YMVC – Youth Music Video Competition 2023 Screening

Saturday March 9th, 6.30pm, The Regal Cinema

First Cut continues to partner with award-winning director Brendan Canty for the eighth annual YMVC, a unique professional mentorship programme, which hothouses young film talent. A group of outstanding young filmmakers were selected in 2023 by directors Brendan Canty and Bob Gallagher for the opportunity to make a music video. These videos were then mentored by four of Ireland’s top directors: Brendan Canty, Bob Gallagher, Kate Dolan and Tara O’Callaghan. Each finalist was matched with a track from an up and coming Irish act such as EFÉ, Niamh Regan and Ailbhe Reddy. Thanks to the support of an Arts Council YPCE Project Award, YMVC 2023 offered participants stipends of €1000, and the winner of YMVC video will receive a €5000 bursary to kickstart their career!

At this event, we are delighted to welcome the filmmakers to the festival and share their videos with a live cinema audience. The 2023 YMVC award will be announced followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers and mentors, moderated by Max Le Cain, the YMVC coordinator.

The 2023 YMVC Directors

Abbey Blake
Ankil – Absolute Decimation
Abreain Blake is a 23-year-old film graduate and creative based in Cork. Blake has experience in a multitude of art forms. She is a member of the band, Pretty Happy, & founded Angry Mom Collective in 2019. AMC was a collective that came together in an effort to raise awareness of the gender divide in the Irish Arts industry. She cares deeply about activism and creativity and tries to blend the two when making art

Willow Kennedy
KHAKIKID – Lemon Baguette
Willow Kennedy is a whimsical music video and film director from Dublin, Ireland. With five years of experience, he has established himself as a creative force in the industry with his visually imaginative and playfully charged works. Willow’s unique approach to storytelling has caught the attention of both top and local musicians.

Wiktoria Weintritt
Wiktoria Weintritt is a Polish filmmaker and photographer currently studying at IADT. In 2020 she was awarded Best Director at First Cut for her first short film Brainboxed and a finalist at HER International Film Festival. Her next project Only If You Knew was a finalist at the 2021 Fresh Film Festival. Though she enjoys working in all fields of film her main areas of interest are cinematography, directing and editing.

Ruairi Bradley
The Scratch – Banshee
Ruairi is a director born and raised in Belfast. When he was 16, he was accepted into the NFTS residential in Beaconsfield under the mentorship of Brian Tufano and Lesley Manning. He moved to Dublin, where he co-founded 46A Productions. He has worked across various mediums with the likes of Kojaque, Jafaris and Volleyball. The Volleyball campaign was shortlisted for a Kinsale Shark award. Ruairi co-

Étáin Nash
Niamh Regan – Belly
Étáin is a Dublin-based filmmaker from West Cork. She graduated from IADT in 2020. Her graduate film Sisters was selected for numerous festivals including the prestigious Camerimage and was shortlisted for best student film at the Richard Harris International Film Festival. Her most recent piece of directing work is a music video for the band Les SalAmandas. Étáin works in the film industry in the AD and production departments.

Colin Peppard
Ailbhe Reddy – Inhaling
Originally from Monaghan and based in Dublin, Colin studied at DCU. His debut short, So Say All of Us, was awarded ‘Best Quarantine Short Film’ at the Desert of the Light Film Festival. This propelled him to create three more narrative shorts screened at festivals including the Richard Harris Film Festival, Still Voices, and LIFF. In 2023, Colin directed the music video for We Are One by Wild Youth, Ireland’s entry for Eurovision, amassing over a million views on YouTube.

Benedict Hardie-Goddard & Sam Bell
Kynsy – Thumb Wars
Benedict is a writer/director based in Belfast. Ben has been learning filmmaking under many talented directors while working as a script supervisor. During this time, he uncovered a deep love of genre filmmaking and its ability to explore complex themes. Sam is a writer/director with a Masters’ degree in film from Queen’s University Belfast, where he worked within an array of disciplines and explored his interest in the conflict between social realism and surrealism.

Barra Convery & Daniel Keane
Sonny Casey – The Garden
Barra was first creatively infatuated by music composition and theatre, training and performing with MACNAS, Galway. He studied Film in GTI before graduating from Brighton Screen and Film School in 2020. He found his cinematic eye through the adaptation of poetry and theatrical pieces, including the Arts Council funded poetry film Finding Mothers. Daniel is a cinematographer based in Clifden, Galway. He graduated from Atlantic Technical University in Film Production in 2021. His includes commercial work for Fáilte Ireland and multiple award-winning shorts. He is currently working at Fíbín Teo as a camera assistant.

Alex Brady & Sean Downey
Pacino Brady – Acceptance
Alex Brady was born and raised in the north side of Cork City. Alex developed a passion for music and film at a young age. After completing his studies at UCC, Alex graduated with a BA Degree in Film and Screen Media. His hard work and dedication were recognised when he was awarded the prestigious Puttnam Scholarship. Sean Downey is a young and talented video creator who is passionate about using his skills to make a difference in the world. At the age of 23, Sean has already established himself as a go-to filmmaker for youth projects in his city. His work is characterized by a fast-paced and dynamic style, capturing the energy and excitement of the projects he works on.


Brendan Canty has forged his way as one of the most exciting and prolific Irish directors to watch. His early career enjoyed large success with his video for Hozier’s Take Me to Church (which has since surpassed 700million views on Youtube along with two MTV VMA nominations), since then Brendan has gone on to direct consistently elegant and visually stunning music videos for top international artists. In 2017 Brendan directed For You (starring Barry Keoghan) which went on to win a Kinsale Shark and was nominated for an IFTA. In 2019, Brendan directed a second short film – Christy – funded through Screen Ireland, which has since been developed into a feature.

Bob Gallagher is an award-winning filmmaker declared a ‘good soldier of cinema’ by Werner Herzog and described 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 Gilla Band, Lankum and Villagers. His music videos have received international attention, 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. He is currently in pre-production on his debut feature drama The Song Collector.

Kate Dolan graduated from the National Film School, IADT in 2012. Her graduate short Breathe In was selected for a number of Irish and international film festivals. In 2014, Kate attended Berlinale Talents to develop a short called Little Doll. The short then premiered at Berlinale 2016. In 2017, she was funded by Screen Ireland to make Catcalls, an irreverent Horror about a sexual predator who gets what’s coming to him. The film won Best Short Film at the YDA Ireland in 2018 and has played at many festivals all over the world. In 2019 Kate was selected by Screen Ireland to take part in their inaugural POV scheme with a feature script she wrote entitled You Are Not My Mother, which was shot in November 2020. It premiered at TIFF in 2021 and won the Jury Prize at the Festival de Gérardmer 2022, the Discovery Award at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2022 and went on to be nominated for six IFTAs included Best Director, Best Writer and Kate was nominated for the Rising Star Award. Since then Kate has directed two episodes of AMC / RTE TV production KIN.

Tara O’Callaghan combines surrealism with expressionistic editing for a unique feeling. Her style cuts through narrative to reveal the underlying emotional core. Her work has been described as dynamic, experimental and non-linear. Tara’s film Call Me Mommy won Best Short Documentary at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. She is a member of Motherland creative production company and true post facility.