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Kildare County Council Arts Officer Lucina Russell talks ‘Gridlock’ and Funding & Filming in Kildare
22 Nov 2016 : Katie McNeice
Kildare County Council
A neighbouring county of both Dublin and Wicklow, Co. Kildare is garnering attention for its support of filmmakers, outside the film hub surrounding the capital.

‘Gridlock’ received the leading awards at not one but two major Irish festivals last weekend, the Grand Irish Short Prix at Cork Film Festival and Best Irish Short at Foyle Film Festival. Both wins now make the project eligible for an Oscar nomination.

IFTN chats to Lucina Russell of Kildare County Council, which partially funded Ian Hunt Duffy’s directorial debut, ‘Gridlock’ with its 2014 commission scheme.

Russell talks us through the support provided to filmmakers through the council, and the wider infrastructures in place in Kildare which make it a prime location for film and television productions.

IFTN: Are there a standard set of supports available to filmmakers in the county?
“We provide a variety of supports.  In recent years, we ran a commission scheme for filmmakers to make films on location in the county, with awards of €10,000 and €18,000. We have also provided funding for Kildare-based filmmakers.

“With Maynooth University, we host a screenwriter in residence.  Last year Hugh Travers was appointed into the post.  As part of that residency, Hugh curated a Film Lab weekend with panel discussions and interviews with leading Irish filmmakers.  Lindsay Sedgwick was recently appointed for the 2016 residency.”

IFTN: What does it mean to your own team to see the filmmakers behind ‘Gridlock’ become eligible for an Oscar nomination?
“I am delighted for everyone involved in the making of 'Gridlock'.  Ian, Simon and Darrach are talented guys and deserve the recognition.  From Kildare County Council's perspective, this is a great endorsement of our investment of funding and other resources.  I hope that the award will further enhance Kildare's reputation as a film-friendly county.

“The Arts Service offer a 'one stop shop' in terms of information and can offer advice on how best to approach filming in Kildare, from granting permission to film, to funding and links to cast and crew.  There is a vast range of locations—from very urban centres in North Kildare, to forests (including Donadea, where 'Gridlock' was filmed) and bog land in West Kildare, many period houses and stately homes, canals and rivers.”

IFTN: Can you talk our readers through other projects the council have been involved with?
“Another of our film commissions, 'JFK The Badge Man Conspiracy 'film, took three awards at the recent 7th Underground Cinema Awards. Clelia Murphy won Best Actress, Nick Dunning won Best Actor award and Paul Valentine, Darren Mahon and I won the producers award for Best Film. Again, this was a further endorsement of our work and creates greater visibility for what we do.

“We also recently supported 'In View', a feature film by Ciaran Creagh.  Initially, we thought that a small number of scenes would be shot in Kildare town, but was a main location for much of the film.  We also provided some grant aid and practical supports around parking—the things that make a filmmaker’s life easier!”

“Kildare County Council's first main venture in film was 'All about Eva', a revenge thriller feature film set in the horse racing Co Kildare. The project was directed by Ferdia Mc Anna, and I also produced this. The script, cast and crew were all locally based. The film project was established to provide a hands-on experience and to strengthen networks in the area, which it did. The film was premiered in the Dublin Film Festival in 2015.”

The Kildare County Council are currently developing the Short Grass Films Kildare website, where an archive of supported films is available.  

Visit Short Grass Films Online to Learn More
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IFTN chats to the Director & Producer of IFTA-Nominated Short Film ‘Gridlock’ #IFTA17
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