A film about the Siege of Derry was among the productions to triumph at the Celtic Media Festival held at The Playhouse this week.
The 33rd annual Celtic Media Festival was held in Derry for the first time since 1994. The three day event saw some of the most influential names from the broadcasting and film industries gather at The Playhouse Theatre and other venues across the city.
Ellen Bell collected the Kieran Hegarty Award for Interactivity for his landmark documentary The Siege. The film, a Double Band Films production for BBC Northern Ireland, also premiered at the festival.
It explores how the Siege of Derry was a pivotal event in the history of Ireland – one which placed Derry not only at the heart of an epic clash between Catholics and Protestants for the crown of England, but the centre of a European struggle for power. The Siege uses a dynamic combination of presenter-led history, interviews and stylised reconstruction to take the viewer through the dramatic story of a key moment in Irish, Ulster-Scots and European history.
Thursday was an eventful day at the media festival with BBC NI Director Peter Johnson announcing that BBC NI will be launching an innovative new co-funding initiative with BBC Scotland and RTÉ. He made the announcement during his keynote speech and said a joint commissioning round will ask companies to work together to submit content proposals that are relevant to audiences in all three regions.
Irish film Stella Days was also recognised in the Feature Length Drama category at the locally held festival. The film, produced by Newgrange Pictures and RTÉ stars Martin Sheen, Stephen Rea and Amy Huberman and encapsulates the dilemma of Ireland in the mid-1950s - on the cusp of the modern but still clinging to the traditions of the church.
The Bronze Torcs for Excellence celebrate the very best of film, television, radio and digital media to emerge from within the Celtic diaspora within the last year.
The Bronze Torc for Drama Series went to Ireland Magamedia and TG4 for Corp + Anam. Starring Diarmuid de Faoite and Maria Doyle Kennedy, the hard hitting crime drama has been a big hit for TG4.