Kerry County Council’s Short Film Bursary 2019, has been awarded to Writer/Director Tristan Heanue and Producer Ronan Cassidy of Carbonated Comet Productions. From a competitive field of sixty submissions, their project, Harmless, was selected as the winner. The film deals with the interactions between an isolated older man living in rural Kerry and a group of joyriders in the area.
I began to notice the amount of boy racers driving around the area at night and all the rubber burnt into the roads. I wanted to look at the problem through the eyes of an older character, someone who this world is alien to and who was struggling with issues of his own. At its core it’s a story about two different generations and the inability of each to understand the other until they inevitably collide.Tristan Heanue
In awarding the bursary, Arts Officer at Kerry County Council, Kate Kennelly focused on the importance of supporting film making in the county and noted that “Kerry offers huge choice in terms of great film locations throughout the county”. CEO of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, emphasised that “supporting emerging film makers with potential and talent who want to shoot in Kerry is something that Kerry County Council is keen to do”. The Bursary is funded by Kerry County Council and The Arts Council and supported by Kerry ETB.
Mayor of Tralee, Jim Finucane, sees the bursary as “an integral part of building the film sector in the county” while Kerry Film Development Officer, Siobhan O’Sullivan, was delighted that for the first year Kerry, a county steeped in writing talent, has awarded the shortlisted finalists script mentoring sessions to further develop their films. “Within the county, we’re keen to increase the overall focus on screenwriting”. Grace O’Donnell, chair of the Kerry International Film Festival is “excited to incorporate a workshop on this essential element of filmmaking during the Festival later this year”.
In 2014, Writer/Director Tristan Heanue’s debut short film, In This Place premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh and established him as a screenwriting talent. The following year his first outing as a director won the Best First Short Drama for Today in Galway. In 2017 Heanue went on to write, direct, and act in the short A Break in the Clouds. In 2018 he won the Dingle Film Festival Físín pitching competition with Ciúnas which premiered at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, where he was nominated for the Bingham Ray New Talent award 2019.
Ronan Cassidy of Carbonated Comet Productions produced the Screen Ireland funded documentary The Vasectomy Doctor, directed by Paul Webster. This premiered at the Cork Film Festival 2018, received the Audience Choice Award for Best Short at the Dingle International Film Festival 2019, and was nominated for Best Irish Short at the Fastnet Film Festival 2019.
Cassidy also produced Everything Looks Better In The Sunshine, directed by Mark Smyth and Jonathan Farrelly, for the Limerick City and County Council Film Bursary Scheme.