Wexford Screen Writers Academy Showcase & WFT Producing Panel Discussion
Wexford Screen Writers Academy is a Bodecii Film, Screen Wexford and Wexford County Council initiative funded by Creative Ireland which supports eight Wexford-based screenwriters in professional script development for a new commercial Anthology Series, titled Menapia. This event involves a public table read, showcasing selected scenes from all eight of the Wexford Screen Writer’s Anthology Series.
An industry Panel Discussion discussion Filmmaking from Beyond the Pale, will take place before the reading which is organised by WFT ( Women in Film & TV ) Ireland, Screen Wexford and funded by BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland). The Panel will feature Co-Founder and Producer of Tara Studios, Ivan Dunleavy, guest speakers from TG4, Cartoon Saloon and more who have been successfully producing film, TV, documentary and animation for the past number of years.
About Wexford Screen Writer’s Anthology Series
Menapia is an ambitious three phase TV production that combines training, career opportunities and employment for emerging regional creative talent and crew.
In phase one in 2021 which was funded by Creative Ireland, twelve new Wexford writers were selected for the inaugural Wexford Screenwriter’s Academy to create 12 original scripts for television broadcast through the unique Wexford Writers Scripting for Broadcast Academy programme. Building on the success of Phase One of the project, eight writers and their scripts from the original twelve were selected to move into Phase Two: professional script development for a commercial Anthology Series, titled Menapia. These eight writers have been professionally engaged to work with industry experts and series producers from their original screenplays – 8 uniquely dark and different tales firmly rooted in their hometown.
WEXFORD WRITER’S SCRIPTING FOR BROADCAST ACADEMY
Margaret lives for the ‘inside smile’ of writing. A freelance journalist for 35 years she also works part-time as a press officer and magazine editor and has had poetry and short stories published and one-act plays staged.
From Tinahely in County Wicklow she lives on a farm in south Wexford where, as a writer, her instinct is always to give voice to those who don’t have one. Her first book Restless Spirit:The Story of Rose Quinn dealt with the asylum era in Ireland, her first novel Deny Me Not was about hidden children and the novel that she has just completed – a gripping rural mystery – is part homage to her home landscape of south Wicklow. As a journalist she has worked principally for the Irish Farmers Journal.
Writing for radio is a definite love of hers also and her essays have been broadcast on RTE 1’s Sunday Miscellany programme and included in two of its anthologies. She is an Ireland’s Own short story competition winner and was a finalist in RTE’s PJ O’Connor radio drama awards twice. She has also worked for South East Radio in Wexford as presenter, current affairs researcher and producer and was involved, for many years, with Wexford Arts Centre Theatre Group (WACTC).
Her documentary Forgotten People received funding and commendation from the BAI in 2000 and RTE Television made a documentary related to her first book for their Flesh & Blood series.
She enjoys the discipline of memoir writing, the humour and soul food of open mic performance and storytelling nights and has published a collection of poetry inspired by those experiences entitled Freewheeling Up The Hill.
She reached the shortlist in a Write By The Sea Festival competition in 2022 but her concentration at present is on developing her screenwriting skills.
My lifelong love of cinema and continuous passion for writing led me to undertake a degree in Film and TV Production at Dun Laoghaire’s Institute of Art, Design and Technology. In my final year, I chose to major in Screenwriting, where I completed my first feature-length script. Since completing my degree, I was able to partake in Screen Wexford’s Scriptwriting for Broadcast Academy to further my skills. I have since been published in Wexford Women Writing Undercover magazine, and currently work as Script Assistant Editor for Fair City.
Christian O’Connor is a Wexford-based writer that is passionate about telling stories – if he’s not dreaming up a new idea or story to explore, he’s not happy. His work often explores what happens when ordinary people are pulled into extraordinary situations with a view to subverting typical genre expectations.
Writing and the creative expression that comes with it has been a hugely fulfilling part of his life for many years. Originally this desire to tell stories manifested itself as short prose which he achieved some success with when he was published in the ‘Young Emerging Writer’s and Artists’ magazine when he was sixteen.
As film was his first love though, he turned his attention to screenplays and has worked to develop it through various courses, collaborations and projects throughout the years. His screenplay ‘Kings’ finished as an Official Finalist in the 2018 Barcelona International Film Festival. Most recently, Christian was accepted on to the Wexford Writers Scripting for Broadcast Academy facilitated by Screen Wexford with Wexford County Council and mentored by Paul Walker and Laura Day. As part of this Academy he and seven other writers have been commissioned to write their standalone TV scripts as part of an overall anthology series.
Emma is a writer based in Wexford. Following a degree in Communications from DCU, Emma has worked in the digital sector for twenty years. In her spare time, she writes children’s books and scripts. Her first book, a comedy for pre-teens, was published in 2018 with Little Island Books. She’s recently completed her second book and is now onto writing her third, all comedies.
Emma renewed her interest in screenwriting in recent years. She was shortlisted with a co-writer for RTE’s Storyland in 2019 and had a children’s drama proposal shortlisted for Torino Lab 2019. She took part in the Nostos Screenwriting Retreat in Tuscany, Italy in the summer of 2019. The pilot script that she worked on during this retreat, a children’s comedy drama, was recently optioned with an Irish production company.
She is currently also trying her hand at writing a video game.
Roberto Forte is an experienced videographer, film maker and writer based in County Wexford but works across Ireland and internationally. Roberto created Robot Wasp Media, a small production company in 2018 and since then has been engaged to create video content for companies such as Sports Ireland, Celtic Woman, The HSE and Riverdance. He is highly accomplished in all aspects of the pre-production, production and post-production parts of the film production process. He graduated from DBS college with a diploma in marketing and advertising in 1996, and recieved a Higher Diploma in Digital Media Design in 2018 from Carlow IT. He is a screen Ireland supported scriptwriter and has also written, produced and directed several short films for himself and local award winning filmmakers.
The majority of my Max’s life has been split into two halves; a childhood largely spent abroad in Africa, and the latter half spent in Ireland, where he has been based out of Wexford.
Whilst relatively new to the Industry from a career perspective, film, writing and storytelling have all been a central part of his life for as long as he can remember.
Two years ago a global pandemic happened and he found himself in a similar position to many… asking himself “what is it i’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the time”. The answer was to write a screenplay.
Subsequently, one such script was used as his application to the inaugural Screen Broadcast Academy, his acceptance to which he views as the first of many falling dominoes that brought him to the present. Since that time, he has written an original script – scheduled for production – under the tutelage of Paul Walker, in association with The Academy, and also had two short films he wrote featured at the Rathmullen Film Festival 2022.
He is hopeful this is only the beginning… In the meantime, he hope those dominoes keep falling…
Conor Martin, from Wexford, 36 years of age, aspires to be a filmmaker with a keen interest in writing original material. Graduated from Aberystwyth University, Wales, back in 2010. A degree was achieved in Film and TV. Returned home and had a working relationship with Highwind Media. Worked on several of their corporate projects in the lighting and camera department. He has written and directed two hip-hop videos for Irish rap artist Rob Kelly, the first one in 2015, Jack the Ripper II and most recently in 2018, Crimey. The former mentioned featured on a rap documentary, ‘The Origins of Irish Hip Hop’, which was produced by Red Bull and aired on RTE Television and Red Bull media platforms, this coupled with a string of unproduced short films written.
In 2016, he was selected for the Wexford County Council Writer’s Development Scheme headed by Irish filmmaker Laura Way (Red Rock, Eastenders, Blood & The Holiday) and tutored by Irish screenwriter Eugene O’ Brien (Pure Mule, Red
Rock, and Black ’47). In 2020, he was selected to take part in a masterclass workshop with Irish filmmaker, Dearbhla Walsh (Shameless, Netflix’s The Punisher, Fargo, Penny Dreadful, The Tudors). And then in 2021, he was selected to take part in the first Wexford Writers Scripting for Broadcast Academy, which saw Irish writer Paul Walker (Red Rock, Eastenders, Call the Midwife, Professionals) mentor local writers along with Irish Producer Fiona Kinsella (Jumper Productions) and Irish filmmaker Laura Way. He is currently working on a feature story with Irish writer/director Ian Power (The Clinic, The Runaway, The Guarantee, Roy, The Tattoo). The love of film for Conor took over in the mid nineties when he was treated to an array of genre films and from such an early age, from there on in imagination took over. It was terminal.
A practitioner of professional Children’s Theatre for more than 20 years, in recent times Abigail has taken over the reigns as Creative Director at Red Moon Creative Arts Theatre – ‘explorers of the imagination’, following in the footsteps of Red Moon Founders, Irene and Michael Way, and devising, writing, producing and performing-in touring original Theatre-in-Education comedy-dramas and programmes as well as delivering Educational Drama classes, creative arts workshops and camps, children’s entertainment activities and specially commissioned theatre pieces within the Primary Education system.
A staunch advocate for the extension of childhood through the arts and the opening out of the creative arts to young people who may not traditionally have an opportunity to experience or express in an accepting and encouraging context, Abigail is heartened to see drama practices and methodologies becoming more mainstream in the Irish education system, to the great benefit of many children throughout the country.
Abigail’s background in children’s theatre and roots in country life, not to mention countless hours enveloped in the wonders of her parent’s inspired ‘Theatre Workshop’, (a busy and valued hub of theatrical and artistic innovation in Wexford Town for many years), continues to inform her writing, be it for stage or screen, for young people or an adult audience.
Drawing on the notion of ‘everyday magic’, a concept she was fortunate enough to experience often in the ever-transforming theatre spaces and endlessly intriguing wardrobe department of that determinative creative environment, she is compelled to capture the essence of an ilk of subtle (yet impactful) magic in her work, aiming to evoke nostalgia, raise a fleeting memory, foster an unexpected emotional connection, conjure a glimpse of some long-forgotten dream.
Moving into screenwriting for a more mature audience is a most welcome stride forward into new and stimulating realms of creative challenge.