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2023 Fresh International Film Festival announce the 34 films and makers shortlisted for the IYFTYs

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Pictured at the launch of the 2023 Fresh International Film Festival were young Filmmakers, Ella Bartley (12) with her brother Oisín Bartley (11) and Seán Treacy Ireland’s Young Filmmaker 2022 (on right). Photo Julien Behal.

2023 Fresh International Film Festival, RTÉ and Screen Ireland announce the 34 films and makers shortlisted for the 2023 IYFTYs – Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards

Pictured are young Filmmakers, Seán Treacy Ireland’s Young Filmmaker 2022, Oisín Bartley (11), Lucy Maher (16) and Ella Bartley (12) sister of Oisín. Photo Julien Behal.

2023 Fresh International Film Festival, RTÉ and Screen Ireland announce the 34 films and makers shortlisted for the 2023 IYFTYs – Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards. For the first time ever, audiences will have the opportunity to preview all the shortlisted IYFTYs on the Fresh International Film Festival YouTube Channel from Monday, March 27.

The filmmaking work of young people aged 7 to 18 years from Ireland and across the world will be celebrated at Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2023, which will be broadcast on RTÉ2 on Wednesday, April 12 from 7pm to 8pm. The awards will also be available to view on the RTÉ Player. The IYFTYs will be hosted by radio and television presenter Stephen Byrne and BBC Radio presenter Gemma Bradley, recorded live from Odeon Cinemas, Limerick.

Speaking about 2023 Fresh International Film Festival and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards, Minister Catherine Martin said “Ireland’s film, television, digital and creative industries are globally renowned. Our strength is our people, a strong and vibrant creative workforce that equally values those who work behind the scenes and those who step into the limelight. I am delighted to see the next generation of Ireland’s filmmaking talent present their work through Fresh International Film Festival and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards. Film and television are exciting, rewarding and sustainable career choices for young people, and Fresh International Film Festival is a wonderful first introduction to filmmaking. I congratulate all the young filmmakers, their casts and crews, along with their teachers, parents and supporters, for such an extraordinary and beautiful array of short films, made for young people by young people. I would encourage all to explore film and television studies and apprenticeships as an excellent career path.”


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Now in its 27th year, Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards, part of the Fresh International Film Festival, are globally regarded as one of the world’s leading annual film events for young people. Previous award winners and participants include Oscar-nominated director Vincent Lambe (Detainment), All-American High School Film Festival, New York ‘Best Director’ Seán Treacy, acclaimed Irish filmmaker Dónal Foreman, BBC presenter and author Nick Sheridan, IFTA nominated director Conor McMahon (Let The Wrong One In), comedian and TV personality Justine Stafford and countless more. 

At the launch, Suzanne Kelly, Head of Children’s and Young People’s Content at RTÉ said: “RTÉ are delighted to support Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2023, one of the world’s most prestigious Awards for young people, depicting stories of children and young people globally, told in their own words. Fresh is an extraordinary organisation that provides an incredibly important support network and stepping stone for young creators both domestically and internationally and RTÉ are delighted to celebrate the amazing talent evident this year and the ongoing work Fresh do. I wish all the shortlisted nominees the very best of luck.’’

Pictured at the announcement of the RTÉ2 April 12th broadcast of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2023 was Seán Treacy Ireland’s Young Filmmaker 2022. Photo Julien Behal. No Fee

This year, Fresh International Film Festival, generously supported by the Arts Council, welcomed more than a thousand short film submissions by young filmmakers, a fascinating, diverse and inclusive celebration of the stories of children and young people across the world, made by young people, for young people, told in their own voices. The work presents an insight into individual lives, community stories, unique cultural identities, and the collective experiences of global youth from Ireland to Austria, Spain to Senegal, Peru to Palestine, Ukraine to Korea, Brazil to the USA. The 34 shortlisted films can be viewed from Monday March 27 on the Fresh International Film Festival YouTube Channel.

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council, noted at the launch “The Arts Council is delighted to support this fantastic initiative and I would like to congratulate all of the shortlisted filmmakers from around the world. I’m especially excited to see so many young filmmakers from across Ireland recognised in this year’s shortlist. Irish film has been making major waves on the world stage, and it’s very heartening to see a new generation of film artists coming through to carry on the torch, creating bold, inventive work and offering diverse perspectives.”

Fresh International Film Festival, and the IYFTY’s, encourage young people to explore filmmaking as a career, learning the art of visual storytelling, understanding the filmmaking process from first draft to final frame, and the sustainable career opportunities that exist both in front of and behind the camera, inspiring and building Ireland’s future film, television and digital talent-pool. The IYFTYs shortlist is a rich collection that showcases the imagination, creativity and skills of the world’s future storytellers, and interest in the festival from 82 countries is a reflection of Ireland’s ascendancy as a global hub for film, television, digital and creative industries.

Louise Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications at Screen Ireland said at the launch: “Screen Ireland is very proud to support Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards which present a fantastic introduction to the next generation of talented and passionate Irish filmmakers. Screen Ireland’s ambition is to discover and support new and original voices across the country. We hope our support for the Fresh International Film Festival will help to inspire young people everywhere to explore future careers in the creative screen industries. Our congratulations to the young filmmakers shortlisted – and we can’t wait to see more of your work in the future.”

Film highlights from the shortlist include:

Me and My Eleven Years War is a short film by 11 year old Ukrainian Marusya Shuvalova, a moving insight into one day in the life of a young Ukrainian girl filmed during bombing raids.

Shell by 17 year old Dubliner Eve Duffy, a sensitive portrayal of cross-generational friendship, that charts Eve’s relationship with her grandmother who suffers from dementia. Eve impressively wrote, directed and acted in her film. 

Following hot on the heels of Irish language films such as An Cailín Ciúin and Arracht comes Nellie from 18 year old Kerryman Malachaí Ó Ciardhubháin, which tells the story of a dispute over the family farm, with a literal twist in the tail!

Killer Krush is a story of love gone wrong from the Emerging Limerick Filmmakers group, which features a large cast of young actors and super special effects. 

Awards on the night include Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Animation, and many more, as well as specialist awards including the Radharc Trust Award for documentaries, the RTÉ 60 Second Award, and the RTÉ Factual Award, along with the much-coveted peer-to-peer Audience Award.

Fresh International Film Festival and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards are made possible with the support, investment and partnership of The Arts Council, Screen Ireland, RTÉ Young People’s Department, Coimisiún na Meán, Limerick City and County Council, the National Talent Academy for Animation, Limerick & Clare Education & Training Board, Take 2 Talent Management, The Radharc Trust, Magpie 6 Media and Fighting Words. 

The 2023 Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards will air on RTÉ2 on Wednesday, April 12 at 7pm and on the RTÉ Player. All shortlisted films can be viewed from Monday, March 27 at the Fresh International Film Festival YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/freshfilmfestival Viewer discretion is advised for younger audiences, and parents, guardians and teachers are encouraged to preview the films in advance or watch along with younger children.

See www.freshfilm.ie for further information.
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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.