Screen Training Ireland Celebrate International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Screen Training Ireland (STI) takes a look at the achievements of Irish female filmmaking talent who have accessed various training, mentoring and shadowing opportunities offered over the years.

Through our work at Screen Training Ireland we are fully committed to International Women’s Day call to action to #PressforProgress on gender parity by encouraging an environment of support and inclusion on all STI courses and initiatives. In 2017 STI allocated 48% of training places to women.

Screen Training Ireland support female talent through various courses, initiatives and the bursary award scheme.  Leading Irish Composer and Conductor, Eimear Noone, participated in many STI courses and is a world renowned conductor of video game scores; Caoimhe Doyle, Foley Artist (ROOM, FRANK, GAME OF THRONES, SING STREET) received a bursary to participate in an apprenticeship with Andy Malcolm at Footsteps Post-Production Sound Inc. at the beginning of her career. Read more about their achievements here and here

Other female talent supported through STI includes Neasa Ní Chianáin, Director (SCHOOL LIFE); Carmel Winters, Writer/Director (SNAP, FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY); Martina Niland, Producer (SING STREET, THE YOUNG OFFENDERS TV Series, FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY); Anna Rackard, Art Director/Production Designer (LOVE & FRIENDSHIP, A DANGEROUS FORTUNE, STELLA DAYS, THE BUTCHER BOY); and many more female filmmakers.

Creative Director Aoife Doyle and Producer Niamh Herrity of Pink Kong Studios were awarded a bursary of €30,000 by ADIFF, Screen Training Ireland & Audi Ireland to produce their virtual reality concept AURORA which premiered at the Dublin International Film Festival.

Director shadowing schemes were developed to support key creative talent on RED ROCK and CAN’T COPE WON’T COPE to increase future productions directed by female talent. Hannah Quinn, Assistant Director RED ROCK participated on a shadow directing opportunity on RED ROCK with director Lisa Mulcahy and Natasha Waugh, AD, shadow directed six episodes of CAN’T COPE WON’T COPE alongside director Imogen Murphy.

You can read more about Hannah’s shadowing experience here.

Mentoring opportunities for female talent are supported via leading international programmes such as Guiding Lights and Inside Pictures. Irish writer Ailbhe Keogan (RUN AND JUMP, TAKE ME SWIMMING) and Kate Dolan, director (LITTLE DOLL, CATCALLS) were supported on the prestigious film mentoring scheme, Guiding Lights; as was Writer Carmel Winters (SNAP, FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY).

Kate McCullough a leading Director of Photography who has worked on acclaimed Irish documentaries IT’S NOT DARK YET and THE FARTHEST recently contributed to the STI career spotlight series outlining her career progression which you can read about here. STI will continue to profile key female talent working in the industry as part of their Career Spotlight series.

We remain fully committed to supporting female filmmakers at all stages of their career development by providing women with access to a range of programmes and supports.

Image: FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, written and directed by Carmel Winters and produced by Martina Niland.


Career Spotlight: Kate McCullough, Director Of Photography

Kate McCullough is a leading Director of Photography who has worked on acclaimed Irish documentaries IT’S NOT DARK YET and THE FARTHEST.  Kate has kindly contributed to Screen Training Ireland’s career spotlight established to outline the many different careers in the screen sectors with a particular focus on female filmmakers.

You can read more about Kate’s work here


What’s your connection with Screen Training Ireland if any?

I don’t have a direct connection with Screen Training Ireland. I have attended some workshops over the years and found them helpful.

How important is training?

I think establishing a system of working is important at the start. Then once you are comfortable with that you can switch it up and around depending on the project. How you establish that system depends from person to person. I went to the National Film School in Dun Laoghaire for four years. I needed a framework like that to help me gain confidence as a cinematographer. I was pretty shy to start so I think if I had gone straight in as a trainee I would have been swallowed up. But starting as a trainee is a really great way to get hands on experience and meet people, one job leads onto the next and if you are keen and precise with your work you will move forward quickly.

Getting exposure to film-making abroad I found invaluable. I spent two years studying at the National film school in Poland. There is a great tradition of cinematography there. Grandfathers, fathers and sons all working in the same field. There was also a female cinematographer teaching at the college which I found hugely inspiring. The relationship between the director and cinematographer in Poland is a very strong bond. There was a lot of watching, analyzing, discussing.

When it comes to the question of training- In a sense I believe I should always be aware of new technology, new tools and systems for my work. The landscape is constantly changing so we need to move with this. There is constantly a low level of training, learning going on.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m just finishing a T.V series CAN’T COPE WON’T COPE. A comedy/drama which is a totally new animal for me. I have been shooting some pretty serious documentaries up until now so it’s been really great to shake it up and look at the framework of comedy and how best to tackle it.

What/who originally attracted you to a career in Cinematography?

I had been watching a lot of documentaries in my teens, especially Hoop Dreams sticks in my mind. Its a film about two inner city boys from Chicago attempting to make a career from basketball. I was fascinated by the intimacy of these portraits and the new perspective they gave me on the world.

What has been your greatest career high?

Winning the Sundance award in 2010 was really amazing since it was completely a total surprise. Since then I have had lots of mini more personal moments – filming during the day the marriage equality referendum goes through; a politician(who has just seen our film Jaha’s Promise) is inspired to nominate Jaha as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize; being invited to to join the largely male organization the Irish Society of Cinematography.

What was your first job in the screen sectors?

I’m not sure whether it was my very first job but I do remember being very excited receiving a phone call out of the blue from Emer Reynolds saying a colleague of hers Dearbhla Walsh wanted to see some of my work. Emer was hugely encouraging about my work and that gave me a huge strength to continue on the journey. So I sent a VHS (yes those big bulky things that you stick in a machine and you have to rewind if you want to view it again) of my showreel to Dearbhla and she asked me to shoot a small sequence for the Ulysses centenary. I was so nervous but so grateful at getting a chance to work alongside the hugely talented director.

What’s a key piece of advice you’d give to someone starting a career in the industry?

Take your time, look + listen. Decide first what you want to say and then how you’re going to say it. Even the smallest job can lead to something big, just trust your gut feeling on things.

You can also read more about Kate’s work in this recent Irish Independent article by clicking here.



Dingle Pow-Wow at Dingle International Film Festival 2018


Dingle Pow-Wow, supported by Screen Training Ireland is back for its second year with an outstanding line-up of industry experts and stars. With a combination of seminars and a networking lunch, this event is essential to learn about the exciting film and television industry.

On 24 March 2018 in the Blasket Centre, the annual Dingle Pow-Wow will bring together professional industry leaders from Ireland and abroad to discuss their careers. Dingle Pow-Wow provides a unique and inspiring opportunity for enterprising filmmakers to gain insight and knowledge about the global film and television industry. The guest speakers are some of the best in the business and will present their challenges and successes in film and television for this unmissable event.

Pow Wow speakers include:

Barry Keoghan – Actor
IFTA-award winning, Barry Keoghan appeared in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film Dunkirk and had a fantastic performance in the psychological thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer. He earned parts on U.K and Irish television including the hugely successful Love/Hate (2010-2014).

Paul McGann – Actor
Paul John McGann is an English actor. He came to prominence for portraying Percy Toplis in the 1986 television serial THE MONOCLED MUTINEER. He later starred in the 1987 dark comedy WITHNAIL AND I, and as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the 1996 DOCTOR WHO television film, a role he reprised in more than 70 audio dramas and the 2013 mini-episode THE NIGHT OF THE DOCTOR, McGann is also known for playing Lieutenant William Bush in the HORNBLOWER TV series.

Michael Uppendahl – Director
Michael is an American television and film director. Since 2008, Michael has been a recurring director on many of the most beloved American television shows in history, including: MAD MEN (2008-2015); AMERICAN HORROW STORY (2011-2016); Glee (2012); Ray Donovan (2013-2015); THE WALKING DEAD (2013); DAREDEVIL(2015); LEGION (2017) FARGO (2014—). Michael also made his feature film directorial debut with QUAD (aka GROUNDED) (2013), about a hard-living salesman who becomes a quadriplegic after an accident.

Paula Malcomson – Actor
Paula Malcomson is an extremely prolific film and television actress. Malcomson began her career in the early 1990s with small parts primarily in film before scoring higher-profile roles in the Oscar-nominated film THE GREEN MILE (1999) and A.I ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001). Malcomson made appearances in many high-profile series. She was cast in the role of Katniss’ mother in the blockbuster adaptation of THE HUNGER GAMES (2012). After the release of that film, she also filmed the pilot for Liev Schreiber’s Showtime series RAY DONOVAN (2013-2017).

Jill Eikenberry  – Actor
Jill Eikenberry has a long list of theatre, film and television credits.  She is  best known for her portrayal of Ann Kelsey on NBC’s long-running hit series  LA LAW, which earned Jill four Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Golden Globe Award.  Most recently, she appeared in  SOMETHING BORROWED and  YOUNG ADULT. Jill co-produced a one-hour documentary for NBC entitled  DESTINED TO LIVE, which dealt with the emotional aspects of breast cancer, from diagnosis to recovery.

Michael Tucker  – Actor
A veteran stage, film and television actor, Michael Tucker is  best known for his role as Stuart Markowitz in the hit series,  L.A. LAW, which brought him three Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe  nominations.  Michael’s film credits include Woody Allen’s  RADIO DAYS and THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO.  Jill and Michael produced a documentary film,  EMILE NORMAN – BY HIS OWN DESIGN, which aired on PBS.  It has become a perennial during Gay Pride every June on PBS stations across the nation.

Dónal Ó’ Céilleacheir – Director – The Camino Voyage
Dónal Ó Céilleachair is an Irish filmmaker who lives between New York and Ireland. Dónal’s wide-ranging international experience, from across the independent film landscape includes over 50 fiction, documentary and experimental films in a diversity of roles over the past 25 years including THE CAMINO VOYAGE/ IOMRAMH AN CHAMINO which opens Dingle International Film Festival.

Nuala O’ Connor – Director/Writer/Producer – Keepers of the Flame
In 1987, Nuala established Hummingbird Productions with Philip King to produce high quality music and arts documentary films. Nuala won a Prime-Time Emmy Award for writing a one-hour version of BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME for the Disney television channel in the US.

The world premiere and gala presentation of Nuala O’Connor’s directorial debut, KEEPERS OF THE FLAME, will close the festival.

Diarmaid Ferriter  – Historian and University Lecturer
Diarmaid Ferriter is one of Ireland’s best known historians and is Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD. His most recent book, “Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s” was published in 2012. He is a regular broadcaster on television and radio and a weekly columnist with the Irish Times.

Katrina Costello – Director – The Silver Branch
Katrina Costello and Ken O’Sullivan set up Sea Fever Productions in 2006 to produce wildlife and creative documentaries. In 2014, they produced IRELAND’S OCEAN, a four-part Irish wildlife series for RTÉ documenting dolphins, sharks, stingrays and the myriad of wonderful and colourful creatures in the temperate seas around Ireland.

Philip King – Filmmaker and Broadcaster  
Philip King has been closely involved with the arts in Ireland as a filmmaker and musician for over 30 years. He has presented a number of radio programmes, including “An Droichead Beo”, “The Green Groves” and the RTÉ Radio 1 programme, “The South Wind Blows”.

Mark McGann – Director
Mark is a professional director, actor, scriptwriter, producer and published songwriter. He has appeared as an actor in many leading roles in Theatre, TV and Film productions, as well as receiving commissions to write and direct original productions for a wide variety of professional organisations.  In 2007, McGann formed the multi-media production company Drama Direct Ltd.

Clare Cahill – Producer
Clare Cahill is an independent producer who has a wealth of production experience in independent film. Since 2009, Clare has worked on more than 23 independent feature films and 15 short films, including LOVE TOMORROW, THE NINTH CLOUD and WHITE-COLLAR HOOLIGAN. Clare is also a senior lecturer in Film Production at the Arts University Bournemouth.

Katie Mc Cullough and Ian Bignell
Festival Formula Ltd. is a consultancy company helping filmmakers navigate the worldwide festival circuit. They create personalized festival strategies considering length, production values, genre, stories in front and behind the camera, and budget limitations. Founder Katie McCullough has over 13 years plus experience and creates the strategies for each client. Ian Bignell is the resident submissions coordinator. The company was recently a co-sponsor of Screen International Events at Berlinale and Cannes 2017.

Dingle International Film Festival is couched within the breath-taking town of Dingle on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula, part of The Wild Atlantic Way. The festival takes places annually in March. Dingle is home to many filmmakers, one of Ireland’s only independent cinemas, is a known film location (RYAN’S DAUGHTER, FAR AND AWAY and STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI) and a major tourist destination making it the perfect home for our festival. Dingle IFF actively promotes and platforms Irish film, Irish filmmakers and Irish animation, whilst also playing host to major industry players both from Ireland and abroad. Dingle IFF is an established date on the film festival circuit and is now actively promoting Irish film and animation products in the world market.

Click here for tickets.

Our festival programme has been announced. Click here to view.

Shadow Directing CAN’T COPE WON’T COPE

Shadow directing opportunities were made available to female directors on the production CAN’T COPE WON’T COPE to provide participants with exposure and experience in prep, shoot and post, and ultimately to help increase the number of future productions directed by female talent.

The focus of the shadow directing opportunities is on career advancement.


Shadow Directing RED ROCK

Shadowing opportunities are designed for experienced professionals seeking to upskill or upgrade and particularly for key talent such as directors. STI offers director shadowing opportunities on productions which include RED ROCK and CAN’T COPE WON’T COPE.

Hannah Quinn, Assistant Director was offered director shadowing on RED ROCK shadowing Director, Lisa Mulcahy. Read more about Hannah’s experience here.

NIGHTFLYERS Production Training Scheme

The NIGHTFLYERS production training scheme is currently in development. It is a collaboration between Troy Studio’s, Screen Training Ireland and local training stakeholders.

This production training scheme is designed to provide essential on-the-job training to new entrants to the film and TV industry as well as continued professional development for experienced production personnel by providing an opportunity to engage in meaningful work-based learning on the NIGHTFLYERS production.

For further information please contact Emer MacAvin e:





Digital Production Mentoring Fund

The Screen Training Ireland and Animation Skillnet Mentoring Fund for Digital Production is an initiative that offers professionals at all levels and in all digital disciplines an opportunity to avail of mentoring supports or to engage a mentor at key stages in their professional development.

The mentor or mentoring arrangement can be local or international and the mentoring can take a number of forms, from a defined number of consultations/calls over a certain period, to international work placement, to shadowing or face-to-face career clinics.

Mentoring can work in different ways, depending on the upskilling requirements, structure, and focus. Applicants may consider the following:

  • Business Mentoring (emerging or mid-career producers/business owners): A number of meetings/consultations over a defined period with an animation/VFX business leader.
  • Creative Mentoring: Different mentoring interventions based on mentee needs and mentor availability, e.g. consultation; portfolio/showreel evaluation and feedback; shadowing; international work placement.
  • Technical mentoring: Focused mentoring to enhance specific technical skills, e.g. shadowing; international work placement; one-to-one tuition.

If you are interested in accessing mentoring supports, please apply here.

RED ROCK Production Training Scheme

The RED ROCK production training scheme, a collaboration between Screen Training Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, provides essential on-the-job training to new entrants to the film and TV industry as well as continued professional development for experienced production personnel on the TV3 drama series RED ROCK. Trainees engage in meaningful work-based learning, supplemented by short training initiatives, developed with Screen Training Ireland and other stakeholders as training needs arise.

The production offers set-based training facilities, equipment and expertise. Training on the programme provides an opportunity for long-term employment in the sector, as well as a structured career path through which to develop skills in TV drama production.

The RED ROCK production training scheme utilises innovative time- and cost-saving on-set technological tools and apps, providing training opportunities for TV production personnel to learn more about the changing TV production landscape. As well as taking on its required complement of paid trainees, the production provides shadowing and work-based learning opportunities for emerging talent, who may be eligible for a training allowance through STI.

New entrants may be recent graduates or professionals from other sectors whose experience could prove relevant and valuable in areas of the TV production sector experiencing skills shortages thus enhancing capacity in the sector.

This scheme is now closed.

VFX and Animation Traineeship

The VFX and Animation Traineeship was launched in 2015, a collaboration between Screen Training Ireland, Animation Skillnet, and industry, aimed at raising the skill level of key emerging talent in the animation and VFX industries and enhance contribution to and understanding of studio processes and pipelines.

Now in it’s third iteration this highly successful programme takes place over an intensive 6-month period, with a short intensive period of upfront training, followed by a mixture of on-the-job and classroom based training. Selected participants are matched with leading animation, VFX and games studios and participate in tailored training through Animation Skillnet and Screen Training Ireland.

The curriculum for the training is developed by all stakeholders (the VFX Association of Ireland, Animation Ireland, Screen Training Ireland, Animation Skillnet and the Irish Film Board) and combines training in core skills for animation/VFX with specialist and studio-specific knowledge and skills.
The VFX and Animation Graduate Traineeship is a full-time programme for which a training allowance/bursary is made available to selected participants.
You can find out more about the VFX and Animation traineeship including the application process by emailing

Traineeships In Development

A Digital Production Assistant traineeship is currently in development with SOLAS, City of Dublin ETB and Ballyfermot College of Further Education and will be focused on VFX technical skills.

A Media Production Assistant traineeship is in development with SOLAS, Limerick Clare ETB, Galway Roscommon ETB, and Kildare Wicklow ETB. SOLAS has identified this traineeship as a key area for consideration.

For further information please contact Emer MacAvin e: