Last May over 500 pupils from schools in Laois, Offaly and North Tipperary made their way to The Odeon Cinema in Portlaoise to spend a morning watching films.
This however was different from their usual cinema going experience. No, they did not go to see Brad Pitt in 12 Years a Slave nor indeed Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. Instead they went to see their own performances in films that they had scripted, acted, directed, edited and produced themselves.
The pupils in the company of their teachers, principals and parents saw for the first time on the big screen the films they have made through their participation in the FIS (Film in Schools) project. The FÍS project explores film as a medium of expression in relation to the arts and many other curricular areas while at the same time introduces children to aspects of the film making process.
St Coleman’s NS in Stradbally won best documentary for ‘One Town One School’ while Ballyadams NS won best production design for ‘Dreams’.
This year, twelve films were shown on the day, ranging from documentaries to comedies, historical and educational productions.