Young Laois filmmakers announced as finalists for Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2019

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Young Laois filmmakers announced as finalists for Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2019

Matthew Howe and Reuben Harvey who won the Audience Award for their film 'Picture This'

Two young Laois film makers are among the finalists of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2019.

The competition, which moved one step closer to crowning its winners by announcing the finalists on Wednesday, received a record of over 1,700 entries this year.

It announced which short films would move on to the finals at the Leinster regional heats, which took place in the Odeon Point Village in Dublin. Films by young filmmakers from the UK and Poland were also screened as part of Fresh Film Festival’s International category.

Films screened at the Leinster regional heats included films from Laois, Down, Antrim, Wexford, Kilkenny, Kildare, Wicklow and Carlow.

Among the finalists were filmmakers Reuben Harvey, 18 and Matthew Howe, 18, both from Abbeyleix with their films ‘Picture This’ and ‘Radio Heads’.

Reuben and Matthew's film ‘Picture This’ reveals the difficulty of filmmaking, as the story shows two young boys struggling to come up with a realistic idea to enter into a film festival.

‘Radio Heads’ features the story of two idiots who accidentally contact beings of an extra-terrestrial nature and foolishly underestimate the aliens’ threats. Audience Awards were announced following each regional screening, with Reuben and Matthew becoming the winners of the Leinster heat for ‘Picture This’.

Reuben described being at the heats as "exciting", saying, "It’s our fourth year entering Fresh Film Festival. We are so happy to see our films on the big screen and honoured to be through to the finals. We are especially proud to win the Audience Award and win the approval of our talented peers."

Films shortlisted for the final will be screened at Fresh Film Festival 2019 in Limerick from March 25 to 30 and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards will be presented on the March 27 for the Junior category and March 28 for the Senior category. Other highlights of Fresh Film Festival 2019 include feature screenings and workshops including an Industry Master class with The National Youth Film School.

Now in its 23rd year, Fresh Film Festival encourages young people from Ireland and overseas, aged 7 to 18 years, to create, exhibit and share films. The festival provides an opportunity for these young filmmakers to have their work seen on a cinema screen for the first time and to compete for the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year. 

All films submitted are also considered for a range of Specialist Awards including the Radharc Trust Award (documentary), the Boulder Media Animation Award, the RTE 60 Second Short Film Award and the RTE Factual Award, in addition to the International and Audience awards.

Ireland’s Young Filmmakers have a very interesting approach," says Jayne Foley, Director of Fresh Film Festival. “Storytelling is at the core," she says, “because the budget is usually either low or non-existent, film-makers have to be very inventive with plot and location.” This year the festival received over 1700 films into its three categories Junior, Senior and International. Jayne adds, "The festival is a forum where young film-makers can meet each other.

"Even at that stage networking is important. You may end up meeting the same people again later in your career. As advocates of young filmmaking, we also try to showcase films abroad. We've brought Irish films and young filmmakers to Korea, Palestine, Austria, Germany, and Edinburgh. This year we are excited to have a number of International young filmmakers coming to Fresh and sharing their filmmaking experience with us.”

Fresh Film Festival encourages young people to make films by hosting an annual international film festival for young people, presenting Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards, acting as an advocate for young filmmakers and promoting their work worldwide. 

Fresh runs a number of initiatives throughout the year, including a Hothouse programme designed to bring young people of different ages and diverse backgrounds together to share their film experiences and create new collaborative work, as well as distributing Irish films made by young people to festivals all over the world.  The Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City and County Council and RTE Supporting the Arts support the Fresh Film Festival.

Further details are available from www.freshfilmfestival.com