Aoife in final of Filmmaker of the Year contest

Aoife Reece (centre) with actress Sadhbh Tierney(left) and Aoife’s father Tim Reece.

By Maria Pepper

A Wexford teenager has made it through to Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year competition with a film about mental health.

Sixteen-year-old Aoife Reece from Killinick was named as a Leinster finalist in the competition as part of Fresh International Film Festival which attracted a record 1,750 entries this year in junior, senior and international categories.

The Leinster, Independent regional heats were held in the Light House Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin where Aoife’s short film ‘Dear Naomi’ was selected for the national finals.

The film is about a girl called Reeve who writes to her friend explaining how she feels as she tries to process her emotions. 

Aoife said she has grown as a person through her involvement in the competition.

‘I am always so excited to see my films on the big screen and I am honoured to have made it through to the finals surrounded by such a talented group of peers.

“This film is especially close to my heart and deals with the timely topic of teen suicide preventation awareness’, she said.

All the films shortlisted for the final will be screened at Fresh International Film Festival 2020 in Limerick from March 23 to 28 and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year will be announced on March 26 in the senior category. 

Now in its 24th year, Fresh International Film Festival encourages young people from Ireland and overseas , aged seven to 18 years, to create,  exhibit and share films.

The festival provides an opportunity for young filmmakers to have their work seen on a cinema screen for the first time and to compete for the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year along with other prizes such as the Radharc Trust Award, Boulder Media Animation AWard, RTE 60 Second Short Film Award and the RTE Factual Award.

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The Hothouse Project at Fresh with RTÉ and Screen Ireland responds to the needs of advanced and award winning young filmmakers who work alone or in isolation and it aims to provide an intensive filmmaking experience. This programme is designed to challenge and advance film knowledge and skill. In the past Lance Daly, Dearbhla Walsh, Donal Foreman, John Butler, Sarah Gavron, and Jim Sheridan have given masterclasses as part of this programme.

The aim of the Hothouse is to support and promote the next generation of filmmakers by giving young independent makers a safe creative space in which to develop ideas and projects.

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Congratulations to the winners in the three categories Junior winners  Ireland’s Junior Young Filmmaker of the Year 2022:  ​​Lucy and Ruby Hand with LYCS Youth

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