Galway Film Centre and RTÉ have announced the team of Scriptwriter, Director and Producer for this year’s RTÉ/GFC Short Film Commission.

Jonathan Hughes’ script Mother will now be developed into a short film with director Natasha Waugh and producer Sharon Cronin. We at Scannain have been tracking the paths of these three over the past number of years, and they are beacons of hope for the future of the Irish film industry.

Jonathan Hughes is a screenwriter, currently based in Cork working on the new The Young Offenders TV series for BBC Three and RTE.  He has recently completed a full-time MA course in Script Writing at Goldsmiths University Of London; where he received a scholarship to study. He completed his  BA(Hons) in Film & TV Production from the National Film School of Ireland at IADT, Dun Laoghaire. He served as a production coordinator and script supervisor on Peter Foott’s smash hit feature “The Young Offenders”; alongside his work as a Development Officer for Vico Films.  For his writing, Jonathan was awarded Best Screenplay at Waterford Film Festival in 2014 for his short project, The Wake. In 2016, Jonathan produced two films for Goldsmiths University of London, winning a best screenplay award for his work on graduation film See You In Hell“. In July 2016 he won the Filmbase/RTE Short Shots funding award for his script Acorn, with a score recorded by the RTE National Concert Orchestra, the film will premiere at the upcoming Galway Film Fleadh 2017.

Natasha Waugh co-founded Fight Back Films in 2013, and has, to date, directed four short films (Food Fight, Running Commentary, Lag, and Terminal) and co-directed (The Betrayal) with filmmaker Kamila Dydyna. Her most recent short film, Terminal, inspired by the women affected by the 8th amendment, won Best Short Film at Indie Cork 2016, and Director’s Choice Short Film at the 2017 Irish Film Festival, Boston. It has received other nominations for Best Short Film at the Dublin Feminist Film Festival, Irish Film Festival London, and played in competition at Manchester International Film Festival 2017. Terminal picked up other prestigious nominations for Best Short Film at the 37th London Film Critics’ Circle Awards, and at the 2017 Irish Film & Television Academy Awards (IFTA). Natasha has also received a nomination for Best Short Film Script by the Writer’s Guild of Ireland, at this year’s Zebbie Awards. In April 2017, Natasha collaborated with Julie Ryan, producer of The Young Offenders, on a pilot for a new series for RTÉ. Natasha directed the pilot and was involved extensively in the development of its screenplay.

Sharon Cronin is an award-winning film producer and produced her first feature film, Poison Pen written by Eoin Colfer, in 2014. It premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh and went on the screen at over 20 international film festivals. It has screened to an international audience on UTV and is currently available on Amazon Prime. In 2016, she produced the award-winning LGBT short drama Lily which was awarded the Tiernan McBride Award for Best Short Film at the Galway Film Fleadh 2016 and Best Short Film at Dublin International Film Festival 2017 and Santa Fe Film Festival. It also received a nomination for Best Short at the 2017 Irish Film and Television Award.  Sharon latest short film Acorn was funded by the RTÉ/Filmbase Short Shots scheme will premiere at the 2017 Galway Film Fleadh. Sharon also works as a production coordinator on feature films, has spent 7 years working for the Cork Film Festival and holds an MSc in Digital Feature Filmmaking.

We were very impressed with the standard of applicants this year. The calibre of the directors in particular was really strong with some really talented people at the early stages of their career with already some extremely accomplished short films under their belts. What was particularly strong this year was the intellectual rigour that all the directors applied to the story and their approach to getting at the essence of the script was really impressive. We look forward to seeing the results.
David Crean – RTÉ

We had a great process this year. From nearly ninety script submissions we whittled it down to three very strong scripts and sent them out to directors and producers to come back and pitch for one of them. Jonathan Hughes’ Mother came through as the winner which is a really funny script. Natasha Waugh really impressed the interview panel with her pitch and interpretation of the story and then the talented Sharon Cronin came through as the producer. It’s only the second year of us selecting like this and so we’re delighted to have arrived at such a great team.
Declan Gibbons, Manager – Galway Film Centre

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