Teen filmmakers hit the red carpet at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival

This weekend, at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, 18 first time filmmakers, all from Dublin 8 and its surrounds, and aged between 14 and 16 years of age, will premiere their short documentary No Place Like Home that puts the focus on homelessness in Ireland.

The budding young filmmakers have just completed a six month out-of-school programme called Screen8, at The Digital Hub under the tuition of award winning filmmaker Mia Mullarkey.  This unique programme is developed and funded by The Digital Hub and Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.

The short film they have produced is the culmination of the training and hands-on experiences they have gained during their time at The Digital Hub and will show at the Dublin on Screen event at the prestigious international film festival.  The premiere will be followed by a Q&A with students from the Screen8 programme.

Fiach Mac Conghail, Chief Executive Officer of The Digital Hub said:

“The first year of the Screen8 programme has been hugely successful and we are so proud of the work these students have created under the guidance of our own Artist-in-Residence, Mia Mullarkey.  The skills and experience participants gained, and the talented creatives they have encountered during the course, will really open their eyes to the medium of film and how it can be harnessed to capture and understand the world around them.   It is entirely fitting that these students have the opportunity to have their hard work and creativity showcased at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.”

Students participating in Screen8 chose to produce a documentary examining the homeless crisis in Ireland and what might be done to tackle it. The students wrote, filmed and produced the short film No Place Like Home, which includes moving testimonies from people who are homeless, the anger of a nation through meetings and rallies, and an insight into how almost four thousand children are in emergency accommodation, despite Ireland being the 10th richest country in the world. Through their documentary the young filmmakers want to show that this national housing crisis affects everyone, including young people just like them. Ultimately their film reveals the scale of the situation, and aims to offer solutions.

Mia Mullarkey, Course Tutor and filmmaker in residence at The Digital Hub, commented:

“The Digital Hub provided a great learning studio with cameras, lights, laptops, grip and sound gear.  I invited award-winning industry professionals to give workshops and tips. The goal of Screen8 was to make a festival quality short film and I’m very proud of what the students accomplished: a deeply emotive and fresh perspective on a national crisis from which we often look away. The vim and openness of the students removes any sense of jadedness or desensitisation, and we ended up with a story that is clear and compelling.”

Isabelle Devereux McCarthy, student on the Screen8 2019 programme said:

“This course has been both amazing and beneficial with workshops from Oscar nominated short film directors, including Juanita Wilson and the actors and actresses from Bow Street Academy.  Each and every workshop has been extremely interesting throughout these past months. The course has been one of the most eye-opening experiences for me personally and has helped develop my love for film and writing while also boosting my confidence working with new people and cameras I have never used before.  I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I am so proud of all the work that we all put into our short film.”

Speaking about Screen8, Sarah Sharkey, Managing Director, Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, said:

“We are incredibly proud of year one of Screen8 led by one of our 2018 Discovery Winners, Mia Mullarkey.  Fantastic Flix is expanding the way in which we connect with our young audiences, and No Place Like Home is a fantastic example of what this kind of programme can deliver.  This insightful documentary is both a brilliant piece of storytelling and a call to action by the new generation.  We are incredibly grateful to The Digital Hub for actively supporting this partnership.  I hope the young filmmakers enjoyed their experience and that they have learned some valuable skills which will help them in their future careers.”

Screen8 is a new out-of-school programme for 14-to-16-year olds living in Dublin 8 and its surroundings. The Digital Hub and Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival established this pilot programme in May 2018.  Screen8 will return in 2019 and will seek applications for the 2019 programme in the coming months, with a view to a new programme commencing this September.

No Place Like Home will show at the Dublin on Screen programme of shorts at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.

Date: Fri 22nd Feb 2019
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Light House Cinema
Additional: The screening will be followed by a Q&A on stage with a number of students from the Screen8 programme.

Members of the media wishing to attend the screening can email liz.denieffe@ogilvy.com to confirm. Further Information at https://www.diff.ie/festival/film/dublin-on-screen or www.thedigitalhub.com/screen8


Editors Notes:

For further information, please contact:  Frans Van Cauwelaert / Liz Denieffe, Wilson Hartnell

Tel: (01) 669 0030 / 086 60 43 422

Email: frans.vancauwelaert@ogilvy.com  / liz.denieffe@ogilvy.com

About The Digital Hub

Based in the historic Liberties area of Dublin city centre, The Digital Hub is an enterprise cluster for growing technology companies.  Almost seventy-five established businesses operate in The Digital Hub. Together these businesses employ over 750 people. The Digital Hub is the largest cluster of digital media, technology and internet businesses in Ireland, providing a space for indigenous enterprises such as Bizimply, Good Travel Software, Sonru, and Xwerx to scale and grow. Major global companies like Eventbrite, Lonely Planet, and Software AG are also based in The Digital Hub along with industry organisations such as NDRC, Silicon Republic and Tyndall National Institute. The Dublin International Film Festival are also based at The Digital Hub.

Since the project’s inception, over 200 companies have progressed through the enterprise cluster at The Digital Hub, generating thousands of skilled jobs. Some well-established alumni include Amazon, Athena Media, Boomerang Pharmaceutical Communications, Distilled Media Group (Daft.ie), eMaint, Etsy, Havok, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Riverdeep), Kavaleer, Lincor, MTT, Slack, Stripe, TIBCO and VSware.

The Digital Hub is a supportive partner of the local community, by running several learning initiatives for people of all ages. Community learning programmes are run with local partners.  For example, the Future Creators programme and the Future Creators Cadets programme are run with the National College of Art and Design and H2 Learning, to give children and young people the 21st Century Digital Skills that are so necessary in today’s world. The Liber8 Music Project is run with BIMM Institute Dublin to give young people who may have limited exposure to music and digital media, an opportunity to immerse themselves in a creative programme, whilst also developing skills to support their future careers.

The Digital Hub Development Agency is the Irish state agency that manages The Digital Hub. The Agency was established by the Irish Government under the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment and plays a key part in supporting the implementation of the National Digital Strategy.

Further information is available at: www.thedigitalhub.com or on Twitter: @TheDigitalHub.

About the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival

The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival was founded in 2003 and sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and international film talent. Featuring a red carpet line-up of on-screen talent and guest filmmakers, the festival offers unique access to a plethora of filmmaking talent and transforms Dublin into a hub of glamour, creativity and film appreciation. The festival enjoys an international reputation and is considered a vital launch-pad for Irish titles and an important showcase of world cinema for discerning audiences.

Over the past 16 years, Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival has screened world cinema from 52 different countries, a total of almost 1,500 films, of which 300 were Irish features including Irish premieres of  Sing Street, Once, Ondine, In Bruges, Calvary, The Stag and The Secret of Kells. The Festival has hosted over 600 major guests, including Al Pacino, Angela Lansbury, Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Danny DeVito, Ennio Morricone, Joss Whedon, Julie Andrews, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stanley Tucci, and Stellan Skarsgård.

This year the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival is sponsored by Virgin Media, with principal funding from The Arts Council. Key partners and funders include Screen Ireland, Dublin City Council, hotel partner The Merrion Hotel, print transport partner Wells Cargo, post-production partner Windmill Lane, social listening partner Olyrico and media partners Orb Screen, Wide Eye Media, the Sunday Independent, 98FM and Entertainment.ie.


About Screen8

Screen8 is a free to attend out-of-school filmmaking programme, for 14-to-16-year olds living in Dublin 8 and its surroundings.  The Digital Hub and Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival established the programme in May 2018.

The free pilot programme gives young people an opportunity to be creative and develop filmmaking skills and talents over six months.  They work collaboratively on the production of a short film under the supervision of an experienced filmmaker.  Participants will learn the important stages in the filmmaking process from script to screen.  They will hear about career opportunities in the film industry, meet filmmaking professionals working in departments such as cinematography, acting and production design and create their own short film.  The course culminates with a public screening and Q&A with the participants, at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival which takes place in February each year.

About Mia Mullarkey

Following her studies in philosophy and psychology, and after working as a psychologist for a short time, Mia completed a Masters in film production and theory in 2009. In 2011, Mia set up a production company called Ishka Films. Her work has been screened at film festivals worldwide and collected a number of awards. Her film ‘Throwline’, a short documentary about Irish taxi drivers trained in suicide prevention, won 8 awards world-wide including Best Short Documentary at the Galway Film Fleadh 2017. ‘Feats of Modest Valour’, co-directed with Alice McDowell, looks at a new potential cure for Parkinson’s Disease and was funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Amongst other awards this documentary won the prestigious Scientist Award at Imagine Science 2017 with the jury including Nobel prize-winning scientist, Professor Martin Chalfe, and award-winning science columnist for the New York Times, Professor Carl Zimmer. Her most recent short documentary, ‘Mother & Baby’, explores the memories of Mother & Baby Home survivors who were sold or fostered out by the Irish church and state. ‘Mother & Baby’ was funded by the Irish Film Board and won Best Short Documentary at Cork International Film Festival 2017 and Best Irish Short Film at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2018. Alongside directing Mia has taught filmmaking to all age groups, both theory and practice, as well as participating in numerous panels on filmmaking. She has also created bespoke videos for musicians and digital content for companies including Landrover, RTE, IBM, Druid, Macnas, Yahoo, Body & Soul.