Young Laois Filmmakers announced as finalists in Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2018

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Young Laois Filmmakers announced as finalists in Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2018

Rueben Harvey and Matthew Howe at the Fresh Film Festival where their film Lifeguard was screened at this year's Ireland's Young Film Maker of the Year Awards 2018 and won the Audience Awar

Two young Laois filmmakers have been announced as finalists in Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2018.

Reuben Harvey and Matthew Howe, from Abbeyleix, were chosen from among 1,500 entries for their film 'Lifeguard' at the Leinster regional heats at the Odeon Point Village. The 17-year olds took home the Audience Award at the Leinster regional heats.

Reuben says that after entering Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year last year, the idea of seeing his film be screened to an audience was a huge motivator, “I did it last year and I thought coming to see my film on the big screen was such a drive to make another one. I came back and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m so excited to be in the final."

Films screened at the Leinster regional heats also included films from Dublin, Kildare, Westmeath, Carlow, Cavan, Kilkenny, Wicklow and Down. Films by young Leinster filmmakers through to the final include ‘The Toss’ by Melanie O’Donnell from Kilkenny, ‘The Brother’ by Sean Treacy from Dublin and ‘A Red Red Rose’ by Deirdre Murray of St. Colmcille’s Community School in Dublin. 

Films shortlisted for the final will be screened at Fresh Film Festival 2018 in Limerick from March 20th to 25th and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards will be presented on the March 21st and 22nd during the Festival.

Now in its 22nd 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.

Reflecting on the volume of entries for this year’s competition, Fresh Film Festival Director Jayne Foley commented, "Fresh Film Festival is all about encouraging young people to tell their stories through film, so the record number of submissions this year shows we have a nation of young storytellers with something to say and the creative means to say it.  

"We’ve been overwhelmed by the entries this year: The future of filmmaking in Ireland is bright." She went on to note the importance of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year, “Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Competition gave all these young people a focus – an event to aim for. This is the core part of the festival – young people making and screening their own stories before an audience of their peers."