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Celtic Media Festival 2014

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Programme Revealed

Celtic Media Festival organisers have unveiled the programme for the 35th festival, revealing that some of the biggest names in the broadcasting and film world will be heading to St Ives over 2-4 April. Some of the most influential names from the broadcasting and film industries will attend the 3-day celebration of film, television, radio and digital media which promotes the unique languages and cultures of the Celtic nations and regions.

The 2014 festival will celebrate the influential media industry of the Celtic nations and regions, with leading media figures set to appear at the festival. The programme will also discuss Northern Ireland’s emergence as a top filming location, and the off screen gender gap and whether it influences onscreen portrayals, with sessions including discussions on the positive effects major film and TV productions bring to local communities and how radio is on par with emerging technologies.

Celtic Media Festival 2014 programme highlights will include:

An interview with Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, on Northern Ireland’s growing reputation as the “go to” location for major film and television production in Europe. Under Richard’s leadership, Northern Ireland Screen developed the Paint Hall at Titanic Quarter into a much sought after film studio which has attracted the likes of Universal Pictures and HBO’s Game of Thrones, and has also supported the development and production of independent films and digital content projects, including Steve McQueen’s Hunger (starring Michael Fassbender) which won the Camera D’Or and Terry and Oorlagh George’s Oscar winning The Shore. With Game of Thrones and The Fall just a few of the major productions filmed in Northern Ireland, Richard will discuss how this affinity for the country arose and whether having major productions based there has had any positive effects on the local production community.

An all-star line-up of panellists will debate whether the gender gap off screen influences what is seen on screen in film and television in “Here Come The Girls”. Justin Thomson Glover, who is Executive Producer of the highly acclaimed thriller The Fall (which stars Gillian Anderson and Fifty Shades of Grey’s Jamie Dornan) will join My Mad Fat Diary writer and showrunner Tom Bidwell (whose short film WISH 143 was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film), Morag Fullerton (director of the hugely successful detective drama series Scott & Bailey), for a discussion chaired by former Channel 4 Commissioning Editor, Marianne Buckland. With more male writers and directors in the television and film industry than female, the panel will discuss whether this affects how women are portrayed in drama.

Bo Erhardt, producer of The Bridge which has been hailed as one of the finest crime dramas to hit screens in recent years, will join Mícheál Ó Meallaigh (TG4 Director of Commissioning), Gwawr Martha Lloyd (S4C Commissioning Editor, Drama) for a panel discussion, chaired by BBC Scotland Commissioning Editor Ewan Angus, focusing on why co-productions aren’t more popular. They’ll discuss the wealth of ways to work with people across the world, in light of television budgets becoming smaller, and co-productions seeming an obvious way forward for smaller players.

High profile speakers to appear over the three days of the festival include British television writer/producer/director and novelist Jed Mercurio, whose work includes Line of Duty, Bodies, The Grimleys and Cardiac Arrest, plus Charles Wace, founder of Twofour (Broadcast Awards’ Best Independent Production Company in 2010 and 2014) who will give the festival’s keynote speech. In the last year Twofour produced 250 hours of original broadcast programming across all major UK broadcasters including Splash (ITV), Educating Yorkshire (Channel 4), Harry’s Arctic Heroes (BBC One), Cornwall with Caroline Quentin (ITV), James Nesbitt’s Ireland (ITV) and Bradley Wiggins – A Year in Yellow (Sky Atlantic HD).

Chris Carey, producer of This is Jiny, Run and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (based on the book by Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy author Douglas Adams) will appear as part of the festival’s GreenLight strand. Also appearing is Danny Marie Elias, manager of renowned prosthetic company Gorton Studios whose tutors have worked on productions including Doctor Who, Sherlock, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and World War Z.

Featuring panellists from multiple Celtic regions, “Radio Is The Future” focuses on the importance of radio, alongside the emergence of technologies that will play their part in the “always-on” content revolution, and how it’s a medium in many ways already future-proofed but perhaps under used. Chaired by Head of RTE Radio na Gaeltachta Edel Ní Chuireáin, the panel also includes Jeff Zyncinski (Head of BBC Radio Scotland) and Dan Healy (Head of RTE 2fm).

Delegate registration is open now, with delegates able to access to the full daytime programme of events, as well as the Bronze Torc Awards for Excellence, which celebrate the very best of film, television, radio and interactive media to emerge from within the Celtic nations. The prestigious Bronze Torc Awards see over 100 productions from over 70 production companies and broadcasters shortlisted across 20 award categories, which include animation, current affairs, drama, entertainment, sport, factual and feature length drama, plus Best App, Music Programme and Radio Sports. Organisers were inundated with over 400 submissions from across Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man and Ireland, and the winners will be chosen by an esteemed panel of judges and announced over the three days of the festival.

Festival Chair, Pádhraic Ó Ciardha said: “We are delighted to be bringing the festival back to Cornwall and to St Ives. This annual gathering is a unique blend of celebration, competition and discussion of diverse strands and amazing digital storytelling in all the Celtic nations and regions.”

Head of BBC South West, Leo Devine added: “With such a wealth of talent from the broadcast, film and digital media industries confirmed for Celtic Media Festival 2014, we are so looking forward to welcoming them to St Ives in April. The quality of speakers this year is, as ever, impressive and this year’s festival is shaping up to be a fantastic event.”

Jed Mercurio, British television writer/producer/director/novelist said: “My first production was based in Scotland and my latest was in Northern Ireland. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work in the Celtic Nations and I’m very much looking forward to attending the festival.”

More announcements will follow. The 35th annual Celtic Medial Festival will take place in the Tregenna Castle Hotel, St Ives over 2-4 April.

For further details on delegate registration, the programme and shortlist for the Bronze Torc Awards, please visit: www.celticmediafestival.co.uk