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Following on from the success of previous collaborative film scoring programmes, IMRO and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, in association with The Contemporary Music Centre (CMC) and Screen Training Ireland will bring together some of the very best emerging Irish filmmakers and composers to work on an exciting collaborative project during 2018/2019.

This initiative will provide emerging filmmakers and composers with an invaluable opportunity to enhance their skills through hands-on experience in a vital aspect of film post-production. It is also a rare opportunity to have a score composed and recorded for full orchestra. Each year, films featured in this initiative have gone on to win awards at various national and international film festivals, clearly signalling the impressive creative output of Irish filmmakers and film composers.

The focus of the project is a one day recording session in RTÉ studios in March 2019 with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra recording original scores for short film submissions selected for the initiative. Programme participants will be further supported through mentoring sessions and workshops with leading industry specialists.

We are now seeking applications from interested filmmakers who would like to participate in this programme. Due to the limited number of places available we have set down a number of qualifying criteria for those wishing to take part.


Submitted film projects for the initiative should require original scored music totalling between three and five minutes. Ideally the film should have a maximum duration of 10 – 15 minutes and should be close to or have completed picture lock. Once selected, the filmmakers will work with a composer, who has been selected through the process, who will create a full score for the film to be performed and recorded by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

All categories of film will be considered e.g. live-action drama, animation, documentary, experimental, etc. Ideally, the film projects submitted should be close to completion on editing. The use of temp tracks or “mood music” where score is required is allowed but not required.

The closing date for submissions for this initiative is 5pm Friday 28th September 2018

Our preference is to receive your submission electronically. Please send a link to your film submission to or alternatively by post to:

IMRO / RTÉ Scoring For Film Program 2018/19

Keith Johnson

Director of Marketing & Membership

Irish Music Rights Organisation

Copyright House

Pembroke Row

Lower Baggot Street

Dublin 2

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The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D. today launched her Department’s €200m Audio-visual Action Plan. The industry-wide, long-term plan, under the Creative Ireland Programme, will support the Government’s ambition to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the production of Film, TV drama and animation.

The key points in the Plan include:

• Consider extending Section 481 tax relief, as well as increasing the expenditure ceiling, revising the regulations and extending the relief to Ireland’s games sector.

• A review by Screen Ireland of funding models for other countries’ film agencies.

• Increased capital funding for the film sector including co-production and development funding, a specific fund for the development of films and TV drama, a fund for new Irish TV drama, a regional production fund and additional training of film workers and crew.

• Increased business skills development, matching of skills with production growth and partnering with third level institutions in skills development.

• Increased marketing measures including measures to attract major computer games studios to Ireland.

• A steering group will prioritise measures, oversee implementation and monitor risks, reporting regularly to Minister Madigan.

The Audiovisual Action Plan is underpinned by an Economic Assessment of the Audio-Visual Industry in Ireland carried out by international consultants Olsberg SPI with Nordicity on behalf of the Departments of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Business, Enterprise and Innovation. As well as measuring the size and impact of the industry, the consultants identified a range of key strategic recommendations which would assist the future development and growth of the audiovisual sector in Ireland.

The consultants concluded that with the implementation of their policy recommendations, Ireland’s “film, television and animation” sector could in a period of five years, double employment to over 24,000 full-time equivalents and a gross value added of nearly €1.4 billion.

Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) welcomes today’s publication by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D. of a €200m Audiovisual Action Plan.  The industry-wide, long-term plan, under the Creative Ireland Programme, will support the Government’s ambition to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the production of Film, TV drama and animation.

For the rest see the link HERE  or to download the report HERE

The Story of Limerick’s Cinemas

Director David Burns outside the Royal Theatre, Limerick.

Following the first documentary Kemmy (2017) (on the late Limerick Politician Jim Kemmy), comes David Burns’ second factual feature, ‘The Picture House‘. This hour long film documentary tells the story of the glory days of Limerick’s one-screen cinemas until their demise in the late 1980s.

We see how the cinema screen was, and is, the biggest cultural outlet for Limerick people, and look at the various venues that thrived in and around the City Centre. We get the idea of how most theatres mainly screened films but also mounted variety shows, concerts, operas, plays, and talent shows.

The documentary has three main threads:

  • The main cinemas, the films, shows and their market. How the venues came and went.
  • The people who worked in the cinemas, from manager to page boy. Their struggle for a proper wage.
  • The cinema-going public and their stories.The attitudes of the authorities – mainly the Church.

At its height in the sixties, Limerick had seven or eight cinemas of various standards, and the documentary looks at them with regard to their history, and their impact on Limerick’s cultural social and economic life.  We see the slow demise of the city centre cinemas due to neglect, competition from television and VHS, and the rise of the profitable suburban multiplex.

The documentary uses a presenter to tour the main cinemas.  At each venue, we get a potted history of the cinema, together with photographs and adverts from the Leader, background material –reminiscences from the staff who worked there, stories about the behaviour of the clientele, the kind of films that were shown together with film posters and snatches of music, the controversies which arose, and reminiscences from patrons.

The Picture House seeks to give an overarching flavour of the history of Cinema from the first cinema in La Ciotat in 1899, the advent of talking pictures, colour, the evolution of digital cinema and the return of the city centre cinema in the 21stCentury.

Simon is on board as Editor again and post production will take place over the summer of 2018 with a projected release in Autumn 2018.

As the good weather arrives once again and the urge to capture stories, action and imagination takes hold of film makers young and old alike, there is a need for reflection on the current state of resources for the film makers in our cultural rich city.

While there is an insurgence of interest in the mid-west due to the arrival of Troy Studios, and their first collaboration with the producers of the Nightflyers series, I do feel that there’s maybe not enough support for the novice, students and even freelance professional filmmakers so that they can aspire to the levels that is expected by Troy and Nightflyers.

Why so? Well you can only compare to the other urban areas around Limerick such as Galway, awarded the 2020 City of Culture as well as a UNESCO city for film, which has a Film centre, the Oscar affiliated Galway Film Fleadh as well as a rich television, film and media industry in the city and county with the likes of TG4 studios and Telegael. Galway has been very attractive for students to study in the field of film making with NUIG Huston Film School also located within walking distance to the central hub.

While Limerick also has a strong student population with third level educational institutions offering courses from Fine Art, Journalism, Music Technology as well as Creative Broadcast and Film Production there is a lack of outside support in the form of a film centre or hub venue where communities can meet on a daily basis.

There were numerous attempts to get one off the ground, including ‘The Royal‘ which would have supported a couple of medium sized cinema screens for film, as well as a training centre and equipment hire facilities for the film making community, however due to lack of visible backing from the local authorities and business community along with other road blocks (mainly financial, this idea remains just that, an idea, and an opportunity lost.

While the Belltable is considered the closest thing Limerick has to an Arts Centre and screens Irish films through their collaboration with the IFI in Dublin, it is under the control for commercial use by The Limetree Theatre. The venue itself would be fine but having a screening venue is not enough. Film makers need a base from which to work from not a theatre space at a cost ( that most new film makers can’t afford) which is also limited by the other commercial demands and requirements of the space.

So what to do! Well the answer maybe in with collaboration with the higher educational bodies of our city and county whose resources are already in place and in most would be under utilised during the holiday periods when the students have left for the summer break. Three areas can be identified through the requirements film makers have;

  1. Training support – as technology changes and updates in the industry, the pressure for an unemployed film maker to keep up to date with it becomes increasingly difficult. Reading about the equipment on the web is once thing but to actually have some training with the equipment or software at a price base that is affordable would be a huge advantage. Also there is an opportunity for these educational bases to become hubs for the film makers as they attempt to complete their short films or other projects. This would also create a better position for the educators to create a community and culture of film and broadcast making in the city and county as well as future cohorts on their respective undergraduate programmes in the new academic year.
  2. Information and Resources – While there have been networking websites for film makers in Limerick in the past, there is a lack of an up-to-date (a “GO TO”) website for the Limerick region. While there are Facebook pages run by groups such as LACE Film Strand and previously Behind The Scenes (since disbanded) there is a lack current information resource pages for the Limerick film community. Since the coming of Troy Studios there has also been the introduction of the ‘FILM IN LIMERICK’ website. While this was an exciting addition to the community (created in conjunction with Innovate Limerick) there is little in the way of updates. In fact the website has not changed in its content since it was introduced over a year ago. In order to keep the ideas and events fresh this content needs to be updated and flowing each week. Educational institutions have the power to influence here also. With lecturers and trainers required to be in contact with industry on a regular bases there are opportunities for them to be either involved in the ‘Film in Limerick’ website through collaboration or to create a new one (maybe in conjunction with the training support) that fits the requirements of a diverse group such as the film community. This could even be a collaborative project that could work between educational institutions such as UL and their Journalism students along with the Creative Technology students of LIT, Television Production Students of LCFE and the Fine Art students of LSAD. All contributing and collaborating with each other along with the local film making community. After all it may well be those students who become the new batch of content creators in the future.
  3. Screening and Marketing – Finally, I think that its one thing to get support in training and information to make films, but there is also a need to correctly market and screen the work. Alot of the time, new short film makers make so much effort in the production and post production of their films only to be limited in the distribution methods available, mainly uploading to YouTube, Vimeo or other online mediums (mainly because they are free forms of distribution). There are other opportunities however. Both UL and LIT run film club screenings for students and film buffs alike. There is an opportunity to screen those short films before the main features. The advantages for the new film makers is obvious, giving them a chance to see their work on the big screen as well as gauging an audience’s reaction to the work. For the institutions they would benefit from new audiences as well as encouraging the new talent and thus creating a stronger culture of film making to the mid-west region. As current film festivals such as ‘Fresh Film Festival’, and ‘The Richard Harris Film Festival’, amongst others, work with the likes of the educational bodies in Limerick we must also support these events into our yearly calendars. Having well established film festivals on our door step is a gift for film makers to output to professionals and audiences both nationally and internationally. Working more closely with these festivals would improve their local film maker base and provide more local content to their scheduled events and screenings they put on during the year.

These are three areas that could be developed using what is already available in the region rather than trying to inject huge amounts of money, that is obviously not available from the local authority at this time. If there was some forward thinking, planning and collaboration, then these could be achieved to create a new and fresh film making culture where future employment could be possible. Troy Studios have stated an number of occasions that they are a facility provider not an employer of crew. Should local film makers receive the training opportunities, get support and resources to create and screen films and other content, then we will see a new workforce that will be attractive and in demand, by production companies coming to Troy. It is Troy Studios job to bring in the big clients and productions like ‘Night Flyers’. In order to make their job easier, there needs to be an attractive new workforce that can meet the demands of such productions and complement the established professional facilities in Castletroy.

While all of these suggestions are well on paper (or screen in this case), they are ideas, and it does take a certain number of people to realise these to reality. And it must happen if we are to keep the film making talent in the region. To continue to lose them to our neighbouring cities and beyond will be an opportunity missed to strengthen the  film culture here. In order to give more opportunities to the film making community in Limerick city and county, there must be more of a collaboration between these groups and others, feeding the enthusiasm of imagination. Only then we may see the benefits in the creative culture of the Limerick film craftspeople of the future.


With over 24 years experience in Film and Broadcast Editing, Simon is a lecturer in Post Production at Limerick Institute of Technology and is undertaking a Professional Doctorate of Education in Creative Media Practice with Bournemouth University, UK.


There is a fund raising campaign for former graduate and entrepreneur Robert Laffan who has suffered a serious brain injury during a conference he was attending in the United States.

His wife Emily is with him by his side in Minneapolis … She maybe out there up to a month..

So right now many of their friends are coming together to raise funds to help ease some of this unforeseen financial burden that will arise

If there is any way you can help get the following out there, that would be great….

And particularity the gofunfme to help their family through this

A little reminder of who Rob Laffan is…
Rob Laffan is a past student of Industrial Automation and Robotics in the Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Through the guidance of Ian Foley (FYP project) he came up with a touch screen device (using HMI) that would help those with Autism (non verbal) to communicate their needs and feelings by touching pictures on a screen which in turn sends a text message to the carers phone

Roberts daughter Sadie has Autism…

With this he went on to win several major innovation/entrepreneur awards during his final year…

His idea called “Tippy Talk” caught the eye of several investors which was then developed into an “App”

Its use is now worldwide in homes and has recently entering the schools for Autism in America.


Currently in post is a documentary on the legacy of the late great Jim Kemmy.

This story examines  how Jim Kemmy’s courage and vision brought about social, ideological, and economic change in Ireland and in his native city.

Directed and produced by Dave Burns & Edited by Simon McGuire, ‘Kemmy‘ is due to hit the film festival circuit in the Autumn of 2017.

Simon finishing the edit on “Kemmy”

Design by Ken Coleman

Limerick 2020 Needs YOU!!!!

Posted: June 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Hi all,Below is a request by the Limerick 2020 team. If you would like to get involved then please contact Ciarda Tobin on the email below.


Momentum is building, the excitement is tangible and with less than 30 days to go its time for the final push.

Limerick deserves the title of European Capital of Culture 2020 and we need to show the Jury and Europe why.

With the competition heating up we need your help! On the 12th of July, the Jury will visit Limerick as part of the decision making process. We have big plans to show them just how much talent and potential there is in Limerick

As part of these plans, we have a top secret flash mob event in the pipeline, and, we want YOU to join the 300 participants needed to help make this happen.

All you have to do is:

1. Be over 18

2. Be available from 9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th July.

3. Fill in the volunteer form here:

4. We will get back to you and give you the details

So go on, join the party, it’s your city, your culture, your bid! ​And its going to be great fun.

Contact Ciarda at: