A documentary film set in the endangered fishing communities of Kilmore Quay, Duncannon and Slade which was made by the Duncormick-based artist and filmmaker Els Dietvorst has won an award at the prestigious Jean Rouch International Film Festival in Paris.
'I Watched the White Dogs of the Dawn' won the Anthropology and Sustainable Development Award which was presented to Els at a prize-giving ceremony in the French capital. The documentary is the second part of a tryptch of films about the relationship between humans and nature and deals with the effects of the international commercial market on local fishing communities. Belgian-born Els was awarded the Evens Prize in Brussels for the first film in the series 'The Rabbit and the Weasel' set in the Wexford countryside.
For 'I Watched the White Dogs of Dawn', she spent a week on board a fishing vessel and many more hours on shore, interviewing and filming people, setting individual stories against the backdrop of the wider European political and economic situation.
She worked closed with non-professional actors from the community including 76-year old Kathleen Bennett and Sinead Bennett; trawler skipper Jay Bates, Fiona and Tommy Miskella Senior, David Keaton, Mick Kinsella, Chaz Bates, Gerard Culleton and Joe Sinnott along with Diarmuid Kinsella and Peter and Sibeal Cullen. The film which also won a prize at the Documentary Film Festival in Kilmore Quay in September was made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund and the Irish Arts Council.
Els said everyone involved in the film is delighted about the award and 'there will be a party for the contributing actors in Kilmore soon'.
The Jean Rouch Festival selects films of anthropological interest about the relationship between human societies and the environment.