Clonmany film-maker holds master classes in Regional Cultural Centre

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Orla Walsh’s latest film “Riders to the Sea” is a little racier than JM Synge’s play of the same name.

With its central theme of surfing, “Riders to the Sea” premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh 2011. It won the Irish Film Board’s Short Shorts award.

In a varied career Ms Walsh has made five award winning films and has worked with celebrities as diverse as Brad Pitt, Brendan Gleeson and Dustin the Turkey. In 2004 she won an Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA) for her RTE show ‘Stew’.

Now the Clonmany-based film-maker is keen to pass on some of her expertise during a series of script-writing workshops in Letterkenny’s Regional Cultural Centre (RCC).

She said: “I would encourage anyone with a germ of an idea that they want to turn into a film-script, to come along to the Regional Cultural Centre, for the next six Saturdays, from 1.15pm until 4.15pm. Writers from Donegal and the North West who want to enrol should message me on Facebook or call 074-9129186.”

Ms Walsh moved to Inishowen, “an undiscovered gem”, three years ago to be closer to her partner’s family. This is decision she does not regret:

“So far I have been able to sustain a successful screen-writing career working between Donegal and Derry. Obviously the film locations might take me elsewhere but with 2013 beginning to kick in and bring a focus to this region, things can only improve for people working in the arts.

“I ran a screen-writing course in the RCC earlier this year. The participants were coming up with some great stories about Donegal’s history, family experiences, rugby matches and boxing competitions. There was loads of interesting material. I think that if we can get a body of work, produced by emerging screen-writers in the North West, we might be able to secure funds to establish an annual prize. This would give a boost to people embarking on careers in the moving image.”