Arkle wins at the IFTA’S!!!

On Thursday last, the Arkle documentary I cut won the IFTA for Best Sports at what was a lovely evening in the Burlington (It will always be the Burlo to me). It was such a good day that its taken me this long to write about it!
I was absolutely thrilled for Arkle director Luke McManus and Stephen and Denis from Touchline Media who produced the film.

Stephen, Luke and Denis with their little friend
Stephen, Luke and Denis with their little friend

Despite coming from a place a few years ago where Luke, by his own admission, knew damn all about horses, he has now directed several superb horse related documentaries. A few years back he was IFTA nominated for Jump Boys which showed the harsh realities of being a top level jump jockey and then last year he made a 4 part series on the Galway races. In between these two was Arkle: The Legend Lives On which was made for TG4 and Channel 4 and as you might imagine told the story of Irelands legendary wonder-horse Arkle.

The documentary has achieved a Bill Nicholson like double, winning the Celtic Media Award and now the IFTA and all done with a certain panache! For me personally, this marked the third year in a row that I’ve cut the winner in the Best Sport’s Documentary IFTA category. I’m not entirely sure how that happened but I’m obviously thrilled with it.

The IFTA’s themselves were a great laugh and it was great to catch up with so many friends and I was delighted on the night that my buddies Mark Henry, Mick Mahon, Colm Bairéad, Cleona Ni Chrualaoi, James Ryan, Tracy O’Hanlon, Gemma O’Shaughnessy all got their hands on an IFTA.


It was also pretty cool that I got to go to the show with my brother, even if he and his boys did end up on the receiving end of a paddling from Arkle.

Paidi wins top prize at Celtic Media Festival

I’ve been in the edit all week so I haven’t had a chance until now to blog some news from last weekend As I reported last week Arkle won the Best Sports Documentary at last weeks Celtic Media Award but at the final awards the top prize of the festival, the Spirit of the Festival Award was given out to Páidi Ó Sé: Rí an Pharoiste. This makes something of a clean sweep for the documentary, having already won the Oireachtás Award for TV Programme of the Year and also winning the IFTA for Best Sports Documentary in 2014. Delighted for Director Louise Ni Fhiannachta and Producers Paddy Hayes and Laura Ni Cheallaigh (pictured here with the Torc)

Laura with the Torc for Paidi

For more information on the doc visit its page on my site

Here’s the trailer

Full list of Celtic Media Award 2015 Winners here, looking forward to next years event in Dungarvan which I shall definitely head to. There is no excuse not to after all.

Bergmann Update

So yesterday I posted that “The Last Days of Peter Bergmann” had won the best Short Documentary at the highly prestigious Melbourne International Film Festival. Since then the win has garnered quite a bit of attention online.
In a press release from the festival itself the Film Festival Jury had this to say about the film.

“Ciaran Cassidy taps the voyeur in all of us with his masterful appropriation of hours of compelling CCTV footage that track a tantalising incomplete picture of The Last Days of Peter Bergmann. Coupled with a series of compelling interviews, Cassidy manages to invert the mystery genre from whodunnit to why. Meticulously researched, this is a riveting ride that leaves the audience rooted to their seats as they act out the role of both spy and detective.”

Here are some more of the reactions from online yesterday


Peter Bergmann disappears with Audience Award at IFI Stranger than Fiction

STF Facebook Cover
I had a great evening last Saturday at the IFI. The Last Days of Peter Bergmann was having its world premiere along with 3 other Irish Film Board Reality Bites short documentary films. Despite the program starting sufficiently late that we all could have seen the second half of the hurling, there was a great atmosphere in IFI’s Screen 1.

The 4 films that played were all excellent and indeed very different form each other. The talk afterwards was how rare it is to go to such an enjoyable shorts program, where you were treated to very different films and all made to a remarkable high standard.

The film I edited, The last days of Peter Bergmann(Director: Ciaran Cassidy) was up first and it went down superbly and everyone involved in the film was delighted with its reception.

followed by There’s No Charge for the Hat, directed by Tom Burke of Areaman Films

and then there was Emile Dineen’s Rebirth, which was really excellent and I think has the potential to do very well for Emile and it’s producer Aisling Ahmed, whom I enjoyed meeting and chatting to afterwards.

Finally, there was Keith Walsh’s funny and moving “Analogue People in a Digital Age” which brought the house down. I was delighted for my old college buddy Keith and his partner Jill.

Later on Stranger Than Fiction Festival director Ross Whitaker announced the winners of the shorts awards, which were judged from these films and a batch of ten films which had screened earlier in the day. We were all thrilled when “The Last Days of Peter Bergmann” was honoured with the Audience Award. The gong was voted by the public and came with a generous donation from Windmill Lane of €1500 worth of post production. A great prize and a perfect way to top a great screening. Furthermore I was delighted for my buddy Traolach who got a special mention from the jury for his film ‘Gordie’ as it continues its relentless pursuit of awards all over the world. The jury prize went to ‘Rebirth’ and I’m sure it won’t be the last prize it picks up. Here’s hoping Peter Bergmann isn’t finished winning either.