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The judges of the 2022 Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition, in association with Screen Ireland, have been announced.

The panel of star judges include award-winning director and screenwriter Lenny Abrahamson, known for directing such acclaimed independent films as Adam & PaulGarageWhat Richard Did, and Room; Rising Irish actress, writer, and star of hit crime drama, Kin, Clare Dunne; Clinton Liberty, who played Kiernan in global hit drama Normal People and currently filming the regular role of Linus in ITV drama Holding; Screenwriter and Executive Producer Ursula Rani Sarma whose work includes Delicious and Red Rock, joined by representatives from Virgin Media Television, Screen Ireland and the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.

Virgin Media and Screen Ireland have committed to discovering different voices in film, and are calling for ideas that bring diverse tales, voices and stories to life. This year our theme focuses on diversity and inclusion and we’re looking for unique takes on this theme.

With a prize fund of €200,000, VMDIFF will be awarding 10 filmmakers €6,000 to realise the full potential of their scripts through professional development. 3 of these projects will be awarded €30,000 to produce their 10-minute short film and be broadcast on Virgin Media Television in 2023. €50,000 will go towards supporting the projects through script editing, mentorship, PR, advertising and marketing support.

This is the third year of the short film competition launched in partnership with the Fís Eireann/Screen Ireland and the winning films will be broadcast on Virgin Media Television, Virgin Media on Demand and as part of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival programme of events.

“It’s so good to be back as a judge for the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition. I was extremely impressed, not only by the variety of submissions we received last year, but also the quality,” said Lenny Abrahamson. “The competition is all about finding those new, unique voices in storytelling and offers a fantastic opportunity for those lesser-known stories to be told on the big screen.”

“I can’t wait to see the types of stories that are sent in, and I look forward to working with this fantastic group of judges for this year’s competition,” added Abrahamson.

Clare Dunne said: I love the idea of engaging with new talent in Virgin Media Discovers. It takes such bravery to pick up a pen and begin something in the first place and I look forward to seeing what these fresh voices are saying in 2022”.

Last year’s winners included talented young filmmakers Allie O’Rourke and Becky Cheatle with their project Punch Line and Rehan Ali with his project Water Under The Bridge. Both projects will see their premiere at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival on the 26th of February and will be broadcast on Virgin Media Television on Friday the 4th of March.

Clinton Liberty added: “I am delighted and very excited be part of the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition for 2022. It is great to have a competition focused on discovering fresh and diverse voices and that is helping to support these filmmakers bring their stories to life.”

Ursula Rani Sarma said: “I’m delighted to return as a Judge for the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition this year and look forward to being introduced to even more emerging and diverse voices. The standard of submissions last year was incredibly high and reflect the exciting range of stories that the next generation of film makers in this country have to tell”. 

Click here for details on how to enter.

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