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Limerick filmmaker scoops ‘Best Group’ at Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2024

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Pictured is Best Group Winner ‘Rat King’ director Róisín Leavy-Sahin, Emerging Limerick Filmmakers at Fresh Film Ireland’s Young Film Maker of the Year (IYFTYs) 2024. Pic: Don Moloney

Róisín Leavy-Sahin, of Emerging Limerick Filmmakers, wins ‘Best Group’ award at the 2024 Young Filmmaker of the Year awards (IYFTYs)

18/04/2024
Ireland's Young Filmmaker of the Year 2024: 1st Place	Ivy	Fiachra Cotter O'Culachain  pictured at Fresh Film Ireland's Young Film Maker of the Year 2024 IYFMOTY.
Pic: Don Moloney
Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2024 overall winner ‘Ivy’ director, Fiachra Cotter O’Culachain pictured at Fresh Film Ireland’s Young Film Maker of the Year 2024. Pic: Don Moloney

Róisín Leavy-Sahin, of Emerging Limerick Filmmakers, won the ‘Best Group’ award for her film, ‘Rat King’ at the 2024 Young Filmmaker of the Year awards.

‘Rat King’ tells the story of a young boy who falls in love with a dead rat. It begins to rot him, setting off a frenzy in his village with disastrous consequences.

Overall winner, Leaving Certificate student Fiachra Cotter O’Culachain from Dublin was crowned Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2024 at Fresh International Film Festival, for his short film IVY.


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This coming-of-age film follows Hugh, a teen facing the struggles of life. Life for Hugh is pretty good, but it becomes that much better when he meets Ivy, the new girl next door.

As he embarks on another summer of fun with his friends. Hailing from Dundrum, Fiachra wrote, directed and edited this fantastically shot film with beautiful cinematography and natural performances from his young ensemble cast.

This is Fiachra’s third time entering Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of The Year. Last year, he crafted a film focusing on the COVID pandemic. The inspiration for his latest film, “Ivy,” stems from his own experiences with teenage romance. Already looking ahead, Fiachra is planning to shoot his next film in August.

Speaking of Fiachra’s film, Fresh International Film Festival Director Jayne Foley said, “Fiachra’s award-winning film, Ivy, is a perfect example of short filmmaking. It boasts a compelling story, talented ensemble cast, and impressive cinematography. Made by teens for teens, it beautifully captures the timeless tale of ‘boy meets girl.’ It’s truly a deserving recipient of the title Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2024.”

Fiachra was one of seventeen award recipients at the 2024 IYFTYs, which were broadcast on RTÉ2 on April 29, and hosted by Faye Shortt and Gemma Bradley. The awards, which were filmed in Omniplex Cinema and Troy Studios in Limerick are now available to view on the RTÉ Player. All 42 shortlisted films, made by young people, for young people, can be viewed on the Fresh International Film Festival YouTube Channel.

Second place was secured by Leitrim’s 17-year-old Olivia Louise Curto for her captivating film, Freequencies. Not far behind, Jake Dundon from Tipperary clinched third place with his thought-provoking film, Adaptation of the Only Nightmare I’ve Ever Had. St. James CBS, Dublin shone brightly, earning the Best School award for their exceptional film, Charlie. Representing Limerick, Emerging Limerick Filmmakers triumphed, winning Best Group for Rat King by Róisín Leavy-Sahin.

Find out more about Fresh Film Festival
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