The Art of Fine Storytelling at Guth Gafa

Screen Training Ireland are delighted to support a masterclass with award winning filmmaker, Jerry Rothwell on how to turn a news story into a documentary feature film at the Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival 3-7 August, Headfort House, Kells, Co Meath.

The director of Sour Grapes, a riveting story of a wine fraud, the extent of which was only emerging as he was making the film, is also the maker of HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, a film about the history of Greenpeace and DONOR UNKNOWN, a film about a sperm donor and the family he never knew he had, all of which have been screened at Guth Gafa through the years.

Taking place on Saturday 6th August at 11am at the Festival Village at Headfort House, the masterclass will explore the kinds of news stories that attract documentary filmmakers, the challenges and the pitfalls to avoid.

How do you avoid simply retelling the same story and how do you persuade the main protagonists to talk?

Other events at the festival include the following:

On Saturday 6 August, Guth Gafa will host a panel that will look at Direct Distribution Models for independent Documentary Film Makers.  The panel will explore how advances in audio visual technology have at least to some degree, liberated the documentary filmmaker from the traditional models of filmmaking.

But what are the barriers to getting a finished film out to an audience and are there alternative ways for independent documentary filmmakers to get their film seen?

Booking for this event is through the website and places are limited.

On Sunday 7 August at 2pm a panel will explore how Virtual Reality technology is changing the way stories are told. Guth Gafa is the first film festival in Ireland to feature short documentaries that have been made using this technology and we ask whether the immersive approach to storytelling has the ability to elicit more empathy from the viewer because of its interactive nature. Unlike conventional cinema you cannot look away.

Both are free but places are limited so booking is highly recommended.

Grandparents and grandchildren from around the area will be brought together in this special community, intergenerational,  filmmaking workshop with filmmaker, Sylvain Biegeleisen, (Twilight of a Life).

Over a day, Thursday 3 August 10-5pm, the group will learn skills that will help them to explore the cultural and social gaps between each generation across a range of themes.

The workshop is free but spaces are limited to six grandparents and six grandchildren.

This event is supported by the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board and enquiries are through

Guth Gafa is celebrating its 10th birthday party 3-7 August at Headfort House, Kells, Co Meath with a bumper festive programme packed with an extraordinary selection of films for all ages from all over the world.

Over 60 of the best and latest documentary films from over 25 different countries around the world, including 32 Irish Premieres and one World Premiere, will be screened over four days and the festival will welcome over 30 filmmakers from as far afield as Australia, Canada and Siberia.

The programme is live at

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