The Northwest Film Challenge: Ireland




Donegal, Rathmullan




Production 18/02/2023


03min 01sec





black and white



Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Ferghal Bonner, Rathmullan Film Festival, UTV Archive

Rights Holder

Ferghal Bonner

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The Northwest Film Challene was part of Rathmullan Film Festival 23.

As a result of an open invitation, 12 new and emerging filmmakers were challenged to create a three-minute film using archival footage. Póca Productions of Donegal worked with the participants over the course of a number of online workshops to produce these amazing films, all of which were screened at the Rathmullan Film Festival.

Of his film, 'A Day Out in Donegal'm Filmmaker Ferghal Bonner writes:

"My initial idea was to put the archive footage and a piece of music together in a way that could suggest a story to the viewer such that each viewer might come up with their own individual narrative. I exclusively used clips with no people to leave the interpretation as open as possible.

When I put the clips and music together they inspired me and I felt compelled (being away from home maybe?) to make the film about Ireland. In the Zoom classes, someone mentioned AI writing a script so I asked ChatGPT to write poems about Ireland in different styles, e.g. Oscar Wilde, Seamus Heaney, Nick Cave and more. From the initial 11 pages of poems, I boiled it down to the six verses in the film, I rewrote some and rearranged bits and pieces to fit the clips better.

To foreshadow the use of AI in the making of the film I used a digital typeface and a glitch effect in the opening titles which I carried through in the closing titles. The bodhran at the end was me playing a sampler, another digital/analogue collaboration."


Producer: Ferghal Bonner

Filmmaking course provided by Póca Productions in conjunction with Rathmullan Film Festival and Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive. 



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