Animation in the Courthouse

The fourth Midleton Arts Festival film competition took place on Saturday the 13th of May. The competition is an opportunity to highlight the wealth of filmmaking talent in the East Cork area, but the competition is open to all and entries came in from as far away as Kinsale.

The films were shown in the beautiful surrounds of Midleton Courthouse on a large projector screen. It is very difficult to have a film competition because it is hard to compare these different pieces of art. The appreciation of art is such an individual thing, and different people will like different films. But this is the fourth year of the competition and we have found that it is an excellent way to celebrate the filmmaking of all the participants, not just the winners.

Prizes were given in four categories:

1. Indy Kids. Films produced by children working independently. This year’s worthy winner was Sean Coffey from Mill Road, Midleton, with a film entitled ‘Know your town”.

2. Community Groups. This year’s winners were Enable Ireland, Littleisland, with their unique interpretation of the ‘Wizard of Oz’.

3. Primary Schools. This year’s winners were Midleton Educate Together’s 3rd class with a film entitled ‘Spaced out Planets tour’.

4. Secondary Schools. This year’s winners were St. Colman’s Community College Midleton, with a film entitled ‘Davina and…’

The quality of the entries this year was spectacular and though it was very difficult to pick winners, the winners were particularly praiseworthy.

The school entries were particularly good this year, and it was very difficult to pick winners, but Midleton Educate Together’s 3rd class with a film entitled ‘Spaced out Planets tour’ was imaginative, beautiful and educational. St Coleman’s ‘Davina and…’, was a humorous take on the trials of teenage life, and went down so well with the audience in the courthouse. Enable Ireland, Little island, unique interpretation of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ was a wonderful example of what community groups can achieve when they work together.

But Sean Coffey’s ‘Know your Town’ stole the show, as it showed his native place (Midleton) through the eyes of a 12-year-old. The film takes us on a journey through Midleton, but in the spaces and places that children like to inhabit. So we have walls, rooftops, lanes and alleyways, trees that yearn to be climbed and beautiful skies full of mystery and wonder. All edited beautifully and wedded neatly to a well-chosen soundtrack. Sean makes Midleton look beautiful, highlights to adults that we are blindly walking past pure beauty every day.

He reminds us that beyond our narrow focus on traffic jams and shopping, the simple beauty of the trees, grass, flowers, old houses are around us all the time. Sean Coffey knows this, and his film reminds us about that.

One of the coordinators of the Arts festival Belinda Walsh commented: “the Midleton Arts Festival aims to celebrate the arts in our town and to celebrate those that make it. The Film competition is a central part of the programme, and it continues to grow and grow every year”.

So get filmmaking, the 2018 competition is now only 11 months away.

A piece by Dr. Lorcan Byrne, PhD, BSocSc who generously gives his time every year to present the films at the Midleton Arts Festival


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