Longford filmmaker aiming high at WIT

Damien McManus highlights the importance of writing in new documentary

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Longford filmmaker aiming high at WIT

Clodagh Beresford Dunne during her on-camera interview for Damien's documentary. Inset: Damien McManus.

Exciting times lie ahead for Longford man, Damien McManus, who is a student of Waterford Institute of Technology's Higher Diploma in Television and Digital Media Production.

Based at Nemeton TV in the Ring Geltacht of County Waterford, Newtownforbes native Damien and his classmates have just completed filming an array of imaginative dramas, which will be screened at the SGC Cinema, Dungarvan on April 19 at 1.30pm for family, friends and public.

The films will also have a chance of being broadcast as part of TG4’s very popular 'Céad Seans' series and they will also travel the country to some of the best festivals.

Following in the footsteps of former graduates of the course, this young group of filmmakers hopes to win awards and have their work broadcast on TV and screened at some of Ireland’s best film festivals.

And most importantly, they can look forward to employment in a vibrant industry that needs their skill set.

Longford's Damien McManus started the course last September and found that he could blend his other interests in life with these new skills.

Damien’s passion for writing comes across strongly in his first short 'Ó Mheabhair go méar -– Banscríbhneoirí sna Déise', a documentary that delves into the reasons why people write.

What inspires them to write? Is there a particular method to how they write? Does writing have a healing benefit? Is it an alternative medicine to counteract depression?

Damien explores these questions with female writers, Áine Uí Fhoghlú, Clodagh Beresford Dunne and Lani O'Hanlon.

“So, as you write, you discover what you're really feeling and what you are thinking,” said Lani in an informative and openly honest interview.

The documentary shares personal stories from three inspiring Déise women with diverse views on life and the input that writing has on their lives.

“I chose the subject (of writing) because I like to write myself and have submitted writing before to the Longford Leader,” Damien told the Leader last week.

“I wanted to understand more about writing and how it is beneficial to writers and others.”

Students on the highly acclaimed course are offered the chance to produce, direct and edit their chosen project under the watchful eye of experienced TV industry professionals and Damien is quick to point out how useful this course has been to him in his filmmaking career so far.

“I've found the course very hands on, practical and full of relevant information on the industry, with talks from experienced people in the industry,” he explained.

“Studying in a Television company gives insight into how it works from every aspect from pre to post production. Tutors and lecturers were very helpful too.”