Kara wins at Dare Media Awards

dare media
Last week the Dare Media Underground Short Film Festival was held down in cork. A week long showcase of some of the best emerging talent in the country, its fast becoming a go-to event in the Irish Film Calender. Screening among the wide selection of shorts was Traolach O’Murchu’s Kara and I’m delighted to say it ended up picking up the festivals top prize, the coveted Best Drama award at a ceremony last weekend. This is the film’s third major award after picking up gongs in Hamilton, Canada and in Edinburgh Bootleg Festival. I’m delighted to have been a part of the film and I wish it more success in the future. Not satisified with picking up the Best Drama award, Traolach’s other short, which he made in his new Canadian base went onto win Best Documentary short. A proud Corkonian, he is as you would imagine delighted with the hometown double victory. Well deserved Traolach buddy.
Also thrilled to see Stauma amongst the winners, as its produced by another good buddy Eamon de Staic. Well done Eamon!

Lead actress Laura Erangey collects award for Kara
Lead actress Laura Erangey collects award for Kara

Here is the list of the winners from the festival

Kara – Traolach O’Murchu


Pure View – Lisa Bolton, Vuur – Daniel Butler & Luke Sweetman

Potasio – Marina Seresesky


Mi Ojo Derecho – Josecho De Linares, No Respires – Ricky Merino

Gordie – Traolach O’Murchu


Jeff Linares – Kamil Krolak, Afraid of What I Would Write – James O’Leary

Handsome Shadows – Mark Cogan / Barzakh – Donogh McCarthy Morrogh


The Last Round – Conor Dwane, Calling – Shane Twomey, Searching For 10 – Sean Breathnach

The Gloaming – Sean Smith


Romantic Hideaway – Andrew T Wright, The Umbrella Factory – Lexie & Nick Trivunda

El Rastrillo Se Quiere Comprometer – Santi Veiga


The Legend of Johnny King – Jonathan Courtney, Ngutu – Felipe Del Olmo & Daniel Valler

Ready For War – Mook Vignes


Shakier – Oisin McCoille , Dog Gone Crazy – Ruan Grant

Stuama – Paul Webster


Isolation – Patrick Thompson, Where The Ships Came In – Samuel Steele

Shane Casey for The Handsome Shadows


Mick Fitzgerald for Where The Ships Came In, Alex Pratt for Mi Ojo Derecho

George Hanover for the Beauty of Ballybrack


Elisa lledo for Potasio, Pagan McGrath for Romantic Hideaway

Kara to screen at Galway Film Fleadh

The Galway Film Fleadh is just around the corner and I’m pleased to say that a film I cut is screening as part of the new Irish Shorts Programme on the morning of Thursday 11th July. “Kara” is a dark drama that sees a young woman follow a nightmarish creature to an isolated rural farmhouse where uncovered memories lead to deadly consequences. The film was produced and directed by Traolach O’Murchu and it has already won several awards on the festival circuit, picking up the Jury Prise for Best Short Film at the Hamilton Short FIlm Festival in Canada as well as the Best Actress award for star Laura Erangey at the Bootleg Film Festival in Edinburgh earlier this year. I was very pleased with how the film worked out and indeed working with Traolach was as always a great pleasure.

Kara Vimeo Image

Traolach also has a short documentary screening on Sunday morning as part of the New Irish Short Documentary strand. “Gordie” is an intimate self-authored documentary that tells the story of a man living with the trauma of a horrific childhood event. The film was made as part of a 48-hour make a film festival in the Yukon, where Traolach is currently living. The film went onto not only win the 48 hour challenge but also the festivals overall prise and has since won top prise at another festival in Canada. I had only a tangental input into this film so I have no problem being quite effusive in my praise of it. The film is superb and its astonishing that the film was made in such a short timeframe. I think the film will do very well and it’s a great showcase of just what a talent Traolach is.

I also have to give a shout out to my buddy Eamon Staic who produced Stauma which is screening alongside Kara on Thursday morning

Interview with Traolach Ó’Murchú

Several weeks ago I wrote a post about my friend Traolach’s lovely short film “Alive” and how he needed people to watch it for the competition he had entered. Well, the good news is that he only went and bloody won the thing. It still isn’t exactly clear what the nature of his prize is but he definitely won something. As the winner of the competition Cassie Delaney went and interviewed him for the Film Ireland website, an interview I shamelessly have reproduced in full beneath

Traolach Ó Murchú has an unconventional approach to casting. Taking to his Facebook page on the 9th of July he types: ‘Looking for a baby for a very quick shot for a short film in Temple Bar tomorrow… That’s right, a baby this time…’
When I meet Traolach at the Filmbase headquarters in Temple Bar, I soon realise that nothing about the filmmaker is particularly conventional. From his Cork twang to his love of one-legged, recession-thwarted pigeons, Traolach is certainly not what one would expect of a media savvy filmmaker. Temple Bar is buzzing. There’s some sort of exhibition going on in Fimbase. Suited men stand smoking in doorways avoiding the light rain that has begun to fall. I feel slightly underdressed, but Traolach who wears a blue checkered shirt and jeans looks at home. And why wouldn’t he? This is his turf. Temple Bar is his territory.
Traolach is the winner of the recent filmbase ‘Made in Temple Bar’ competition. His online short Alive depicts the area’s multi-faceted personality through a montage of colourful scenes. Traolach explains how he got under the skin of Temple Bar. ‘I spent 6 hours walking around Temple Bar and the art director spent a day strolling around and we made a list; these were the people met, these were the places. We put together a list of scenes and then like scrabble we tried to fit them all together,’ he says.
A particular success for Traolach is that he manages to capture the essence of Temple Bar, an area often void of rhyme and reason, and connect its different characters and landmarks in a way that is not only coherent, but highly enjoyable. Each scene leads intentionally into the next. Some were more successful than others: a woman blotting lipstick leads to a pair of lips on the Wall of Fame, a couple french kissing leads to a tongue piercing. Some however, appear slightly more disjointed but Traolach explains his reasoning. He smiles as he says ‘you went from a guy drinking to a guy vomiting to someone chopping carrots. But as far as I am concerned, carrots are always part and parcel of vomit, you know – even if you haven’t eaten them.’
Alive can under no circumstances be described as an indulgent film. Traolach upholds a complete commitment to his subject; something that is evident in his aspiration to shoot entirely in Temple Bar. ‘The carrot scene was one of the longest to shoot, which seemed ridiculous. Everyone asked why don’t you just do that at home? I was like ‘God Dammit no. We said we’d shoot entirely in Temple Bar and that’s what we’ll do,’ he says. Still, from the grin that emerges on his face when he jokes about vomit adorned with vegetables, I can tell that some of the scenes were created, perhaps, for his enjoyment.
For Traolach, the film was a learning curve. Under tight time constraints, he was thankful of the brief and he says he knew exactly how the film must be made. Working with an art director was a huge help he says and he cannot speak highly enough of his crew. ‘Working with an art director was something I’ve never done before but it made such a difference, I’ll definitely be doing that again.’

It is obvious, even in the short space of time I spend with Traolach, that his is a mind that it constantly at work. While we talk, he looks around at those who surround him. At one point we discuss a man who stands alone, each guessing what his story is. It is obvious that Traolach is intrigued by people and by his surroundings. In conversation he asks as many questions as he answers and it is hard not to veer off topic when talking to him. Traolach is the definition of a ‘people person’; a trait that I suspect will ensure his success as not only a filmmaker, but also a story teller.
Of course, a vivid imagination is also at work. There is a certain spark in Traolach when we joke about a film about one-legged pigeons in recessionary times. What begins as a joke quickly turns into an elaborate plot, and though he knows the chances of actually having such a film funded are slim, it is clear that Traolach would be capable of turning even a whimsical idea into something extraordinary.
At the heart of his filmmaking lies a simple desire. To meet people and tell stories. When we talk about money, the dark cloud above the artist’s head, Traolach is frank and realistic. ‘The money doesn’t go far, it’s expensive to get a film made. It all adds up,’ he says. So why, I ask, does he persist? ‘Oh, I love it,’ he answers. ‘I just love it. I love the process of making TV or film. I love working with other people. Yeah you have your cameras and your lights and your scripts and your budgets but it comes down to working with people and that’s just a great buzz.’

When questioned about potential new projects, Traolach becomes enthused, telling me about the subjects and places of his proposed documentaries. Documentary filmmaking ignites a particular passion – a desire to present real people. ‘The nice thing about documentaries is the people you meet are just so different to those you would usually meet, and they’re real. Its not fiction, you get that feeling of ‘I can’t believe this actually happens’”.
With everyone on an even technological plain, Traolach believes that the story must triumph over the aesthetics of a film. ‘Everyone can have a DSLR camera and get beautiful pictures. You see a lot of stuff online that looks great but its harder to find good stories. I think the story is suffering a little bit, because everything looks beautiful. So it all comes back to the story if you want to stand out.’
Like his films, Traolach’s ambitions too, are simple. I try in vain to unearth the dream, but with a sensible head on his shoulders Traolach misses the mark when I ask him where he sees himself in ten years. ‘Canada,’ he replies, before realising that the question was not, in fact, in reference to geographical location. He laughs. ‘Oh yeah, making films, I’d love to be doing that. I’m realistic about it too though, its a small industry.’
So yes, Traolach is unconventional. He’s simple and honest. He doesn’t have a burning desire to make blockbusters or millions of euro. He wants to create something beautiful and enjoyable. In his own words he wants ‘to do something that does okay, something that stands out. Something that people actually want to see.’ He wants to capture people, places and passions. Yes he wants to make films, but more than that – he wants to tell stories.


Watch this Short

Please take 2 minutes to watch this lovely short film by my friend Traolach Ó’Murchú


This year marks the 20th anniversary of Temple Bar’s regeneration as Dublin’s Cultural Quarter and the 25th anniversary for Filmbase as the largest resource centre for emerging filmmakers in Ireland.

To mark the occasion Filmbase and Temple Bar Cultural Trust commissioned four short films, with a budget of €1000 plus full use of the equipment and facilities at filmbase

Of the four films the one that gets the most hits receives a prize that has yet to be determined. So please share this lovely film so my buddy can get his hands on this mystery prize. I’m guessing its a box of tayto and a junior atlas..

Here’s what Traolach had to say about his entry
“The idea was to capture the spirit of Temple Bar. This film represents our attempt and it was made with a lot of support from people who had nothing to gain. Filmbase were great, offering every available resource at a minute’s notice. The film was shot entirely in Temple Bar and shows snapshots of life in the area.”

The ‘Made in Temple Bar’ festival runs from the 15th to the 24th of June 2011 and will witness a massive celebration of everything cultural that Temple Bar has to offer. Check it out if you can, you’re in for a treat. Seriously.

Shot on 5D & 60D.
Score by Secret Sound Society