RTÉ and Northern Ireland Screen today announced the commission of four new original dramas for the new season of Storyland, the award-winning commissioning project that gives emerging Irish drama talent an opportunity to make original programmes, viewable to a global audience on RTÉ Player. More than two hundred aspiring and experienced drama production teams applied this year.
For the seventh series of Storyland, RTÉ and Northern Ireland Screen have commissioned four single dramas of up to twenty minutes duration, which will be shown later this year to national and international audiences on RTÉ Player.
From the story of a Kurdish refugee arriving by truck to Ireland, to a mixed-race girl struggling with her identity in 1980s Belfast these dramas tell diverse, new Irish stories. The four production companies who have been awarded the commissions are: Lacada Entertainment, Tyrella Films, Afro-Mic Productions, and Treasure Entertainment.
"Now in its seventh season, Storyland on RTÉ Player has proven to be a hugely important platform to showcase emerging creative talent from the TV and film industry on the island of Ireland, says David Crean, Storyland Executive Producer for RTÉ. "Across writing, acting and directing, Storyland showcases the great breadth of Ireland’s creative talent, identifies talented storytellers for RTÉ and introduces them to a global audience. As the production teams get ready to start shooting we wish them all well and hope they enjoy translating their ideas into strong, entertaining dramas."
"In any medium a great story is central to success, says Northern Ireland Screen CEO Richard Williams, "and Storyland allows us to develop and invest in a new generation of writing talent. We are delighted to be partnering again with RTÉ for this year’s Storyland where doubtless we will discover some exciting, new Northern Ireland voices."
The 2017 Storyland commissions are:
On The Hemline
Set in Cork, long-term unemployed northsider Martha needs to support her daughter Dawn's acceptance into a STEM programme in secondary school. Through the charity Hemline she meets recently widowed southsider Sheenagh. Their different worlds collide, but together they embark on a journey of self development that prepares Martha for her first job interview in years.
Starring Eileen Walsh as Martha and Cathy Belton as Sheenagh. Produced by Barbara Healy for Tyrella Films, written and directed by Oonagh Kearney.
A Sign of Things
Having lost his job after his factory closed, Dad, Daniel, is now seemingly devoting himself to the church. When his wife Shauna agrees to let a racy cabaret bar pay to advertise on the side of their house, a family showdown ensues.
Starring Nigel O Neill as Daniel, Mary Lindsey as Zara and Jenny Walsh as Rebecca. Produced by Julie Gardner for Lacada Films, written by Ewen Glass and directed by Aidan Largey.
A music obsessed mixed-race girl questions her identity when she becomes the victim of bullying in 1980s Belfast.
Starring Kelly Gough as Marie, Martin McCann as Mr McNally and Grace Fleming as Rosa. Produced by Emma-Ros
a Dias for Afro-Mic Productions, written by David McCrea and directed by Imogen Murphy.
A Kurdish political activist flees Iran and arrives by truck in Ireland, but the asylum system overwhelms him and he resorts to desperate measures to have his voice heard.
Produced by Claire McCaughley for Treasure Entertainment, written by Colin Murphy and directed by Vincent Gallagher.