Local production company secures major bursary
PRODUCER WINS PLACE ON MASTER CLASS
DROGHEDA is punching way above its weight on the international TV production stage, with a keenly-contested bursary coming to a local production company for the second year in a row.
Bellewstown-based producer and media consultant Orlaith Carmody of Aerga Productions has won a place on the prestigious Entertainment Master Class, an executive development programme for TV producers.
She is just back from Berlin, where the first module took place and is off this week to Banff in Canada for the second stage of the programme.
Later this year she will travel to Switzerland and South Africa.
Orlaith was one of only two Irish producers selected to participate in this year's programme, following on the heels of Eoin Kavanagh of Drogheda Company, Toto Productions, who took part last year.
The Entertainment Master class is the International Format Academy for entertainment television and is funded by the top European broadcasters. It gives TV producers the opportunity to develop international connections and to bring their programme ideas to a world stage.
'I am thrilled to have been selected for this programme out of all the applicants, and to have it fully funded by Screen Training Ireland is just incredible,' says Orlaith.
'I feel very proud to be representing the Irish TV production scene in this way.'
Appointed earlier this year by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications to the Board of RTE, Orlaith makes news feature reports for RTE and TG4. She is married to Gavin Duffy of the Dragon's Den.
Recently she has been working with a local volunteer committee on the development of BITE – the Boyne International Television Expo.
'We have worked really hard on putting together a concept that has the potential to grow year on year and bring a lot of business to Drogheda,' she says.
'We have talented people giving huge amounts of time to this, but it won't happen if we don't get financial support soon.
'Verbal support is all very well, but at this stage we have to put a professional festival organiser in place to pull together all the different elements, and the funding for this has to be found in the town or in the county.
'We can bring Ireland's first international television festival to Drogheda, but Drogheda has to want it.'
The festival was initially scheduled for this September but has now been pencilled in for spring 2011.