Dublin International Screenwriting Festival 2021

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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The inaugural Dublin International Screenwriting Festival (DISF) takes place online from the 19th-23rd of April with a week of lunchtime and evening workshops, panel discussions and in conversation interviews.

DISF was established to celebrate the craft of screenwriting in Ireland and to develop opportunities for screenwriters both in Ireland and abroad. Although Irish writers of poetry, prose and theatre enjoy a magnificent international reputation we, as a nation, have yet to harness that reputation for the wealth of screenwriting talent in Ireland. The programme of workshops, panel discussions and in conversation interviews was curated to create opportunities for Irish based writers to do just that while also fostering a uniquely Irish identity in our screenwriting as so many of our European colleagues have already done.

Some festival highlights include “In Conversations” with some of Ireland’s top screenwriters Roddy Doyle, Lisa McGee, Kate O’Riordan and Stuart Carolandiscussing their craft and their careers. Panel discussions, featuring Irish screen industry leaders, will dissect current hot topics in screenwriting like diversity in screenwriting and writing for animation, games and documentary as well as a screenwriting masterclass with Mary Kate O Flanagan guiding writers through the essentials of Act I.

The full list of events includes:

Monday 19 April

YOU HAD ME AT HELLO: Writers Meet Producers Speed Dating Event – 14.00 – 16.30  

With production companies: Samson Films, Treasure Entertainment, Wild Atlantic Films, Danú Media, O’Sullivan Productions, Marmalade Films, Cowtown Pictures & Blinder!

BEGINNINGS: MASTERING ACT I, A Screenwriting Masterclass with Mary Kate O Flanagan – 19.00 – 22.00

Tuesday, 20th April

MORE THAN JUST A BUZZWORD: Diversity in Storytelling – 13.00 – 14.00

With Panelists:

Grainne Bennett (Screen Skills Ireland)

Adaku Ezuedo (Phoenix Rize)

Rosaleen McDonagh (Screenwriter)

Aisling Byrne (Screenwriter)

Mark Smith (Actor)

Moderated by: Festival Director, Gavin Ryan

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT: A Producers’ Panel on What They Are Looking For in 2021 – 18.30 – 19.30

With Panelists:

Liz Gill (O’Sullivan Productions)

Aaron Farrell (Shinawil)

David Collins (Samson Films)

Sarah Gunn (Treasure Entertainment)

Conor Barry (Savage Productions)

Moderated by Miriam Devitt (Screenwriter)

MASTER OF THE PAGE, STAGE AND SCREEN: In Conversation With Roddy Doyle – 19.30 – 20.30

Wednesday 21 April

WRITING FOR REAL: Writing for Documentary – 13.00 – 14.30

With Panelists:

David Ryan, Producer (Tile Films)

Jennifer Davidson, Writer

Stephen O’Connell, Editor

Maurice Sweeney, Director

Grainne McAleer, Commissioning Editor (RTE)

Moderated by Festival Director & SPI Fact Ent Committee Member, Daniel Hegarty

ANIMATE THIS!: Screenwriting Opportunities in Ireland’s Animation Industry – 18.30 – 19.30

With Panelists:

Nuria Blanco (Cartoon Saloon)

Lena Byrne (Sow You Entertainment)

Dee Roycroft (Writer/Script Editor)

Richie Conroy (Writer)

Moderated by Jody O’Neill (Screenwriter/Actor)

SLÁINTE MOTHERF***ERS: In Conversation with Lisa McGee – 19.30 – 20.30 

Thursday 22 April

THE GREEN LIGHT: What Funders & Commissioning Editors Look For In A Story – 13.00 – 14.00

With Panelists:

Bill Malone (Virgin Media)

Deirbhile Ni Churraighin (TG4)

Dermot Horan (RTE)

Alan Moloney (Parallel Films)

Moderated by Mary Kate O Flanagan (Screenwriter/Script Consultant)

READY WRITER ONE: Screenwriting Opportunities in Ireland’s Growing Games Industry – 18.30 – 19.30 

With Panelists:

Brenda Romero (Romero Games)

Dave McCabe (Green Heart Games)

Basil Lim (TU Dublin)

Eve Golden Woods (Dreemfellx)

Paul Fahey (Game Designer/Writer)

Moderated by Eoghain Meakin (Games Writer/Lecturer)

(AB)NORMAL PEOPLE?: The Highs & Lows of Professional Screenwriting and How To Avoid Our Fates – 19.30 – 20.30 

With Panelists:

Ken Harmon (Legend)

Paul Webster (The Vasectomy Doctor)

Sarah Francis (Fair City)

Damian Fox (Extra Ordinary)

Carol Walsh (Fair City)

Jennifer Davidson (Waiting For Tom, Chair of the Writers Guild of Ireland)

Tadgh Hickey (The School)

Moderated by Festival Director Gavin Ryan

Friday 24th April

AG SMOINEAMH AS GAEILGE: Screenwriting Opportunities for those Writing in Irish – 13:00 – 14:00


Anton Beag O’Colla (Rubaí)

Bríd Seoighe (Abu Media)

Moderator by Sean T. O’Meallaigh (An Klondyke)

SHEDUNNIT! In Conversation with Smother creator, Kate O’Riordan – 18.30 – 19.30 

ALWAYS LOOKING FORWARD In Conversation with Stuart Carolan – 19.30 – 20.30 

The full programme of free, ticketed events is now live on the Dublin International Screenwriting Festival website www.disf.ie.

Interested in film? take a look at courses around the country.

Steven Galvin

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