BY PETER ALLEN
AN aspiring young filmmaker, Séamus Griffiths, a 6th class student at Rath National School near Baltimore, has won the award for Best Documentary in the Young Filmmaker category at the recent Fresh Film Festival in Limerick.
The films of locally-based film producer David Puttnam were an early influence on the young filmmaker. He has seen War of the Buttons multiple times. In planning to enter for the young filmmaker of the year, Seamus chose to make a documentary covering the history, crew and functioning of the Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat station. His topic of choice, a change from his previous comedy shorts, was inspired by his father who is a Lifeboat volunteer. In the film there is an interview with the Lifeboat’s coxwain, Kieran Cotter, and the station manager, Tom Bushe.
After writing, directing and producing the documentary with his sister Daisy and friends, Séamus needed the editing software and powerful computer needed for film-editing. So, he was introduced to Gráinne Dwyer at The Ludgate Hub, who allowed him the use of her equipment to edit his documentary. The process took him about two months, before he entered it into the competition as a complete documentary.
After being selected for the final 40 entrants out of 1,500, Séamus and company travelled to Limerick for the Fresh Film Festival.
Seamus was pleased to win an award: ‘It’s one of the best feelings I’ve had, the best day if my life so far,’ he said. In addition to Best Documentary, Seamus was shortlisted for a Radharc Culture & Heritage Film Award.
He intends to write to David Puttnam for advice on filmmaking.
Séamus plans to screen his movie at Baltimore Sailing Club sometime in the future, in the hope that he can make it a fundraiser for the RNLI.