OFFline Film Festival Winners

Reunion, Vuur and Oh! are all films which have been made in Birr, Co. Offaly as part of the up and coming OFFline Film Festival. Winners of this festival receive the special prize of automatic entry into the Galway Film Fleadh as well as substantial cash prize. The three films below are winners of the past three OFFline festivals.

Written, Directed and Edited by Frankie Shine.

Winner of the 2013 OFFline Film Festival filmmaking competition.
An ex cop is reunited with a man he once knew as a child. The man has come to confess the harm he wants to do to his abusive father but it may be too late.
This short was recently screened at the Worcestershire Film Festival and will be screened as part of the shorts selection in the Galway Film Fleadh 2014. Frankie is a graduate from IADT and holds a Masters of Arts in Screenwriting. He hails from Athlone and has worked with Birr based production company Hello Camera.

Vuur (Fire)
Directed by Daniel Butler, Luke Sweetman-Pell.

A story about a man’s relationship with the element of Fire, this short has an existential feel to it with an impct that belies its short length.

Winner of the OFFLine Film Festival filmmaking competition 2012. Luke and Daniel met at college in IADT and have proved to be a successful team on various projects throughout the years. They met the main actor in Vuur Franky Van Dorst at OFFline who was visiting the festival from the Netherlands – hence the Dutch title of the film. Vuur has recently screened at the Waterford Film Festival.

Directed by Cathal Feeney

A small boy asks some unusual questions to his father while sitting on the bus, his father gives him some unusual questions in return to the amusement of some of the other passengers.
Winner of the OFFline Film Festival filmmaking competition 2011. This short has also gone to to be screened at the Galway Film Fleadh 2012, Fastnet Film Festival 2012 and the Vacaville International Festival where it won the award for best comedy.

Tapestry of Colours


‘Tapestry of Colours’ is an emotive feature length documentary which explores the fusion of Cultures in Northern Ireland­  features personal and moving interviews with individuals from diverse backgrounds and Cultures, set against colourful and unusual festivals with a strong emphasis on music. The film poses several questions on perceptions and attitudes about identity and Culture but ultimately leaves the viewer engaged and inspired­.

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The Story of Lir

Band photo LirThe first incarnation of LIR were called Uproar. Founding members in 1988 were RO BYRNE, DAVID HOPKINS, ROBERT MALONE, CRAIG HUTCHINSON. They played with improvised instruments in local Schools and Supermarkets. When Dave McGuinness joined on vocals, they began practicing for hours each day and started playing gigs around Dublin including the prestigious BAGGOT INN. Suddenly they developed a huge following of loyal supporters.

By 1989 they were offered a deal by Ringsend Road Recording Studio around the same time they changed their name to LIR. That year they sign to MUCHWOOD MANAGEMENT. David Reilly, Sean Hayes, & John Coon become Co-Managers. They began to perfect their live sound and toured Ireland extensively.

In the summer of 1991, LIR flew to America to play the New Music Seminar. This would be the first of many visits to the USA. The bible of Rock Music Creem Magazine calls them Ireland’s new Heavyweights Contenders.

Sell out shows around Ireland follow. They are courted by countless Record Companies and fans are becoming impatient for an official release. 1992 is a year of more writing than gigging though they return to the USA NEW MUSIC SEMINAR in JUNE where an A&R scramble ensues. Despite this they fail to secure a record deal.

1993 finally see’s them offered a deal at SXSW by Chrysalis. This deal would eventually fall through! In April, their first domestic release. A Four Track EP called ALL MACHINES HUM IN A and reaches No. 11 in the charts. Then they finally release their Debut Album MAGICO MAGICO and sign to WAR? RECORDS in America.

1994 and the boys head away on an epic and adventurous 10 MONTH TOUR of the USA but problems ensue. Keyboard player Hoppo decided to officially leave the band. COLM QUEARNEY (ex-DRAGONFLY) joins.

While MAGICO MAGICO didn’t quite set the world on fire, WAR release an alternate track list stateside. To push on with this assault on conquering America, they return straight away in January of 1995. Once back in America, they find themselves sleeping on the floors of fans met at gigs and in their tiny tour bus, driving across the country from gig to gig. It was while driving through ERRIE, PENNSYLVANIA, that the band almost lost their lives.

The bus got hit black ice, swerved, overturned, and skidded on it’s side for over 200 feet before finally coming to rest. Stranded in the ice and snow, they eventually found help in the remote countryside.

In March they retreated to COLORADO where they recorded their sophomore album NEST. They toured the album relentlessly, but it took it’s toll on the drummer Craig Hutchinson. Concerned for his health coupled with financial difficulties, the band returned to Ireland. Craig quit the band, and they parted company with their Management.

Undeterred, they decided to continue. They released two more EP’s including the catchy ‘THERE ARE MORE THINGS’ which became the theme tune for the film ‘I WENT DOWN’. There was more record company interest, but following the collapse of another potential deal, they decided to take a break. By this time, bassist Robert Malone had joined DAVID GRAY. Shortly afterwards, in 1997, their ex-manager launched legal proceedings against the band which was only resolved in 2012. The band continue to play the occasional gig as fundraisers to pay their legal costs.

Fionnuala: Puipead Beag Ar Thuras Mor


Fionnuala, a short documentary directed by James Kelly, follows the Branar Téatar do Pháistí puppet company from Bearna in Galway, as they bring a puppet show on tour overseas for the first time to Cologne, Germany. The film follows puppet Fionnuala as she is being made, goes through rehearsals and final embarks on a journey to perform “far away.” Features a blend of traditional and contemporary Irish music.


TRAILER: Fionnuala – small puppet on a big journey – ar TG4 21/11/13 @8pm from Feenish Productions on Vimeo.


Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey


  • Sunday, December 8, 5pm
  • Lelia Doolan, Director

The documentary Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey examines the brief but brilliant political run of the young radical socialist who captured the world’s attention at 21 when she was elected to the British Parliament from Northern Ireland in 1969. A vital force in the Catholic civil rights movement, Bernadette Devlin McAliskey disappeared from public life after an attempt on her life in 1981. Doolan rescues her unique subject from obscurity and delivers a history lesson both entertaining and insightful on the roots of a revolutionary.


Life’s a Breeze

Opening Night Film, E Street Cinema

Thursday, December 5, 6:30PM

Buy tickets online through the Landmark E Street Cinema ticketing system.

Lance Daly, Director

Life’s a Breeze is a comedy written and directed by Lance Daly. It follows a multi-generational Irish family as they search for the discarded mattress of grandma, who belatedly tells them it contained their inheritance. Starring Kelly Thornton, Fionnula Flanagan, Pat Shortt and Eva Birthistle, this film was featured at the Toronto Film Festival.





  • tickets
  • Friday, December 6, 8:30pm
  • Ireland / 2012 / 72 mins
  • Mark O’Connor, Director
  • TJ O’Grady Peyton, Producer
  • website:

Oliver Nolan, a volatile homeless man, wanders the streets of Dublin at Christmas time. After an unusual encounter with a priest, Oliver believes he is sent on a mission from God to clean up society. When he saves a disaffected young boy named Tommy from some local bullies an unlikely friendship is formed. Tommy’s mother is an addict and his uncle Rudyard a local drug dealer. Oliver takes it upon himself to get even with Rudyard and his gang of petty criminals for taking advantage of his only friend, Tommy. Directed by Mark O’Connor, written with John Connors, starring Barry Keoghan, Peter Coonan and John Connors.

More Information:



Toy Soldiers

ToySoldiers-Boys in Field2

  • tickets
  • Saturday, December 7, 2pm
  • Ireland / 2012 / 16 mins
  • Mike Hayes, Director

The discovery of two toy soldiers is the catalyst for this short coming-of-age drama, written by Matt Roche and directed by Mike Hayes, which explores the relationship of two brothers in a rural Irish town. Starring Darragh O’ Toole, Robert Donnelly, Una Kavanagh, Aaron Lockhart, Jack Quinn, Mollie McCann and Akville Krunglevici.



The Note


Written and directed by Ciaran Creagh, The Note tells a story about the redemption of Lars, a middle-aged alcoholic, who has lost everything, most importantly his wife and son. Now he carries around ‘The Note’, a constant reminder of his childhood abuse at the hands of a Christian Brother. He finds solace in the bottle as he quietly observes from a distance his son, now a young boy, longing for the life he’s thrown away. Starring Aidan Gillen  and Ruth McCabe.


Spot Promo Still

In this award winning short comedy, Gerry’s everyday life involves his high-flying career in used-car sales and domestic bliss with Bonsai tree maintenance. Suddenly his world is turned upside down by an unusual discovery…or is it an obsession? Directed by Carl Collins, music by Liz Seaver. Starring Cormac McDonagh, Laura Wynne, Peter Weldon and Joe McKinney.



Home Turf

Home Turf Eamon

Home Turf, directed by Ross Whitaker, is a visual celebration of the ancient art of cutting turf by hand. The documentary short follows a band of turf cutters from North Kerry through the cutting season from April to September for an insight into a way of life that will soon be lost. From the award-winning makers of Bye Bye Now, Home Turf is a fascinating visual celebration on the ancient art of cutting turf by hand in Co. Kerry, Ireland.



When Ali Came to Ireland

Ali and Butty

Ali and Butty, photo credit Irish Post

  • tickets
  • Saturday, December 7, 6pm
  • Ireland / 2012 / 50 mins.
  • Ross Whitaker, Director
  • Aideen O’Sullivan, Producer

The madcap week in July 1972 when Muhammad Ali came to Dublin had an amazing impact on the Irish people, and on Ali, who was one of their own. When Ali Came to Ireland tells how Butty Sugrue, a circus strongman from County Kerry, pulled off a massive sporting coup by arranging a fight in Croke Park between Ali, the greatest athlete of all time, and Alvin “Blue” Lewis, a Detroit ex-con. Director Ross Whitaker infuses this unlikely tale with great warmth and good humor, combining a wealth of archival material with colorful reminiscences of the journalist who interviewed Ali, the hurler who taught him hurling, the team from Offaly who built the ring, and his good friend Rock Brynner, son of Yul.



Skin in the Game

Donald Taylor Black

Irish artists have found fertile ground for creativity in the demise of the Celtic Tiger and the ensuing financial crisis. SKIN IN THE GAME examines how artists like musician Christy Moore, poet Rita Ann Higgins, painter Brian Maguire, and other artists look at emigration, ghost estates and the legacy of politicians and bankers and their impact on Irish life in the 21st Century. Produced and directed by Don Black, one of Ireland’s most incisive and compelling documentary makers, and written in part by renowned novelist and screenwriter, Roddy Doyle (The Commitments), the film was nominated for Best Feature Documentary Award at the 2013 Irish Film and Television Awards.



Scoil Samhraidh: Willie Clancy 40th Anniversary Documentary


Despite the distraction of the modern age, traditional Irish music has maintained a strong presence in the far West of Ireland, where the stone-covered Burren sweeps down to the sea. Here live the virtuosos of the fiddle, the harp, Uilleann pipes and tin whistle, the singers who can raise the hair on the back of your neck, and the teachers whose ambition is to ensure a future for this most evocative of Irish arts. This documentary is a fascinating and revealing insight into the traditional-music summer school (Scoil Samhraidh) held each year in Miltown Malbay, County Clare. With interviews and performances from the tradition’s greatest exponents, this film will be revisited again and again as a source of reference and inspiration for all that kneel at the altar of Irish traditional music.





Good Cake Bad Cake: the Story of Lir

Good Cake Bad Cake: the Story of Lir

Lir were the Nearly Men of Irish rock. Formed in the late ‘80s, the Dublin band were loved by their fans, dismissed by the critics and misunderstood by the music industry. As teenagers, Lir dreamed of conquering the music world, only to see their hopes and dreams thwarted by a multitude of disasters. Once feted as “the next U2,” their downfall is only matched in grandeur by the scale of their ambition. Unlike the thousands of success stories told in music documentaries, this film tells a much more a much more common story. But it is one whose outcome is still uncertain: 99% of bands will never make it but some will never give up.



City Wild


The Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland, is one of the largest recreational spaces within any European capital; more than twice the area of New York’s Central Park. It’s a National Historic Park, a wildlife reserve and a busy urban public space. Its inhabitants range from the President of Ireland and the U.S. ambassador, to a herd of Fallow deer and the Dublin Zoo. Residents tell its story in this documentary by Leticia Agudo and Paul McGrath of Wackala.



Washington, DC