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06/03/2007

Launch Of Mentoring Scheme Catalystproject

Catalystproject, a unique opportunity for screenwriters, producers and film directors with passion and vision to produce a low budget feature film is launched this week.
The initiative will provide a creative and inspirational environment for filmmakers. Three successful teams will then be awarded funding of €250,000 to realise their feature film. Projects will be selected on the basis of their freshness, talent, conviction, originality and ‘quality of vision’.
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, FÁS Screen Training Ireland, Filmbase, The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, TV3 and the Arts Council have devised this original mentoring scheme, which will train filmmakers in the art of very low-budget filmmaking and fund successful participants to produce a feature film.
Catalystproject will immerse filmmakers in the low budget model. Participants will attend seminars and receive top class mentoring skills directly from Irish and international award-wining filmmakers including legendary independent producer Christine Vachon (Boy’s Don’t Cry, Infamous, Far From Heaven), renowned producer and consultant Bruce Block (As Good as it Gets, The Holiday, What Women Want) and the production team from the Sundance award-winning Irish film Once, and the BAFTA- nominated UK success London to Brighton.
The initiative takes as its inspiration recent Irish low budget films which have achieved major international success: John Carney’s Once, which won the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance film Festival last month; Lenny Abrahamson's Adam and Paul which was selected for Panorama at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival; and Perry Ogden's Pavee Lackeen, which premiered in Critics Week at the Venice Film Festival, also in 2005.
Simon Perry, CEO of the Irish Film Board commented: "The Catalyst Workshops are designed to give Irish filmmakers the knowledge and the tools needed to make a real piece of cinema with limited resources.”
Fintan Maguire, Commissioning and Creative Services Executive at TV3, Ireland’s leading commercial broadcaster and the second most watched television channel, who will screen the finished films said: “We have been a long-time supporter of Irish films, with projects like Watermelon, The Mighty Celt, Honeymooners and the award -winning The Wind that Shakes the Barley. I am very excited about the final catalystproject films screening on TV3."
Diarmuid Breathnach, of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, said that they are delighted to be able to support the catalyst project: "The Sound&Vision fund has released €20m in funding for TV projects since last February, and this project is being supported from our Special Schemes initiative within Sound&Vision."
Liz Gill, the artistic director of catalystproject and said: "The catalyst project is a unique training opportunity for writers, directors and producers, in which they get intimate contact with international and Irish low-budget practitioners, and the potential opportunity to make a feature film."
(DS/SP)
VMI.TV Ltd

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