IFB Focus Shorts

#IrishFilm: World Premiere of IFB Focus and Real Shorts at 62nd Cork Film Festival

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has announced that the world premiere of the short films made under its Focus Shorts and Real Shorts schemes will take place at the 62nd Cork Film Festival. The shorts will screen in the Everyman Theatre at 4pm on Saturday, 18th November in a unique presentation as part of the festival’s short film line-up.

This year’s IFB short film presentation includes films starring critically acclaimed Irish acting talent such as Barry Ward and Olwen Fouéré, with shorts also filmed by Kate McCullough and Piers McGrail — two of the ten Irish filmmaking talents selected by The Hollywood Reporter as ones to watch.

Of this year’s Focus Shorts (a scheme dedicated to the making of live-action fiction films up to 10 minutes in length) screening in this particular line-up, there is 50/50 gender equality in the roles of writer and director; reflective of the IFB’s ongoing commitment to achieving equal gender parity across its funding programs. 60% of this year’s Real Shorts — a scheme dedicated to the making of short documentaries of up to ten minutes in length — have a female producer attached.

Focus Shorts

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Take Me Swimming, directed Claire Dix, produced by Róisín Geraghty and written by Ailbhe Keogan.  A son must overcome his own conflicted feelings and honour his father’s intentions to keep his mother alive, despite her expressed wish to the contrary. The short, which was filmed on location in Kerry stars Irish actor Barry Ward (MAZE) alongside acclaimed Irish theatremaker and actress, Olwen Fouéré.

Tomato Can, written and directed by Ciaran Cassidy and produced by Aoife McGonigal.  Danny ‘Danger’ Kelly is a retired journeyman boxer who accepts a last minute fight, the only problem is, it’s his weekend to look after his teenage daughter Leah. Tomato Can was shot by the award-winning Irish cinematographer Kate McCullough (The Farthest), who has just been selected as an Irish Rising Star To Watch by The Hollywood Reporter.

Catcalls, written and directed by Kate Dolan and produced by Aoife Kelly, with Fiona Kinsella on board as an executive producer. A man cruises around late at night looking for something. He pulls in to ask two young girls for directions — only to flash them to get a cheap thrill. Unfortunately, he has picked the wrong girls. Catcalls takes the power back and the predator becomes the prey. Piers McGrail (Tomato Red), the acclaimed Irish cinematographer who has also been selected by The Hollywood Reporter as one to watch was the DOP on this short.

The Tattoo, written and directed by Ian Power and produced by Eoghan Ryan. The short, which sees a holocaust survivor working in a New York funeral home making a distressing discovery was shot on location in Dublin, which doubles up as New York in the film.

Real Shorts 

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Bordalo II: A Life of Waste, directed by Trevor Whelan and Rua Meegan and produced by Glen Collins. The short displays an intimate portrait of Portuguese street artist Artur Bordalo as he aims to highlight the extent of our wastefulness and the impact this has on our environment through his ‘Trash Animals’ sculptures. The team behind the short made national headlines when their large-scale street art piece of a giant squirrel made entirely from waste was mounted on Dublin’s Tara Street, in an attempt to highlight the plight of the red squirrel.

Hey Ronnie Reagan, directed by Maurice O’Brien and produced by Daniel Hegarty. In 1984 a tiny anonymous Tipperary village was thrust in to the world’s spotlight when US President Ronald Reagan arrived to visit his ancestral home. It was said that Ballyporeen would never be the same again…

Mother & Baby, written and directed by Mia Mullarkey and produced by Alice McDowell. Discarded in death as they were in life, Mother & Baby bears witness to children of the fallen women of Ireland. 

The Swimmer, directed by Thomas Beug and produced by Jessica Bermingham. The short doc features an Irish long-distance swimmer trying to make sense of his life one stroke at a time in the isolation of the cold Atlantic Ocean. 

Smithy & Dickie, written and directed by Hannah Quinn and produced by Michela Orlandi — a short documentary treasuring precious memories from love letters and photographs, and their potential obsolescence, now that we’re in the digital age.

Time Traveller, another Focus Short, written and directed by Steve Kenny, will also screen at this year’s Cork Film Festival in a separate shorts presentation, having previously received its world premiere earlier this year at the Galway Film Fleadh. Starring Barry Ward, Time Traveller sees a Back To The Future-obsessed boy striving to finish building his own DeLorean replica before his family are evicted from their halting site. Time Traveller is produced by Collie McCarthy.

The World Premiere of the IFB Focus Shorts and Real Shorts will take place on Saturday 18th November at 4pm in Cork’s Everyman Theatre. More info can be found here.

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