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30/11/2006

Stirling Productions, EO Teilifís, Tyrone Productions and MnE Productions Organise Drama Workshops In Belfast

The first workshop in a series took place on Saturday 25th November in Belfast.
The workshops are being organised to train writers and to develop story lines. Workshops for aspiring actors wishing to take part in the series will also be organised over the coming months.
The most recent example of this type of drama development in Ireland is ‘Aifric’ which was produced by the production company Telegael. ‘Aifric’ is currently being broadcast on TG4.
This drama project is a joint venture between Scotland and Ireland. If the drama is awarded production funding after the development stage, versions of it will eventually be broadcast on both TG4 and BBC Scotland. Writers from Ireland and Scotland are taking part in the development process.
The production companies involved in the project are Stirling Productions from Belfast, MnE Productions from Scotland, EO Teilifís from Spiddal in Co. Galway and Tyrone Productions from Dublin.
At the moment, the series is at the development stage and this development is being funding jointly by the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, The Gaelic Media Service and Skillnets.
“This is a drama series for young people," said Anne Stirling while speaking at the workshop on Saturday, “but I think it will have a broad market appeal. Based on the market for dramas such as One Tree Hill and The OC, I think that this drama will appeal to anyone in the 12 to 35 age group."
As part of the development process, 10 writers have been picked to take part in the workshops. These writers will work with well known script writers such as Anne Learmont, who works on TG4’s flagship soap Ros na Rún.
Of the ten writers, four are from Northern Ireland: Cathal Ó Manacháin, Mary Ryan, Pilib Mac Cathmhaoil agus Nóilín Nic Bhloscaidh.
“I think this drama project is really important for our industry," said Pilib Mac Cathmhaoil. “There is a real need for continuous training in drama. We hope that this process will give us the basis, and the courage, to undertake drama development, writing and production."
“The development of the Irish language production sector in Northern Ireland is at the heart of the strategy of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund.” said Máire Killoran, Head of the ILBF. “I hope that this venture will have a beneficial effect on the industry as a whole; that it will leave a lasting legacy in its wake and that both the sector, and the audience, will reap enormous benefits from it in the years to come."
"This drama is a mixture between 'Fame' and 'The X Factor’," said Máire Ní Thuathail from EO Teilifís. "There will be a lot of drama as the characters deal with all of the usual problems of youth and coming-of-age: alcohol, love, sex and relationships."
(DS)
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