Fresh International Film Festival, RTÉ, and Screen Ireland proudly announce

For immediate release Tuesday, April 16

Fresh International Film Festival, RTÉ, and Screen Ireland proudly announce

Dublin student Fiachra Cotter O’Culachain is the winner of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2024

As revealed at the IYFTYs on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player!

Media Images of all 17 Winners  

Watch Fiachra Cotter O’Culachain’s winning short film, IVY

Watch all 42 Shortlisted Films now on the Fresh Film YouTube Channel

Free to use Publicity Materials: IYFTYs 2024 Launch Photos, Film Posters and Artwork  


April 29, 2024, 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. 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.


Georgia Kelly from Wicklow was lauded with the Best Cinematography award for her evocative film, The Girl I Knew. Cian Conachy from Cavan showcased his directorial prowess, earning the Best Director title for Showtime. Two Cork winners triumphed as The Animation Ireland Award celebrated the creativity of Eoin Murphy from Corkfor Inferno. The Radharc Award found its deserving recipient in Nora Twomey from Cork for her impactful documentary, Devil May Care. Sienna Graham, a budding director from Dublin, was honoured with the RTÉ Factual Award for her compelling boxing documentary, Fighting For Home.


Co. Kilkenny enjoyed a dual celebration, as Oonagh Waldron and Cathal Anderson from NYFAS earned Best Screenplay for Dear Mrs Green, while Abbi Henderson charmed the audience and secured the Best Comedyaward for her delightful film, Chog. Isobel Johnston & Laura O’ Doherty from Alexandra CollegeDublin were acknowledged for their commitment to sustainability, winning the Screen Producers Ireland Sustainability Awardfor Rumours. 

Louis Martin from Dublin delivered a standout performance in Fog, earning him the Bow Street Best Performance Award. Ellen McSweeney, a talented director from Kerry, was recognised for her impeccable Art Direction in Summer. RTÉ 60 Second Award celebrated Erin Geraghty from Mayo for her captivating short form work, The Seraph. Wrapping up the accolades, Sam Mullins, a promising student from Dublin, was honoured with the Best Concept Award for his visionary film, Mornin’.

Now in its 28th year, the IYFTY’s, part of the esteemed Fresh International Film Festival, continues to be a beacon for aspiring filmmakers worldwide. Notable alumni include Oscar-nominated director Vincent Lambe (Detainment), acclaimed Irish filmmaker Dónal Foreman, and comedian and TV personality Justine Stafford, among others.


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.




Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2024

Fiachra Cotter O’Culachain, Dublin – ‘Ivy’ 

Ivy is a coming-of-age film that 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. Wonderful cinematography and performances. 


Second Place Winner

Olivia Louise Curto, Leitrim – ‘Freequencies’

In Freequencies, we dive into the world of Oliver, a ten-year-old boy who experiences life differently due to electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). This rare condition makes everyday technology a challenge: he feels the buzz of electronic devices more intensely than others. Oliver’s journey sheds light on the often-overlooked effects of our technological footprint and inspires a quest for more genuine human connections. This film is a thought-provoking exploration of the delicate balance between the digital world and our innate human needs of connection and friendship.


Third Place Winner

Jake Dundon, Tipperary – ‘Adaptation of the Only Nightmare I’ve Ever Had’

I was 14 years old, far from home, and paralysingly anxious about the future. So, the same as I am now, except for the 14-year-old part. An adaptation of the only nightmare I’ve ever had.


Best School   

St. James CBS, Liberties Dublin – ‘Charlie’

This beautifully short film follows the journey of a resilient teenager named Charlie, grappling with adversity. Amidst the harsh realities of homelessness and family illness, this gripping film delves into the depths of struggle and resilience. 


RTÉ Factual Award

Sienna Graham, Dublin – ‘Fighting for Home’

An electrifying boxing documentary that intimately captures the journey of two teenage athletes as they strive to achieve greatness. With raw emotion and unwavering determination, the film delves into their dreams, struggles, and unyielding ambition to conquer the world of boxing. 


Best Group                

Róisín Leavy-Sahin, Emerging Limerick Filmmakers, Limerick – ‘Rat King’

A young boy falls in love with a dead rat. It begins to rot him, setting off a frenzy in his village with disastrous consequences.


Best Cinematography 

Georgia Kelly, Wicklow – ‘The Girl I Knew’ 

Charlie, a 16-year-old girl, tries to navigate the summer without her best friend Lila, while also wondering what has happened to her.


Best Director                         

Cian Conachy, Cavan – ‘Showtime’ 

A lazy understudy shows up unprepared on the opening night of his school’s musical


Best Screenplay       

Oonagh Waldron & Cathal Anderson, NYAFS Kilkenny, – ‘Dear Mrs Green’

A woman working as a carer connects two people across generations.


Best Art Direction     

Ellen McSweeney, Kerry – ‘Summer’

A meditation on the hazy summer season, the beauty, nostalgia and joy, but also the dread, the pressure and fear of the future. The summer can’t last forever after all.


Best Comedy                         

Abbi Henderson, Kilkenny – ‘Chog’

Beth is thrilled to receive the honour of minding Janet’s beautiful home and beloved dog Chog whilst she is away on business. Chog the dog however, isn’t so welcoming.


Best Concept

Sam Mullins, Dublin – ‘Mornin’

A boy tries and fails to get through his mornings due to the influence of an unwanted companion.


RTÉ 60 Second Award

Erin Geraghty, Mayo – ‘The Seraph’

A girl becomes more aware of a presence that lingers nearby.


Animation Ireland Award

Eoin Murphy, Cork – ‘Inferno’ 

The protagonist is in the midst of his desolate, unfulfilled life. He encounters an ancient book entitled ‘Dante’s Inferno.’ Perhaps, he will unearth something that he wished had remained on the shelf, forever waiting to be told.


Radharc Award                     

Nora Twomey, Cork – ‘Devil May Care’

May Casey, Nora’s great-grandmother had a secret political life which came to light from her

military pension application for her involvement in the Irish Civil War. Fantastic factual documentary and a personal connection for the filmmaker. ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ but better! 


Screen Producers Ireland Sustainability Award   

Isobel Johnston & Laura O’ Doherty Alexandra College, Dublin – ‘Rumours’

A rumour spreads in school.

Bow Street Performance     

Louis Martin, Dublin – ‘Fog’

A young man struggling with his mental health navigates through an overwhelming depressive episode in his life. 

Fresh Film, Fresh International Film Festival and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards are made possible with the generous support, investment and partnership of The Arts Council of Ireland, RTÉ, Screen Ireland, Omniplex Cinema Group, Limerick City and County Council, Coimisiún na Meán, Limerick & Clare Education & Training Board, Screen Producers Ireland, The Radharc Trust, Animation Ireland, Bow Street Academy, Troy Studios, IFCO and RTÉ Supporting the Arts.

For more information, visit

All shortlisted films can be viewed right now on the Fresh Film YouTube Channel

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.

Stay tuned for updates and further information and 

Don’t miss out on the action





For information, images, film clips, interviews on Fresh International Film Festival and Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards please contact: [email protected]


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See for further information.

This LINK contains the following information and assets: 

Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2024 – Announcement images April, 2024

The full shortlist of films and makers for Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2024

A selection of film posters with titles and filmmakers

Awards Presenters’ biographies and images

Media Releases

All images are free to use, please credit the photographer where they are noted.

All film clips are free to use, please credit the filmmaker.

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