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Cassidy celebrates surprise reel deal with Channel 4

CHANNEL 4 have snapped up two award-winning short films by top Irish filmmaker Declan Cassidy.

The Herald can reveal the Dubliner's productions, entitled Whatever Turns You On and I Hate That Smile, will be aired on the UK-based station later this year.

The film has already been sold to television stations in Belgium, Poland and France, while Irish viewers will also have the opportunity to view Declan's award-winning shorts, as the national broadcaster is negotiating to buy them for RTE Two.

Whatever Turns You On is an Irish Film Board-funded tale of a homeless man on a quest and has already charmed audiences at more than 50 film festivals since its premiere in 2008.

The film, starring Luke Cameron, qualified for Oscar consideration this year after it won the prestigious Aspen Shortsfest in the USA, but failed to make the final 10.

It also stars Dublin actors Caoimhe O'Malley and Richard Wall, who could soon become household names when the films are screened in the UK.

The small-screen production has won awards around the world -- in Florence, London, Rome, Cairo, the US and Kerry.


Director Cassidy admits that the purchase of his second short, I Hate That Smile, came as a complete surprise to him, as he spent just 24 hours making it.

"The second film that Channel 4 bought was quite a surprise," he told the Herald. "A bunch of us got together and had a laugh with it."

This is an exciting time for short movies, he says.

"We've become a YouTube society and the new generation of mobile phones have more and more people watching content literally in the palms of their hands.

"There's a growing appetite for shorter content. A four-minute short film is something you can watch while waiting for a bus," he added.

The filmmaker, who recently relocated to Drogheda, is currently sponsoring a digital film-making course with FAS and Drogheda Youth Development.