Kenmare based artist Mieke Vanmechelen will be continuing her work as Kerry County Council Filmmaker in Residence, co-funded by the Arts Council and Creative Ireland during 2020.
As well as completing a short film project with Killarney Community College, Mieke will be embarking on a series of new, collaborative and socially engaged projects with schools and groups in the county.
Mieke has worked successfully with many individuals, youth groups and schools during her term as filmmaker in residence to date. In particular she facilitated the making of short film and a documentary with Kenmare Youth Café in partnership with Kenmare Family Resource Centre.
The group screened their project at the Carnegie Arts Centre in Kenmare before Christmas to an audience of 5th years and teachers as well as representatives of TUSLA. The Youth Participation project was funded by TUSLA and showcased the participation of young people in their community.
The group are now in consideration for National Youth Participation Award.
During 2019, Kenmare Youth Film Productions had the opportunity to travel to the National Youth Film School at IADT in Dún Laoghaire and they also met lecturers from the MA in Festival Arts at the University of Limerick as part of Fresh Film Festival's Young Programmer series
As a result of the programme the group will be hosting their own mini film festival this spring. Mieke and three Kenmare Youth Film Production members have been invited by Fresh Film Festival to be part of their 2020 Jury panel and they will be travelling to Limerick in February to fulfil this new role.
Kenmare Youth Film Productions have also been invited by NYFS to attend Animation Dingle / Young Filmmakers & Animators NETWORK event, taking place March 20 at Dingle Hub.
Additionally Mieke will be working with current and former students of Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare in partnership with Principal Dermot Healy on a documentary that will address issues of discrimination and inequalities faced by LGBT people, while celebrating diversity and the concept of inclusivity.
Mieke has also set up the Kerry Film Forum in partnership with writer/director Sean Rea. Aiming to bring together filmmakers, directors, writers and artists working in film and moving image in a mutually supportive environment.
The meetings are scheduled once every two months at ANAM, Arts & Cultural Centre in Killarney and is supported by Kerry County Council and Kerry Screen Commission. Mieke will be curating an exhibition of film and moving image work by six established Kerry artists also at ANAM, from 7-28 May, as part of her residency.
Regarding her own art practice, Mieke worked on a Kerry Cattle Film project supported by Creative Ireland for over a year, producing a short documentary called Bó and an experimental short, Residual Minority.
This project encompassed artist-led creative community engagement, cultural heritage, and engagement with nature and rural Ireland. Mieke's film Residual Minority is currently screening at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh until January 30th, and will be screening in film Festivals in both Florence and Caserta, Italy, as well as The Glucksman Gallery Cork in the coming months.
The film was also shortlisted for an award by the Florence Film Awards taking place this July, while Bó was shortlisted for the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.