Rathmullan Film Festival 2023: The Northwest Film Challenge

A collection of short films created by amateur filmmakers for the Rathmullan Film Festival 23

Established in 2017 and launched in 2018, the Rathmullan Film Festival is a volunteer-led, not-for-profit, participatory festival located in the seaside village of Rathmullan, Co. Donegal.

In 2023, Rathmullan Film Festival launched The Northwest Film Challenge. Northern Ireland Screen was delighted to support this competition in conjunction with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. The Northwest Film Challenge invited a group of amateur filmmakers to learn how to creatively re-use archival footage and to develop basic filmmaking skills. The filmmakers were given a selection of films from the Digital Film Archive to be inspired by, and working with Póca Productions through a series of online workshops, had to make a 3-minute film to premiere at Rathmullan Film Festival 2023.

The collection of films were launched at a dog-friendly screening on Sunday 19th February 2023, and have now been added to the Digital Film Archive.

Two filmmakers were awarded first and second prizes at the launch: Fergus Friel’s 'The Race For Stumpy's Gold' won first place. The judges were very impressed by Fergal's clever use of the archives to create a completely new story. In addition, first prize was awarded to Fergal for his inventive editing and use of the archive film to imbue the short with real atmosphere.

Second prize went to Ciara Chiver’s piece, ‘Daisy Or Sweets’. The judges loved Ciara's humorous use of the archives to tell a heart-warming story that brought the children in the Derry Market in 1901 to life. Special mention too to Eoin's lovely performance.

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