First Cut Youth Film Festival

#Festival: Finalists announced for Youth Music Video Competition 2018

First Cut! Youth Film Festival, in partnership with Feel Good Lost, has announced the finalists for the Youth Music Video Competition (YMVC)! Six stellar young directors have been matched with hip Irish Acts to create new music videos.

This year marked the highest standard and largest number of applicants YMVC has seen so far. In fact, the competition mentors Brendan Canty and David Lester Mooney from Feel Good Lost were so impressed with submissions we expanded the competition to include six finalists this year: Alexander Kuribayashi, Eleanor Rogers, Greg Murphy, Michael Marren, Sam McGrath and Seán Sheridan.

Each finalist has been matched with a track and a brief from an up and coming Irish act. Our finalists will be working with tracks from Le Galaxie, Paddy Hanna, Ryan Vail, Bitch Falcon, Tim Chadwick, and Pale Rivers.
YMVC is a unique opportunity for young directors to improve their skills, build confidence, and experience the same professional process that happens in the industry. Last week, the mentors and participants gathered in Cork at St. John’s Central College to immerse themselves in the techniques of making music videos. The young directors came from Dublin, Cork, and even the UK to participate in this exciting opportunity.

Le Galaxie is an electro band from Dublin with “a reputation second-to-none on the gigging front” (Irish Times). As forPaddy Hanna, the Irish Times describes him as “a perplexing, fascinating and compelling songwriter and performer” in the review of his newest album, released last month. Derryman Ryan Vail is noted for his skill as a composer and a producer who can tap into texture and emotion (Irish Times). Alt-rock trio Bitch Falcon are known for their raucous live shows, raw energy, and muddy guitars ( Cork indie-rock band Pale Rivers have made it to the Irish Times’ Best New Song of the Week list, and singer songwriter Tim Chadwick’s “Never Wanted You” was’s song of the day.

During the month of April, the six finalists will each produce a music video for their assigned artist, with support from Feel Good Lost. All six videos will be screened at the 2018 First Cut! Youth Film Festival on Saturday 28th April 2018. One stand-out filmmaker will be presented with an award.

Once the video is finished, the artist will decide if they want this to be the official video for the track. The goal is for the artist to get a music video that they are happy with, and for the director to get their video on their reel. But either way it’s a win / win situation for everyone.

Music Videos are the best and fastest way to learn, develop and get noticed as a young director.
Brendan Canty, Feel Good Lost

We received some fantastic submissions this year – Ireland is an outstanding place for creative and technical film talent. The directors we selected are bright, dedicated, and enthusiastic. I trust they will make great use of this opportunity and I look forward to seeing what they create.
Jessica Bonenfant Coogan, YMVC Coordinator 

This year, the YMVC screening and award presentation will be followed by a live music gig to celebrate the close of the festival​.

First Cut! Youth Film Festival​ runs April 25-28, 2018 and is free and open to young filmmakers ages 12 to 24 to watch screenings, meet professionals, network, and take part in discussions and Q&As. While the weekdays are geared toward young people in schools, on Saturday 28th we will have events suitable for older young filmmakers who are passionate about cinema.

First Cut! takes place at the Mall Arts Centre, Youghal with a pop-up ‘big screen cinema’. It is run each year with the professional support of Cork Film Centre. The Arts Council and Cork County Council provide funding and support to what has become an event for young filmmakers from all over Ireland and internationally.  ​

The YMVC 2018 finalists:

Left to right:  Brendan Canty (Feel Good Lost), Michael Marren, Sam McGrath, Greg Murphy, Alexander Kuribayashi, Mary McGrath (Festival Director), David Lester Mooney (Feel Good Lost), Seán Sheridan, Eleanor Rogers.     Photo credit: Jessica Bonenfant
Left to right: Brendan Canty (Feel Good Lost), Michael Marren, Sam McGrath, Greg Murphy, Alexander Kuribayashi, Mary McGrath (Festival Director), David Lester Mooney (Feel Good Lost), Seán Sheridan, Eleanor Rogers.
Photo credit: Jessica Bonenfant

Alexander Kuribayashi is a Japanese-American aspiring writer/director. Currently the photographer and videographer for Dublin-based band NIMF, he has had his music videos featured in Dublin International Short Film and Music Video Festival, been awarded The Audacity Prize from Reel East Film Fest NYC, and has had his videos featured on well-known Irish Blog Nialler9.

Eleanor Rogers is a 22-year old, writer/director from Co.Louth. She is currently in her final year in the National Film School, IADT. She is visually and musically driven with a huge interest in unconventional coming of age stories with strong female leads.

Greg Murphy is a Cork filmmaker, writer, director and director of photography and a recently graduate from Film and Television Production at St Johns Cork. He has found his passion in both the technical and the emotional aspects of visual storytelling and is always looking for creative projects that excite him. Greg is fascinated by the challenges of cinematography and works mainly as a DP on shorts and music videos having shot his first feature film, “Empire of Dirt”, in 2017.

Michael Marren is a 21-year-old business student from Dublin with a strong passion for filmmaking. Also known under the guise of  ‘PHAT MEEK’, Michael looks forward to finishing up college so he can focus all his efforts on becoming a full-time filmmaker.

Sam McGrath is a 23-year old film director who has just taken the plunge into filmmaking full time. After studying Business and Economics for four years, he realized he couldn’t possibly spend his life doing something he wasn’t passionate about, and no amount of fear was going to hold him back. He moved to London to attend film school and is now constantly working on short films, music videos and comedy sketches.

Seán Sheridan is a 23-year old MA cinematography graduate with a special interest in high-energy performance music videos. Outside of his current position as technical support staff at a university, he operates as a self-shooting director/editor filming local alternative genre bands and artists.  He hopes to further develop both his cinematography and directing skills to hone his work in music videos.

Feel Good Lost is a multi-discipline creative company that makes cutting edge film, art and music. Brendan Canty, director of FGL, is best known for the phenomenally successful video for Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’, which was voted Video of the Year by the Irish Times and nominated for two MTV VMA awards. Canty’s recent short “For You” has been nominated for a 2018 IFTA Film & Drama Award aswell as winning Best Irish Short at the Kindle Sharks. To find out more about Feel Good Lost, visit their official website:

First Cut! Youth Film Festival is an annual event that showcases and celebrates work by young filmmakers. It takes place at the Mall Arts Centre in Youghal, Co. Cork and is running April 25th – 28th. This vibrant festival is supported by the Arts Council, Cork County Council and Cork Film Centre. In 2016 First Cut! introduced a new focus on music video by creating YMVC with Feel Good Lost. This exciting and distinctive event within the festival continues to be a huge success.

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