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05/07/2024 - Donegal Film Office Bursary Awarded


Donegal Film Office at Donegal County Council is delighted to announce Shannon Welby, Bébhinn Naughton, and Connor Richmond are the recipients of the 2024 Donegal Film Bursary funded by Creative Ireland.  The Bursary is supporting stories told by local people and will engage cast, crew, and services from within the county.


Screenwriter Shannon Welby and Director Bébhinn Naughton both hail from Donegal, and Connor Richmond has many connections to the place, all having worked in the film and television industry for several years.


Shannon (Writer) comments:

“The script tells the story of a Donegal taxi driver who is eyes and ears to the community. At Christmas time, he witnesses the transient festive period of young people and emigrants only home temporarily. He has an opportunity to play an important – yet surprisingly mischievous – role in their lives. This story gives Donegal characters and Donegal humour a chance to shine, whilst exploring feelings of disconnection and reconnection to home”.


Bébhinn (Director) adds:

“The value in leaving your hometown and experiencing life outside the bubble in which you grew up is that you return with a new appreciation for the aspects that make it unique. For me, I was surprised at how much colloquial language I used and how my vocabulary had been shaped by my Donegal upbringing or was influenced by the Irish language.

I am so grateful for the support of the Donegal Film Office. It is an incredibly exciting time in the Irish Film Industry and Donegal in particular continues to establish itself as a world-class filming location. I am so impressed by what has been achieved here already and I can’t wait to tap into the wealth of talent and resources the North West has to offer.”


Connor (Producer) reflects:

“It is a brilliantly exciting and collaborative experience working with long-time friends Shannon and Bébhinn as they unite once again to make another short film together. Huge thanks goes to the Donegal Film Office for trusting us to tell this story, whilst also giving us the opportunity to put the daily dramas of Donegal and our regionally-specific characters and their personal perspectives and problems, on the global stage. Shannon’s script is a stunning example of Irish storytelling, alongside director Bébhinn, who brings a grounded and wholesome take on this timely tale. It is a joy to be working with them on this journey, whilst we take a moment to showcase the spinning doors of life and shine a light on a funny, entertaining, and profound collection of missed, moving, and magic moments. Here we go!”.


Shannon Welby Biography

Last year nominated for Galway Film Fleadh 'Bingham Ray New Talent' Award, Shannon’s accolades include selection for BBC Writersroom Voices, reaching the top 1% of 4,287 scripts for BBC Writersroom Open Call, development with RTÉ Storyland, Screen Ireland Spotlight TV Comedy, and Virgin Media Discovers Final 30. Her work includes being part of the writer’s room for award-winning BBC drama ‘Blue Lights’, writing an episode of Cartoon Network-Warner Media series ‘Goat Girl’, & shadow writing on Kiwi-Irish thriller ‘The Gone’.


Bébhinn Naughton Biography

Bébhinn has a background working in Visual Effects Production across Ireland, Iceland and the UK. Her most recent VFX credits include HBO’s ‘True Detective - Night Country’, the Apple TV+ Feature Film 'Swan Song' directed by Academy Award winning director Benjamin Cleary and HBO's 'Avenue 5’ from the brilliant, comedic mind of Armando Ianucci. Building on the success of her first short film ‘Every Limerence Helps’ which won ‘Best Debut’ at the 2021/22 Dublin International Comedy Film Festival, she has returned home with the hope of reconnecting with the local film Industry and progressing her career as a Director.


Connor Richmond Biography

Connor is Two Cities TV’s Development Coordinator, and he is currently assistant script editing the series Amadeus (Sky). He was a Trainee Script Editor on the development of Blue Lights (BBC), a Script Secretary on the feature film LOLA, Script Assistant on A Bump Along The Way, and a Reader for Mammoth Screen and UK Film Festival. He has a PGDip in Script Development from the National Film and Television School and was a Shadow Script Editor for BBC Writers. He also production coordinated the animated series Pablo (CBeebies/RTÉjr), SOL (TG4/BBC Alba/S4C), and Ladybird & Bee (RTÉjr) for Paper Owl Films, and the film Boys From County Hell. He started as a 3rd AD and Script Supervisor’s Assistant on Emmerdale (ITV).Connor also runs his own company, Dogleap Productions, with a small development slate.


Aideen Doherty added.  


“The film office was delighted with the number and quality of the applications submitted.

Applicants for the bursary were required to show significant accomplishment in their field or display a high degree of promise in their ability to sustain the industry in the county”.