Graduates put best foot forward for prestigious film award
Two University of Wolverhampton and Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education graduates have put their best foot forward by being nominated for an award at the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) awards recently.
IFTA is an all-Ireland organisation whose mission is to encourage excellence in Irish Film and Television by providing a platform for inspiration, creative development and collaboration across the entire industry. The aim of the IFTA Academy is the stimulation of original and creative production work, and the encouragement of excellence through recognition, education and leadership in film and television.
The University of Wolverhampton has partnered with Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education (CDCFE) since 2013 and offers a variety of accredited degree courses including Film & Television Production, Multimedia Journalism, Animation and Drama.
The short film, Best Foot Forward, was produced by graduates, Sean Hart and Bill McHugh who studied on the Film & Television Production degree course which is accredited by the University of Wolverhampton. They produced the work as part of the Documentary and Factual Production module whilst studying for the degree course.
Best Foot Forward details the work of Mary Duffy, a visual artist who was born without arms. Based in Wicklow, Mary received an Arts and Disability Connect New Work award in 2016.
Sean, 23 from Bray County Wicklow, and Bill, 34 from Dublin, produced the short film during the Covid-19 pandemic, working with Mary to show how she creates art with her feet.
Leticia Agudo, Course Leader at Coláiste Dhúlaigh College, said: “It was a wonderful achievement to have even produced a film under the pandemic restrictions and, therefore, even more so to have been nominated for such a prestigious award."
Sean said: “It was a shock to be nominated. But I’m absolutely thrilled that myself and Bill were able to achieve this. We were helped out every step of the way by our two lecturers, Lindsay and Leticia, and that allowed us to develop the film from the continual feedback on the project.
“The inspiration for the film really just came from Mary herself. Her life, art, and stories are so unique that it would’ve been pretty difficult to not do it justice.
“At the moment my focus is on being a writer director. I’m trying to make films and commercials as I hope to write and or direct films and commercials full time at some point in the future. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m trying to take on more projects and I’m working with Mary Duffy on another short documentary - which I hope can have a fraction of the success this one did."
Bill said: "I went back to Coláiste Dhúlaigh to complete my degree after several years of intermittent work as a freelance editor. The course renewed my love of screenwriting, and I have spent the months since working on my portfolio.
"The IFTA nomination has been a truly surreal experience. I'm hugely proud of the work Seán and I put into the film, and to have that work recognised in this way is a genuine honour, not to mention a massive confidence boost!"
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