Judges

2022

We are proud to have had such a prestigious judging panel for the inaugural Mayo International Film Festival which took place in Castlebar, Co. Mayo from 25th - 27th Feb 2022. Awards were presented in the categories of Irish Short Film, International Short Film, Irish Short Documentary, International Short Documentary, Animation and Best of Mayo.

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Darragh O'Connell

Darragh O’Connell co-founded Brown Bag Films with Cathal Gaffney in 1994. Darragh produced the short film "Give Up Yer Aul Sins", which was nominated for an Oscar at the 74th Academy Awards in 2002. He subsequently directed the TV series which went on to become one of the best-selling Irish DVD releases of all time. In 2010, Darragh was nominated for a second Academy Award as producer of the short film Granny O’Grimm’s "Sleeping Beauty" and was invited to join the Academy for Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences. Darragh’s director screen credits also include the TV series "I’m An Animal" (RTE), "Olivia" (Nickelodeon) and "Octonauts" (BBC). Darragh’s latest director screen credit is "Chico Bon Bon" which recently aired on Netflix.  Darragh is Group Creative Director at Brown Bag Films and 9 Story Media Group and is responsible for the group’s creative content.

https://www.brownbagfilms.com

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Vivienne Dick

Vivienne Dick is a celebrated filmmaker and artist of documentary and experimental work, who The Irish Times has described as 'one of the most important filmmakers Ireland has produced.' She began making Super 8 films while living in New York in the late seventies. Dick was a key figure within ‘No Wave’, a short-lived avant-garde scene in the late 1970s in New York led by a collective of musicians, filmmakers and artists including Nan Goldin, Lydia Lunch, Arto Lindsay, James Chance and many others. Her work is marked by an interest in urban street life, social and sexual politics, and the history of ideas. Her latest film, "New York Our Time" is an intimate documentary that contrasts the concerns of present day living in New York with the bohemian wildness of the city in the late 70’s, reflected through the lives of artists, musicians and friends of the filmmaker.

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John McDonnell

John McDonnell is one of Ireland most experienced producers. Founded in 2002, Fantastic Films has produced and collaborated on a diverse range of film and television projects, receiving over 100 international awards, including an Oscar in 2006 for Martin McDonagh’s short film, "SIX SHOOTER".

Recent films include "VIVARIUM", directed by Lorcan Finnegan, "Le Semaine de la Critique", Cannes Film Festival 2019 – winner GAN Distribution Award and "SEA FEVER", directed by Neasa Hardiman, currently in post-production. He also executive produced "Arracht", Ireland's 2021 Oscar entry. Nominated as Irish “Producer on the Move” in Cannes 2006, McDonnell is a regular juror for The JETS program in Berlin and a participant on the prestigious producer course, Inside Pictures. In 2008, McDonnell received his Hons MA in Screenwriting. Mc Donnell served as a governing body member of IADT 2016-2021. Mc Donnell designed and runs the Advanced Producer course for Screen Skills Ireland and TUD.

https://fantasticfilms.ie

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Ruán Magan

Ruán Magan is an Irish director, producer, writer and creator whose work in drama, documentary, theatre and major stadium events has reached audiences of millions around the world. Recent projects include "Devil in The Feet" (RTÉ, BBC, PBS, ARTE), "The Hunger" (ARTE, RTÉ), "Dunhuang – Edge of the World" (IFA/Tencent), "Pearl Harbor – The Heroes Who Fought Back" (Discovery Channel), "1916 – The Irish Rebellion" (RTE, APT), "The World Meeting of Families Concert" hosted for Pope Francis and "The Men Who Built America" (History Channel).

https://www.ruanmagan.com

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Brendan McCarthy

Brendan McCarthy is a producer and screenwriter. He is co – owner of Fantastic Films based in Dublin. His recent films include "You Are Not My Mother" by Kate Dolan, "Arracht" by Tom O Sullivan,  and "Vivarium" by Lorcan Finnegan. Vivarium premiered at the Cannes Film Festival/Critics Week in 2019. McCarthy was the Film Adviser to Arts Council of Ireland, where he consulted on both policy and project related issues from 2007 to 2014. He acted as the Irish delegate to Eurimages from 2001 to 2012. He was active in the creation of policy and project selection during this time. From 2001 to 2005, McCarthy was the Head of Production and Development at Irish Film Board, where he was instrumental in helping to create new production finance initiatives, including the Low Budget Initiative and the Micro Budget Digital/Development Fund. Brendan McCarthy is a graduate of EAVE, ACE, Media Film School and Scale Strategics Marketing. In addition to this McCarthy has also acted as a Board Member of Media Desk Ireland and previously ran his own production company, Blue Light Productions.

https://fantasticfilms.ie

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Niamh Fagan

Niamh Fagan has over 25 years experience in the film and television industry, learning the craft of filmmaking from Oscar winning editors like Jim Clarke, Johnny Jymson and Tony Lawson, and working on films with Oscar winning directors Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan, Pat O'Connor and Anjelica Huston.

From being an accomplished editor, Fagan gravitated towards producing, creating award-winning TV comedy and drama series for RTE & TG4 long before TV drama was cool: "Trouble in Paradise", "The Last Furlong" and "Rasai na Gaillimhe 1&2". Fagan's first theatrical feature documentary, "Shooting the Mafia" had its World premiere at Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition and European premiere at Berlinale's Panorama in 2019. 

https://www.lunarpictures.ie

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Paul Webster

Paul Webster is an award-winning writer and director of both documentary and drama. He studied in GMIT and NUI Galway before going on to work in production for one of Ireland's leading production companies, Element Pictures. He later worked as a script editor on Fair City and he is now a regular writer on the popular Irish continuing drama series. Paul has directed several short films, including "Borderland", a 26-minute documentary exploring the refugee crisis along Europe's Borders in 2016. Under the 2018 Real Shorts scheme, Paul received €20,000 from Screen Ireland for his docu-drama - "The Vasectomy Doctor", produced by Carbonated Comet Productions. The film premiered at the Cork Film Festival in November 2018 and has gone on to win numerous awards at home and abroad. In 2020 Paul directed the Andrew Rynne episode of Tg4's award-winning documentary series - "Finné". He's currently working on "An Cuan", a four-part environmental series for TG4 about the Dublin Bay Biosphere.

https://www.paulwebsterfilms.com

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Ross Stewart

Ross Stewart has been painting, illustrating, designing and working in animation for over 20 years. His primary role of visual development and art direction, he has worked on 4 Oscar-nominated movies: as art director on SECRET OF KELLS, concept artist on SONG OF THE SEA, in visual development on PARANORMAN with Laika Studios, and more recently moving from art direction into directing, working with fellow artist and longtime collaborator Tomm Moore on THE PROPHET and the latest Cartoon Saloon award-winning feature, WOLFWALKERS. As a freelance conceptual artist he has worked for many animation and film studios world-wide on award winning projects and has illustrated books and literature for a variety of publishers. His paintings are exhibited throughout Ireland and the UK and held in collections world-wide. 

https://www.cartoonsaloon.ie