Still Voices Short Film Festival was bigger and better than ever this year as film makers and film enthusiasts alike gathered from near and far to enjoy over 100 short films in various venues across Ballymahon.
Large crowds gathered to watch the various feature films that were screened in the Bog Lane Theatre, St Catherine's Church, Cooney's Hotel and Ballymahon Library, while groups of interested locals and visitors attended a number of panel discussions with industry experts such as Brock Norman Brock, Oonagh Kearney, Don Duncan, Ania Przygoda, Steve Fanagan, Anna Sulley and David Colohan.
Local animator Mary Smyth hosted a children's animation workhop on Thursday last, which saw children learning about traditional animation and image sequencing, how to look at a person's action and how to create their own flip books.
Between watching films and attending panels, there were a number of networking and social events for visitors to mingle and get to know each other. Skelly's pub held a Filmmaker's Feast on Saturday night, serving up a flavour-filled BBQ, while also hosting wine and cheese events in the evenings.
Wilder & Gold hosted the Sunday Social for filmmakers to mingle with the Still Voices crew and chat about the festival and films that were screened across the weekend.
Sunday night saw the announcement of award winners, who came from all over the world:
- The Best Irish Film Award, sponsored by Skelly's Bar went to Paul Webster for The Vasectomy Doctor.
- Cllr Pat O'Toole sponsored the Best International Film, which went to Alvaro Gago for his short, Matria.
- The Best Non-Fiction Award, sponsored by Nally's Ballymahon, went to Heba Khalid's People of the Wasteland.
- The Best Animation Award, sponsored by O'Hanlon's Pharmacy, went to St(r)ay by Chiang Yao.
- Finally, Mark Smith won the Best Children Award, which was sponsored by Affinity Credit Union, for his spectacular short, Two Balloons.
“We’ve had a fantastic weekend,” said Festival Director Ronan O'Toole to the gathered audience on Sunday night.
“We’ve had amazing people over as guests and judges and people who have just come up for the festival.
“I’ve been saying from the very start, film should be for everyone and thank you all for supporting it. The festival is for you.”