Aer Lingus launches Irish Filmmaker Competition with Bord Scannán na hÉireann


Aer Lingus launches Irish Filmmaker Competition with Bord Scannán na hÉireann

Posted: 16th June 2017

  •  Winning filmmakers will have their short films screened on international Aer Lingus flights
  • Three winning short films to be chosen across live action and animation categories
  •  Judging panel to include renowned Irish film industry names including Mark O’Halloran, Neasa Hardiman and Dearbhla Walsh

Aer Lingus has partnered with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/ the Irish Film Board to launch a new Irish Filmmaker Competition that will celebrate and support the talent of up-and-coming filmmakers in Ireland. This initiative is part of the Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation which encompasses a range of charity and corporate social responsibility activity including support of Irish Culture and the Arts. 

The Aer Lingus Irish Filmmaker Competition is open to short-film makers throughout the country and will give three talented individuals the opportunity to showcase their work at an international level by screening their short films on Aer Lingus transatlantic flights. The competition prize package received by the three winning filmmakers will also include complimentary flights to attend film festivals in North America and around Europe and promote their work on an international stage.

The three winning short-film entries will be chosen across two categories, live action and animation, by a judging panel consisting of three renowned Irish film figures along with an Aer Lingus representative. The judging panellists will include director and writer for film and television drama Neasa Hardiman, who has directed world-class drama with the BBC, ABC, Netflix and Amazon and was recently awarded her second BAFTA as well as an IFTA for drama Happy Valley (BBC/Netflix); and Dearbhla Walsh, Emmy, IFTA and BAFTA award-winning director, whose work includes Little Dorrit and The Silence for the BBC, Shameless for Channel 4, Penny Dreadful and The Tudors for Showtime and Borgia for Canal Plus/Netflix; and scriptwriter and actor Mark O’Halloran, who is known for films including Adam & Paul, Garage and Viva.

Speaking about the launch of the competition, Declan Kearney, Aer Lingus Director of Communications, said:

“We are excited to partner with Bord Scannán na hÉireann to launch this new initiative as part of our Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation. Supporting Culture and the Arts in Ireland is something we feel very passionate about and we are excited to provide up-and-coming filmmakers with the opportunity to showcase their work to an international audience and take their career to new heights. We look forward to seeing the entries from Ireland’s rising filmmakers and to screening their works on board our transatlantic aircraft.”

James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board added:

"As the development agency for the Irish film, animation and television industry we are very focused on the development and promotion of the next generation of Irish filmmakers. There are a huge amount of young filmmakers producing great work out there and we are really pleased to work with Aer Lingus to highlight new talent and provide an opportunity for Irish and international audiences to enjoy their short films."

Short film entries will be accepted from Irish residents and citizens and applicants must be at least 18 years of age to enter. All entries must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Must fall within the categories of live action or animation
  • Must be the original work of the applicant
  • Can be no longer than 15 minutes
  • Must have been produced in the last 18 months
  • Must have a G-rating 

The opening date for entries is 15.06.17 and the closing date is 27.07.17. Interested candidates can apply via . The judging process will commence in July and the winning short films will be unveiled at a special screening event in September 2017.

About the Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation

 The Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation is the overarching corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme for Aer Lingus, which encompasses all of Aer Lingus’ charity and corporate social responsibility activities. This includes continued work with chosen charity partners, UNICEF Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland as well as a number of charity initiatives undertaken by Aer Lingus staff and volunteers, initiatives to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), supporting Culture and the Arts, and a new Charity of the Year Programme. 

About the Aer Lingus Irish Filmmaker Competition Judging Panel

Neasa Hardiman
Neasa Hardiman is a BAFTA-winning Irish director and writer for film and television drama. She began her career making documentaries in RTÉ, going on to carve her reputation in directing world-class drama with the BBC, ABC, Netflix and Amazon. Neasa was recently awarded her second BAFTA as well as an IFTA for gritty drama Happy Valley (BBC/Netflix), before directing Z: The Beginning of Everything, the story of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and brand new high-spec superhero drama Marvel’s Inhumans. Neasa is currently preparing to direct her award-winning feature screenplay, Sea Fever.

Dearbhla Walsh
Dearbhla Walsh is an Emmy, IFTA and BAFTA award winning director. Her work includes Little Dorrit (for which she won her ‘Best Director’ Emmy), and The Silence for the BBC; Shameless for Channel 4, Penny Dreadful and The Tudors for Showtime and Borgia for Canal Plus/Netflix.  Most recently she directed The Punisher for Marvel/Netflix and Fargo for FX/C4.

Dearbhla directed  Dustin Hoffman, and Dame Judi Dench in Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot  for BBC1 and TWC, and was EP/ lead director of The Collection for France TV, Amazon and BBC Worldwide;  and is developing Donal Ryan’s Your Spinning Heart for TV and attached to feature film Napoleon & Betsey. Dearbhla also directed the Cherry Wine promo for Hozier starring Saoirse Ronan.

Mark O’Halloran
Mark O’Halloran is an Irish scriptwriter and actor who has written award-winning screenplays for films Adam & Paul (in which he co-starred), Garage, Viva and the RTÉ mini-series Prosperity. Mark’s plays include The Head of Red O’Brien and Mary Motorhead as well as Trade, which premiered at the 2011 Dublin International Theatre Festival, won the Irish Times Irish Theatre Award for ‘Best Play of 2011’ as well as the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild Zebbie award for ‘Best new play’.

Mark is also one of Ireland’s renowned actors having played roles in films like The Guard and Calvary.