Connemara coming-of-age film wins two awards in UK

Ciarán Ó Conghaile.
Ciarán Ó Conghaile.

Leitir Mór man Ciarán Ó Conghaile has won two awards for his short film, Smoked Mackerel, at the UK’s Royal Television Society Student Television Awards 2019.

This award ceremony, held at the British Film Institute in London on Friday, has previously recognised filmmakers such as Sally Wainwright and Idris Elba.

Ciarán won Best Drama and Best Writing. The only Irish filmmaker in these categories, he beat off stiff competition from the National Film and Television School in London.

Smoked Mackerel (Ronnachaí Bui) is a coming-of-age short film about two teenage friends, which was inspired by Ciarán’s own experience growing up in Connemara.

It has been screened at festivals in the US and Europe, including Newport Beach Film Festival and Irish Screen America in New York. It was also screened in Galway at last year’s Junior Film Fleadh.

Thirty-four-year-old Ciarán, who has an MA in Film and Television from the University of Sunderland, began his film career working in the Galway Film Fleadh and with Ros na Rún before moving to the UK. He credits his mother with introducing him to the industry by “dragging” him to auditions as a child and he has always loved telling stories.

“Growing up in the Gaeltacht, I come from a big family and storytelling is very much in our DNA.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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