Someone Like Me

A View from LGBTQIA+ Filmmaking Communities Special Guest Panel

Saturday March 11th, 4.45pm, The Regal Cinema

First Cut! strives to be a platform for young filmmakers of every background and sensibility. It is in this spirit that we bring together a panel of outstanding filmmakers from LGBTQIA+ communities. Writer/director Katie McNeice, director Bob Gallagher, film artist Francis O’Mahony and filmmaker & educator Barry Dignam will discuss issues that they have faced in making films as well as how their work develops from their own specific points of view. In what promises to be an inspiring and thought provoking conversation, they will explore and celebrate film as a rich and diverse medium of expression and look to the future of telling LGBTQIA+ stories including in mainstream cinema.

When you’re growing up as an LGBTQ person, you don’t always see actors who look like you, or who are a part of our community. And you don’t often see stories that reflect your lived experiences. And so when people have an opportunity to see films that center LGBTQ people, it can be a really personally powerful and empowering act.” – Matt Comer, Charlotte Pride Festival

Katie McNeice is a multi-award winning writer/director who crafts thoughtful identity-films with a particular focus on sexuality and gender. Shorts include In Orbit, Whale Fall, Lambing and the upcoming Irish language project Focail Baile Croí. Her debut feature screenplay is Who We Love which she co-wrote with Graham Cantwell. This funny and poignant story of coming of age and coming out earned her an IFTA Nomination for Best Script Film in 2022. Upcoming features include The Deepest Breath which she’s adapting from the LGBT children’s novel by Meg Grehan. Katie is currently part of both the X-Pollinator CREATOR programme and Screen Ireland’s Writer as Executive Producer course.

Bob Gallagher is an award-winning filmmaker described by Werner Herzog as a ‘good soldier of cinema’ and by Totally Dublin as ‘one of the nation’s premiere creative forces in the visual arts’. Gallagher came to prominence as the creator of some of the most iconoclastic music videos to emerge from Ireland in recent years, collaborating with acts such as Girl Band, Lankum, Pillow Queens and Villagers. His music videos have received international press, and multiple awards. With a darkly experimental aesthetic, his work explores the psychological impacts of juxtaposing music and image, often in collaboration with artists from other disciplines.

Francis O’Mahony is a transgender, Irish based film maker and artist. His films are focused on themes of gender and identity. Francis graduated in 2021 from the national College of Art and Design in the Fine Art Media department. During college Francis completed an artist residency in Digital Art Studios in Belfast where he made his award- winning film; Cat Vomit. Upon graduation, Francis has gone on to screen Cat Vomit and his graduate piece; Nettle Bush, at First Cut! Youth Film Festival, Gaze Film Festival, Dublin International Film Festival and Cork International Film Festival. His main career goal is to direct a feature film from one of his original scripts and he is currently working on building up a body of work.

Barry Dignam is moderating the panel. He has made many multi-award-winning short films including Chicken, Dream Kitchen and A Ferret Called Mickey. He’s had been nominated for a Palme d’Or at Cannes and a Berlin Bear. Monged, a feature he co-wrote with Gary Duggan, premiered in 2015. His films have been presented in official selection at over a hundred and fifty international film festivals. They have been screened by top broadcasters and released on DVD, VOD and theatrically in Europe, the US and beyond. As an educator, he has over twenty years’ experience in teaching film and academic leadership. In 2021, Barry was appointed to the new role of Head of European Projects at the National Film School, IADT where he works to establish FilmEU, the first European University of Film and Media Arts. Formerly he was the Head of Department of Film & Media, Chair of Film & Television and Irish Course Director of Viewfinder (the Erasmus+ Joint Master of Art in Cinematography). He studied Drama at Trinity College Dublin and Film at the National Film School IADT.