independent

Saturday 17 August 2019

Malahide filmmaker in fleadh

Malahide filmmaker, Ciaran Dooley talks to ken phelan about his new film, 'Twin' which is set to be launched on the world as it gets its premiere at the famous Galway Film Fleadh

Ciaran Dooley at work on the set of his new film, Twin
Ciaran Dooley at work on the set of his new film, Twin

Malahide screenwriter/director Ciarán Dooley continues to pave his way in the world of filmmaking as he debuts his third short film, 'Twin' at this year's Galway Film Fleadh on July 13.

Ciarán, a former student of Pope John Paul II National School and Malahide Community School, has worked as a filmmaker for the past five years, and is already making waves in the film industry.

Graduating from Dublin Institute of Technology's School of Media with a First Class Honours degree in Film & Broadcasting,

Ciarán is the recipient of both the DIT Medal and the 'Screentime Shinawil' award for his graduation film 'I've Been a Sweeper.'

Creating a buzz on the festival circuit, Ciarán followed up 'I've Been a Sweeper' with 'The Great Wide Open', starring Eamon Morrissey and John Kavanagh, which won him the Cork Short Award at the 60th Cork Film Festival and an IFTA nomination.

Ciarás new short, 'Twin' - shot partly in Malahide - centres around the character of Ava, and her search for identity following the death of her twin sister.

It features Kelly Thornton in the main role, and was funded by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland.

It also features Shauna Higgins and Jack McEvoy in supporting roles.

It premieres at the Galway Film Fleadh on July 13th as part of a selection of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland work.

It centres around the character of Ava, who lost her twin sister at the age of 18. It takes place over the course of Ava's 21st birthday, and explores her search for identity and meaning in the aftermath of her loss. It is ultimately a hopeful film, dealing with themes of vulnerability, courage and identity.

Speaking in the run-up to the film's premier at the Galway Film Fleadh next month, Ciarán explains how he first became involved in filmmaking, and the difficult process of writing: 'I think it was something that I was always interested in; I did my undergraduate in DIT, which is now TU Dublin, in Film and Broadcasting, and I think that's what really honed my interest.

'I knew that I always wanted to do something creative; I was always interested in telling stories in writing, and it was in college when you add in the visual aspect of it that I was sort of attracted to the way you can bring a story to life.

'So I suppose it was a mix of a lot of the things I was interested in, and also just the process of filmmaking I found really fun and engaging, so I think that was sort of what drew me to it.

'I had always done a little bit of writing, I did a bit of playwriting in college, and creative writing in secondary school which is always something I really enjoyed, as well as reading and watching films.

'So I think it was just story telling that really brought me to it and that I found interesting.'

He says: 'I think I get my ideas from everyday life, from observing people and talking to the people around me and a lot of my inspiration comes I guess from a lot of the stories that people have in their day-to-day lives.

'I think there's a lot of beauty in everyday lives, in difficulties people encounter and the strength they find in getting over them.

'So I think I'm very much inspired by I suppose the power of the human condition and the strength of people.'

In 2015, Ciarán was chosen to become a Warner Bros Creative Talent Screenwriting Scholar at the National Film School, where he graduated with First Class Honours in 2016.

For his work in filming commercials, he also won a Kinsale Shark Award for directing craft and is a three-time nominee at the ICAD EDA Awards.

The writing process, though, can be fraught with difficulty, as he says: 'I think writing is definitely a difficult task, it takes a lot of time and a lot of concentration.

'You're always going to have difficulties with stories and characters, and I think that's something that's just an editing process, and that the longer you spend on something, the clearer it becomes to you.

'Sometimes you have an idea that will jump onto the page quite quickly and come together, or you could have multiple drafts, but it's really a process of editing and revision, while trying not to lose the heart of the story and what it was that brought it to you in the first place.

'So it's definitely something that's a difficult process, but I think that if you enjoy it, the difficulty is almost part of the appeal.'

As for his plans following the premier of 'Twin', Ciarán says his priority will be to keep developing new projects and working on ideas he has for future films.

As long as he can keep the creative process moving, he says, he'll be more than content.

The Malahide filmmaker concluded: 'I think I just want to just keep telling stories, that's the most important thing for me, to be able to remain creative, and also to be telling stories and to be working with people and bringing the stories to screens of any size.'

  • Watch out for Ciaran's new film 'Twin' at a film festival near you, soon.

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