Film festival visitors "blown away" by warm welcome

The credits may have rolled and the curtain just come down on another successful Tipperary Film Festival, but two entries have already been submitted for next year's event.

There was an increase in entries from 253 for last year's inaugural event to 329 for this year's festival, which ran from September 4th-11th.

And with the likelihood that next year's festival will surpass those figures, festival director Will Nugent wants to expand it beyond Clonmel and arrange screenings in neighbouring towns such as Fethard, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel and Cahir.

"The event has the potential to grow even more", he says, adding that it was hoped to secure funding for next year.

Eighty filmmakers from around the world attended the festival. They came from the United States, Turkey, Israel, Tahiti and from all over Europe to attend the screenings of their films and to mingle with other filmmakers.

"It was like a college workshop where people bounced ideas off each other. And they were all blown away by the warmth and hospitality shown to them in South Tipp. They've all vowed to return next year", said Will.

Even those who didn't win awards went home happy, he added.

All the films were screened free of charge and most were shown at Knocklofty House Hotel, just outside Clonmel, which also hosted the gala awards ceremony.

The visitors were also taken on tours to local places of interest including the Rock of Cashel, the Swiss Cottage in Cahir, St. Patrick's Well, the Glen of Aherlow, the south coast near Ardmore and Athassel Abbey near Golden.

He said the event was a great showcase for the area.

Jordan Graye's film Megahertz won the Abbott Vascular Best in Festival award.

A special cheer at the awards ceremony was reserved for Christian Saleta, from Germany, a cerebral palsy sufferer who won the European award. He also endeared himself to everyone by learning English specially for the occasion.

A fringe event was the Youth Film Festival, where films were screened at the Arts Centre in Nelson Street, Clonmel. This featured 30 short films made in South Tipperary, some of which were created during the Junction Festival while others were made through a schools project and a South Tipp Arts Centre programme.

Will Nugent says it's also hoped to secure funding for next year's festival.


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