33rd Celtic Media Festival

Derry~Londonderry hosts three-day festival to celebrate and debate media in all its forms

The 33rd annual Celtic Media Festival takes place in Derry~Londonderry from April 18 - 20. The three-day event will see some of the most influential names from the broadcasting and film industries gather at The Playhouse Theatre to celebrate the quality and diversity of work being produced by the Celtic nations today.

Among those appearing at the festival are RTE broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan, Derry actress Bronagh Gallagher and Christopher Young, producer of Channel 4’s smash hit comedy The Inbetweeners. The Celtic Media Festival is an event for producers and broadcasters, for students and emerging talent, for media policy-makers and for the general public.

The festival, which is supported by Culture Company 2013, will open with the premiere of Derry On Screen, a specially created film celebrating the Maiden City and presented by Gallagher. Commissioned by the Celtic Media Festival and curated by students from The Nerve Centre and the University of Ulster, Derry On Screen is a brief history of Derry's cinematic history.

'It’s such an exciting time for Derry and events as prestigious as the Celtic Media Festival give us fantastic international exposure,' said Gallagher. 'As a native of the city, I’m looking forward to seeing Derry On Screen. Our city’s people are rightly renowned for their spirit and creativity and this film will be a tremendous testament to them.'

The centrepiece of the Celtic Media Festival is the award of the Bronze Torcs for Excellence. The awards celebrate the very best of film, television, radio and digital media to emerge from within the Celtic diaspora, with Celtic languages featuring prominently across all 21 categories.

The chair of this year’s international panel of judges is RTE Current Affairs presenter Miriam O’Callaghan, and the awards will be presented over the three nights of the festival.

The festival's keynote address will this year be delivered by Peter Johnston, Director of BBC Northern Ireland. Johnston will speak publicly about the challenges facing the industry and the importance of indigenous/regional broadcasting in a multi-platform age.

In It’s The Way We Tell ‘Em, some of the most respected names in comedy broadcasting will discuss the remarkable impact that the Celts have had on contemporary comedy. The panel includes Young, Rab Christie, producer of Rab C Nesbitt, and Mrs Brown's Boys producer Stephen McCrum.

In Reality Bites, celebrated Derry journalist Eamonn McCann will explore the popularity and ethics of the observational documentary with a panel of select television producers. They will consider whether these programmes have a responsibility to the people in the shows, and the role that the viewer plays in shaping the way in which participants are judged.

The Changing Face Of News will explore the way social media has revolutionised news reporting. The impressive panel of experts for this debate includes Siobhan Sinnerton, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for News and Current Affairs, Chris Hamilton, Social Media Editor at BBC News and Mark Little, formerly RTE’s and now founder of social news site Storyful.

The festival’s student strand, Green Light, once again invites media students and new entrants from across the Celtic regions to take part in a diverse and focused programme of events covering various aspects of the media today: animation, production design, camera, documentary making and more. Watch the winning entry from 2011 above.

Dòmhnall Caimbeul, Chairman of the Celtic Media Festival comments: 'This year’s programme looks to be one of our most exciting and diverse yet and we look forward to celebrating the tremendous work that the Celtic nations and regions have produced over the last year.'

Welcoming the Celtic Media Festival to Derry-Londonderry, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013 added: 'As we look ahead to next year’s City of Culture celebrations, it’s fantastic to have so many top names from the world of media here putting a focus firmly on the city.'

For further information on this year’s programme for The Celtic Media Festival, please visit www.celticmediafestival.co.uk.