWI Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintoshs’ poem ‘In Memoriam’. While Carn National School, Ballymote, humorously tackled Curriculum Relevance in Science with a sneaky scientifically aided escape from the clutches of teacher Ms. Battleaxe!J with their film ‘Kinetic Kids’. County Leitrim school, St. Hugh’s of Dowra, took home the award for Comedy with a very astute political caper entitled ‘My Fellow St. Hughsians’.
Kildare school St. Peter’s NS Monasterevin won the award for Curriculum Relevance in History with a charming hand-drawn whiteboard animation about Marie Curies’ life called ‘Scientific Superhero: The Curie Cure’. The award for outstanding achievement in Acting went to County Louth school Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Kilkerley for ‘Say Something’ – a beautifully acted message about the negative effects of being a bystander to anti-social behaviour.
A well-deserved outstanding achievement award for Costume went to Carrig National School, Birr, County Offaly for Magic Moments. An unexpected first day for a schools’ newest pupils made for a beautifully costumed affair. Another award went to Offaly, this time to St. Patrick’s BNS, Portarlington who scooped the Originality award with their film The New Boy, in which an extra-terrestrial newcomer settles right into St. Patricks…… with a few minor adjustments here and there!
Jessica Fuller Head of Creative Engagement, Directorate of Creativity, Innovation and Research encompassing the FÍS Film Project:
“The FíS Film Festival captures the imagination, creativity and joy of story-telling. FÍS gives a unique platform to our primary school children, where they share their voice and vision. As thought leaders in film education for all ages from primary school to higher education and industry training, IADT is proud to partner with the Department of Education and the PDST on this special initiative.”
Ciara O’Donnell, National Director, PDST:
“Projects like FíS acknowledge and celebrate talent and gifts so diverse that everyone regardless of their personal interests and strengths, can taste success in learning, showing the great power that ICT has to influence how children learn, to make that learning meaningful and special to children leading to results that are quite simply immeasurable.”
Dr. Annie Donna, Chair of the Irish Film Board & President, IADT:
“Part of the Irish Film Boards’ mission is to support and promote Irish film and animation through fostering and developing artistic vision and diverse creative and production talent. Therefore, it is especially encouraging for me, as Chair of the Irish Film Board, to see awards being made to Irelands’ youngest filmmakers and to know that the future of filmmaking in Ireland looks bright for the years to come. I am also delighted to see girls and boys equally represented and participating in all aspects of filmmaking as this is an area the IFB is passionate about.”
About FÍS Film Project
FÍS is the Irish word for vision and also an acronym for ‘Film In Schools’. The project has been in operation for over 17 years and encourages teachers and children to engage in the process of film making in a cross-curricular way in the primary school classroom. FÍS helps develop active learning, creative thinking, language, imagination, collaborative learning and problem solving skills, as well as giving children hands-on experience of using technology as part of the film making process. The FÍS methodology enables teachers to embed creativity and ICT in a cross curricular way in their classrooms. FÍS Film Project is cited as an exemplar for the creative use of technology in the Dept. of Education & Skills (DES) Digital Strategy for schools 2015-2020. FÍS is a film education project that underpins the aims of the Dept. of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht and the DES Arts in Education Charter.