Winning young film-maker puts crisis in frame
LIMERICK is a long way from Hollywood but a teenage movie enthusiast is a step closer to the bright lights.
Sean Conroy (15) from Blackrock, Dublin is still too young to enjoy a glass of bubbly but he was the toast of this year's 'Fresh Film Festival'.
The 'Fresh Film Festival' has been in existence for 13 years and is the premier accolade for Irish film-makers aged under 18.
Sean received the 2010 young Irish film-maker of the year award at a ceremony in Storm Cinema, Castletroy, Limerick for his movie 'Dystopia', which dramatises the rise of a dictatorship following economic collapse across the country.
The idea for the award-winning production came to Sean almost a year ago.
"Initially, I only intended to show the affects of the recession on an average family, but as the FAS reports, tribunals and other acts of corruption started coming out I decided to expand the film into a much larger tale," Sean said.
Speaking more like an Oscar-winning director than a 15-year-old student, Sean said he wanted to "show how the fragility of democracy, coupled with the effects of economic instability, can cause people to put their faith blindly into those who promise enlightenment.
"We saw it before, so why not show that it could still happen now?" he added.
The talented film-maker is also interested in politics and current affairs and his favourite author is Asne Seierstad, who has documented her time spent in various war zones throughout the world.
Chair of the judging panel and artistic director of Fresh, Jayne Foley, said Sean "has demonstrated remarkable maturity and ability".
"He has a lot of acting experience and has with this film proven that he is talented beyond his years, both in front of and behind the camera," she said.