A filmmaker who explores art, culture, nature and history through the documentary genre has just completed a film making residency with Kerry County Council during which time she worked with students to help them find their creative voice.
Marcella O’Connor linked up with students from Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmoe; Killorglin Community College, Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee; St Michael’s College and Presentation Secondary School, Listowel; Coláiste na Sceilge, Caheciveen; Firies National School; Réalt na Mara, Cromane and St Joseph’s Secondary School, Ballybunion.
“The students in St Michael’s in Listowel are very serious filmmakers who are entering a film they made in the workshops into film festivals.
“In every workshop, they made great strides in producing work that looks good,” Marcella said.
“In Caherciveen, the students were very serious about filmmaking and created impressive projects. They embraced filmmaking’s practical tasks and they were really focused and invested,” she said.
Marcella was also supported by the residency to work on her own short documentary Brightness of Brightnes which places the poems of Aogán Ó Rathaille in their historical context.
She also completed the edit of Watercoloured, a short documentary about mother-daughter artists, the late Pauline Bewick and Poppy Melia, co-directed with Matt Sclarandis.
The Lament for Art O’Leary, which was made with a creative work development bursary from Kerry County Council, was shown at Cambridge University in May as part of a conference being held in celebration of the poem’s 250th anniversary.
Kerry students were also given an opportunity to experience another art form. Dancer Aileen Murphy worked with primary school children at St John’s Parochial School in Tralee for six weeks.
From Tonevane, just outside Tralee, Aileen got her earliest dance training and experience as a member of Kerry Youth Dance Theatre, run by long-time Kerry County Council dance- in-residence Catherine Young.
“It’s very encouraging to see a new generation of dancers coming through, that got their start thanks to the support of Kerry County Council and Arts Council funding,” said Hannah
Pinckheard, Kerry County Council’s Assistant Arts Officer.
“It shows the long-term benefit of investing in access to the arts and I have no doubt that another generation of professional dancers is being nurtured through this work.”
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