YMVC – Youth Music Video Competition 2023 Screening

Saturday March 11th, 6.15pm, The Regal Cinema

First Cut! continues to partner with award-winning director Brendan Canty for the seventh annual YMVC, a unique professional mentorship programme, which hothouses young film talent. Five outstanding young filmmakers were selected in 2022 by directors Brendan Canty and Bob Gallagher for the opportunity to make a music video under their mentorship. Each finalist was matched with a track from the following up and coming Irish acts: Strange Boy, Paddy Hanna, Willzee and Elaine Mai. Thanks to the support of an Arts Council YPCE Project Award, YMVC 2022 offered participants stipends of €1000, and for the first time the winner of best music 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 2022 YMVC award will be announced followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers and mentors, moderated by Jessica Bonenfant, the YMVC coordinator.

The 2022 YMVC Directors

Rachel McGill & Fionnuala McCormack – Strange Boy
Rachel McGill is a filmmaker from Limerick. She won the Talent Nation competition and was mentored in the prestigious Camerimage festival in 2019. She graduated from the NFS in 2020. She recently completed a film funded through the ENGINE Short Film Scheme. Rachel likes to explore controversial topics in an unconventional way, exploring our deepest fears and anxieties.

Based in Meath, Fionnuala McCormack graduated from the NFS in 2020. Her most recent work includes directing a short documentary with BBC Gaeilge on women’s sexuality, and participating in the 25th Ji.Hlava Academy mentored by Khvan De La Cruz. She loves her work to be a collaborative journey with other artists in the hope of conveying the beautiful complexities of the human experience.

Rachel and Fionnuala are both passionate about female representation in film and media. They love to intertwine experimental visuals within their work, using their films to explore social issues or convey an intimate human experience.

Ian Fallon – Paddy Hanna
Ian Fallon is a writer, director and editor from Kildare studying in the NFS. His first short, Victim, was nominated for the Short Form Award at the Royal Television Society ROI Student Awards. He received the Cork International Film Festival Award at the 2021 First Cut! Festival for his short Last Letter. Ian’s main focus is on storytelling and how it affects, challenges and engages the audience.

Fia Wren – Willzee
Fia Karma Wren is an emerging film artist focused on creating experimental films and documentaries. Her work has been screened at festivals such as the Galway Film Fleadh. She won ‘Best Director’ at First Cut! in 2019. Fia recently graduated from the National Film School of Ireland with a first class honours in Film. Her work has since been featured in the Irish Arts Review.

Cara Gaynor – Elaine Mai
Cara Gaynor is a 23 year old filmmaker from Dublin and a 2021 graduate from the NFS at IADT. Creating stories and giving people a visual platform to share their story is extremely important to her. She likes to work on projects that not only entertain but educate. Being a dancer for 18 years and growing up in a very musical and design heavy household has influenced her filmmaking.


Brendan Canty has forged his way as one of the most exciting and prolific Irish directors. He had massive early success with his video for Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’ (over a billion views on Youtube and two MTV VMA nominations). Brendan has gone on to direct consistently elegant and visually stunning music videos for top international artists. His 2017 short For You won a Kinsale Shark and was nominated for an IFTA. His 2019 short Christy is being developed as a feature with BBC Films and Screen Ireland. He recently won Best Director at Show Me Shorts Festival for his latest short film Atali’i O Le Crezent.

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.