School movies hit big screen

BUDDING Laois filmmakers were rewarded for their creativity recently at the the FÍS (Film in School) awards in Portlaoise.

BUDDING Laois filmmakers were rewarded for their creativity recently at the the FÍS (Film in School) awards in Portlaoise.

This year the regional screening of FÍS took place at The Storm Cinema Portlaoise on Wednesday, May 25. Ballyadams NS and An Gaelscoil tSlí Dála, Borrin-in-Ossory. represented Laois at the screening. They were joined by Scoil Eoin Phoil 11, Tullamore, VTOS Tullamore and Scoil Lua Naofa NS, Lorrha, Co Tipperary.

FÍS is based at the National Film School at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADA). The Laois Education Centre has been involved in this project since the beginning and actively encourages schools to participate in this very exciting project. Each year the students are asked to make a film of maximum 5 minutes duration. Teachers are provided with support via Laois Education Centre.

This year the children of 4th class in Ballyadams made two films - ‘Hansel agus Gretel’ and Nightmare in ‘Toy Town’. They divided their class into groups to compose a score to accompany the story of Hansel and Gretel. When the pupils had completed the work and heard all the groups performing in sequence they decided to make a recording. Their teacher suggested that they should try to make a film so each group illustrated their part of the story. The children added a script and when they had recorded their voiceovers in English they decided to make a version for TG 4.

The students got their inspiration for For their second film ‘Nightmare in Toy Town’, from listening to Herbert’s March of the Toys played by the RTE Concert Orchestra. Someone suggested that they should make a film starring their own toys. Once Eoin’s parrots came to school they had the inspiration they needed to brainstorm a script. Their school bus driver agreed to understudy the moose and their location scouts searched the school for suitable backgrounds.

‘An Gorta Mór’ was submitted from the students of Gaelscoil an tSlí Dála, Borris-in-Ossory, with the help of their teacher Ms Róise Nevin. Their film was based on an old lady telling a young boy the story of the Great Famine in Ireland. The young boy was collecting money for GORTA outside the chapel one morning after mass, when an old lady approached him and asked if he knew what the word GORTA meant. The old lady ‘flashbacks’ to the 1800’s and the story of life in famine times continues from there.

Ms Kathleen O’Connor, Principal of one of the participating schools and representative of the Management Committee of Laois Education Centre acknowledged the importance of this very exciting project.

“The students were hugely enthusiastic and undertook their various roles with commitment and responsibility, once the students were taught the basics of film making, it was then over to them to plan, shoot and edit a film,” she said.

Jim Enright, Director of Laois Education Centre, also acknowledged the incredible work and commitment of the various schools involved in the project and commented on the quality of the films produced.