Mieke Vanmechelen, the Kerry Filmmaker in Residence, lives on a farm near Kenmare, and her work often focuses on her own experiences of rural life and her connection with the land.
Alongside Mieke’s main practice, as filmmaker in residence she works with young people and schools across Kerry and has had many successes to date.
A recently produced short youth film called ‘Airbag’ has been selected to screen at First Cut Youth Film Festival in Youghal this March.
Directed by Dylan Shortt from Killarney, with cinematography and post-production by Patrick O’Connor-Mason from Kenmare, Airbag is screening in-person at the festival on March 12th, with online screenings the following day.
Topic of Teenage Drinking
The crew is made up of a group of young people from Killarney: Rachel Griffin, Luke O’Sullivan, Kalem Llyod and Eoin O’Reilly and it tackles the difficult subject of teenage drinking.
Shot in and around Killarney, and with the support of Kenmare Family Resource Centre and the Killarney Court Hotel, it tells a gripping story.
Speaking about the production, Mieke said that the group is very unique and incredibly ambitious,
“They managed to form a strong connection, which withstood the challenges of the pandemic and I have no doubt that many of them will go on to become significant players in the film industry in the future,” she said.
Working With Schools
Supporting and guiding young people, Mieke also works with many schools around the county.
Her partnership with Saint Brendan’s College continues as she lends her support to their Young Social Innovators campaign, ‘One Punch Can Kill’, tackling the subject of male violence.
Come April, Mieke will be lending a hand to students at the Presentation Secondary School Killarney, who are planning a mountain rescue documentary, again, a student-led project, dealing with serious issues and subjects that matter to young people, their families and the wider community.
Showcase of Films
Mieke is currently developing an exciting showcase of films for and made by young people with Kerry International Film Festival Director Eibh Collins.
“Eibh and I have worked together in the past and with her broad expertise in programming and my on-the-ground experience we hope to deliver a lovely programme that is both for and about young people this summer,” said Mieke.
New and upcoming plans are also in progress for the Kerry Film Forum, with a film screening planned to take place this April.
Like a Mouse
The screening features a short film called ‘Like a Mouse’ an experimental documentary following Dr. Hodd’s discovery of a tiny fern, Stenogrammitis myosuroides.
It explores the concept of natural conservation and the pressures of an unstable, globalised ecology. Made during the summer of 2021 the film was directed by Michael Holly and Mieke Vanmechelen, it has been picked up internationally and will be screened at the Achill Island Film Festival in May. Alongside all these projects, Mieke is also in the process of directing a documentary in Kerry and West Cork.
Dingle to Abbeydorney, Castleisland to Kenmare
The film will look at the life of hill farmers and the project is being supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. From Dingle to Abbeydorney, Castleisland to Kenmare, it is a busy time for the Kerry Filmmaker in Residence.
The filmmaker in residence is funded by Kerry County Council, the Arts Council and Creative Ireland.
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