Twelve Ohio University students, including eleven from the School of Media Arts & Studies, spent their summer in Ireland studying Screenwriting, Documentary Storytelling and Irish Culture Through Media.
Based at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny, County Donegal, each student adapted a short story from Irish literature into a short film screenplay and, working in teams of two, researched, conducted interviews, and wrote 15-30- minute documentary scripts. Documentary topics included Ireland as the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage via popular vote, the country’s alarming increase in the homeless population (the number of homeless families in Ireland increased 76% in just eight months), and the story of Letterkenny as told through the history and architecture of several centuries-old buildings.
Letterkenny’s location, less than 15 miles from the UK border, allowed the students to travel to the city of Derry, where they learned about the difficult history of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, and to Belfast, where they visited the Titanic Museum and met with an assistant director from “Game of Thrones," which is filmed at nearby Titanic Studios.
The 6-week program also included a weekend trip to Dublin, and a visit to the Irish Film Institute to meet filmmaker Paul Duane who screened his most recent documentary, “Very Extremely Dangerous.” Other Irish filmmakers also met with the students at weekly screenings.
In addition, the students attended the Galway Film Fleadh where they viewed a variety of narrative and documentary films, most of which were presented/introduced by the producers, director or cast members.
To learn more about the program from the students themselves, and to see additional photos, visit the program’s blog: OU Ireland 2016.
For information about next summer’s program in Ireland 2017 contact Associate Professor Frederick Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.