Shortt champions young filmmakers
Comic turned actor Pat Shortt has given his backing to the next generation of Irish filmmakers.
Shortt has been named the new patron of Fresh Film Festival, which gives aspiring directors and producers aged 18 and under an opportunity to see their work on the big screen.
Teenagers taking part in the event, to be held in Limerick from March 22 to 25, will also vie for the title of Ireland's Young Filmmaker of the Year.
Shortt said he was honoured to become its patron. "Over the years I have had a chance to meet many of the young filmmakers and I am blown away by their passion for film and the high quality of the work they create.
"It has never been more important to nurture creativity in the next generation and continue to encourage the Irish film industry.
"And who knows perhaps one day some of these young filmmakers will be collecting more glittering prizes on a bigger international stage."
Shortt, who created the comedy duo D'Unbelievables with Jon Kenny, has performed all over Ireland and the UK both as a comedian and actor and has starred in several hit movies and television shows.
Organisers of Fresh - which has been running for 13 years - said each year they uncover a wealth of new film making talent with many of the winners going on to have successful careers in the film industry.
It gives youngsters a forum, workshops and exhibitions, screening of features and other events.