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Young Filmmaker of the Year 2018 John Farrelly talks Limericks Fresh Film Festival and more

John, 17, winner of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Senior Award 2018 pictured with Jayne Foley, Founder and Creative Director of Fresh Film Festival at Odeon Cinema, Castletroy Limerick for Fresh Film Festival 2018. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Young Filmmaker of the Year 2018 John Farrelly talks Limericks Fresh Film Festival and more

by ilovelimerick Correspondent Ryan O’Connell



It has been almost a month since Down-native John Farrelly took home the title of Young Filmmaker of the Year 2018 at Limerick’s Fresh Film Festival. The 17-year-old from Warrenpoint took home the title for his film “Choice”, an ambitious sci-fi film in which a boy suspects there is something not quite right with his life and discovers that his life may not be what he thinks.

Speaking about his win, John said, “I’m so glad I won Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2018. I worked really hard and the hard work paid off. I would encourage anyone interested in film to enter next year as it’s a great opportunity and encourages young people to make films”.

John Farrelly recently spoke to ilovelimerick about his amazing success at Limerick’s Fresh Film Festival:

How did it feel to have your name announced as the winner of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year?
It was such a shock as I wasn’t expecting to win. It was a great feeling considering how much competition there was.

How was your experience at the Fresh Film Festival as a whole?
It’s a great experience as you get to see films made by other young people around Ireland and get to see your film on the big screen. It’s also great to get feedback on your film from the audience and judges.

Why did you first decide to enter Fresh Film Festival?
I’ve been making films on YouTube since I’ve been 8 and then in 2011 when I heard about the fresh film festival, I submitted some of my films to see how they would do and after the experience, I continued to enter.

What did the opportunity to enter Fresh and see your film screened mean for you as a young filmmaker?
It gave me great confidence as I received a great audience reaction from my film and it inspired me to make more films. It also felt surreal to see my film on the cinema screen compared to a computer screen.

“Choice” is about Artificial Intelligence. Why did you decide to make a film on this subject?
I find this topic really interesting and wanted to make a film on an idea I had about the topic of nature vs nurture. Where 4 identical robots are put into 4 different families and discover how their upbringing affects their personality.

john farrelly

John Farrelly with his family after taking home the title of Irelands Young Filmmaker of the Year at the Fresh Film Festival 2018. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

The film is very ambitious from its script to aspects of its production. Was the film a big undertaking? Is it important for you to be ambitious in your filmmaking?
The film was extremely difficult to write. I was changing things even after the film was complete. The story is complex and it was difficult to condense all the information into 15 minutes. I was afraid that the storyline would become too complicated so it was a challenge writing it as I wanted the audience to enjoy it. I also wanted to challenge myself as the film is based in one house with only 2 characters and I was worried that the audience would find it boring. I had to make sure the film was engaging the whole way through.

Who are your inspirations in filmmaking?
Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarintino, Steven Spielberg and David Fincher are my main inspirations for my filmmaking.

What are your favourite films and why?
Inception is one of my favourite films because of how original it is and the complexity of the storyline. The Social Network also is one of my favourites as it is visually stunning.

What is your advice for your other young filmmakers?
Make films you’d want to see yourself.

What are your plans for the future?
Make more films.

For more information on the Fresh Film Festival, go here.

For more stories on Fresh Film Festival, go here.

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 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.