Docs Ireland is committed to nurturing and supporting young, emerging documentarians.

Earlier this year we opened submissions for a new strand of films made by young people across the island of Ireland. The two main conditions for entry were that the films did not exceed a five minute duration and the filmmakers were aged 24 or under. We were looking for innovative and unconventional approaches to the short doc.

We could never have imagined the disruption caused by Covid 19, so we will now reopen the competition next year as part of our plans going forward. But we would like to acknowledge the work and submissions we received this year, so this is a small selection of the films we liked.

IMPAIRMENT Aodhán Roberts, 5:00

An investigation into the issue of drink driving and how it affects lives in Northern Ireland.

Aodhán is a media student at the North-West Regional College in Derry/Londonderry. At 18, he has already created multiple short documentaries and worked with huge names in the industry. Aodhán has a big following online, with his Facebook page having over 12,000 followers and his Twitter having over 2,000. Aodhán’s work has featured in the headline stories countless times either for articles, radio or television and he can confidently say that his work has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times online. Aodhán uses media as a way to bring about change in the community, supporting other people, changing attitudes, create/strengthening community ties whenever possible and raising awareness of real-life issues. Now a well-known figure in his city, he received in 2020 the Derry Credit Union Young People’s Award for Business and Entrepreneurship.

ECHOING VALES Lucie Affronti, 3:36

This poetic documentary reflects on an Alpine village and the feelings it evokes.

Lucie Affronti is a French student aged 22 holding a Master’s degree in Media and Broadcast Production at Queen’s University Belfast. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nordic Languages and Civilisations from the University of Strasbourg (France) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), but her love for storytelling and filmmaking made her change her career path. Lucie has co-produced her first short television documentary “The Coastal Cost” as part of her studies, but her short film “Echoing Vales” was her first piece produced alone. It was part of the official selection of the Lift-Off Sessions festival in June 2020 and ended up finalist. Her latest documentary, “Old and Wise”, was shot in France and follows three rescue dogs in an animal shelter. It is a student film produced as part of her Master’s dissertation.

WALLED YOUTH Natasha O’Neill, 4:00

One filmmaker’s reflection on growing up in Belfast after the Good Friday Agreement.

“I’m Natasha O’Neill, 23, I made this documentary in 2019 and during this time I was a student in England. I made it to explore the views of the city from someone who was born during the Good Friday Agreement and grew up in a more ‘open’ Belfast. I explore things as youth, culture; good and bad, government and the future. I hope you enjoy it and thank you.”