Ignite Logo With Background

Cork International Film Festival and Docs Ireland are delighted to announce the six new projects for Year Two of its cross-border Documentary Talent Development Programme, IGNITE.

IGNITE is a talent development programme directed towards emerging Irish and Northern Irish documentary filmmakers embarking on their first or second non-fiction feature film. It is a cross-border partnership that aims to foster a new generation of documentary filmmakers, an innovative collaboration between the island’s first and newest film festivals, Cork International Film Festival and Docs Ireland. The participants and projects for Year Two are: 

Asking For It – Grace Sweeney (Director), Anna Callan (Producer)

Imagine a world where a man accused of a brutal murder is acquitted because he claims his female victim asked to be killed. Crime fiction? Asking For It examines the reality of the “rough sex defence”. 

Chinese Takeaway Kids – Diana Cheung (Director), Sam Howard (Producer)

Three generations of Chinese immigrants in Ireland explore their relationships with identity, culture and belonging as they navigate their struggle to stop the dilution of their Chinese heritage.

Girls Who Run The World – Lia Campbell (Director), Anna Callan (Producer)

Two unlikely places – East Belfast, Northern Ireland and Bekoji, Ethiopia – both home to some of the worldʼs most promising female athletes. This documentary film follows these promising young runners, asking why they are the girls who run?

Shay – Mia Mullarkey (Director), Collie McCarthy (Producer)

Fr. Shay Cullen has spent five decades rescuing exploited children from the sex industry and adult prisons in the Philippines. This feature documentary is an intimate portrait of a humanitarian hero.

The Inner Voice Of Tony Cascarino – Jonathan Farrelly (Director), Anna Mannion (Producer)

Tony Cascarino looks back on his life through the lens of his ‘Inner Voiceʼ, that little part of him that seemingly never wanted himself to succeed.

Unsilencing: My Journey to Carlow – Sandrine Ndahiro (Director), Alison Byrne (Producer)

Question your bias and delve into the exploration of the dual nature of the Irish identity. Shining a light on lived experiences from other ethnic minorities, Unsilencing shows the triumphs and challenges that have been faced by those on their quest of integrating into Co. Carlow, Ireland.

Fiona Clark, CIFF Director & CEO, said: “Our key focus with IGNITE, one of year-round Strategic activities,  is to aid the sustainable growth of the documentary film community across the island of Ireland by providing a homegrown training ground for emerging filmmakers with our partners Docs Ireland, Belfast. We are delighted to welcome this new cohort of diverse and interesting projects for 2021/’22 and are excited to help develop their documentaries and skill sets further over the next year. Many congratulations to the Year Two participants, we look forward to working with them.” 

Docs Ireland Director Michele Devlin also commented: “Following the enormous success of IGNITE in Year One, we are thrilled to see a new group join this important cross-border talent development programme. Docs Ireland and CIFF are uniquely placed to deliver this professional training through our extensive knowledge and network of high calibre industry connections. We will continue to work to strengthen creative film orientated links between the north and south of the island.”

Year Two of the IGNITE Documentary Talent Development Programme follows the success of Year One where six feature documentary projects from emerging filmmakers were developed through training, workshops and one-to-one mentoring. This is a project-led scheme, which supports the progression of the selected projects and their teams through training focused on the development process of documentary from inception to exhibition. The scheme fosters a new generation of creative non-fiction talent from all over Ireland to pursue their first or second feature, and to provide them with a platform to develop the spectrum of skills and knowledge required to succeed as a feature documentary filmmaker on an international level.

The IGNITE programme will provide a long-term engagement, comprising:

  • Training days of workshops at Cork International Film Festival in November 2021, and Docs Ireland in June 2022
  • Out-of-festival training events in Spring 2021
  • The opportunity to attend a leading International Documentary Film Festival

The Ignite Documentary Talent Development programme is supported by TG4, the Arts Council of Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland, Screen Skillnet, Northern Ireland Screen and Arts & Business NI.


Presented in partnership with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, and supported by Screen Skills Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Cork International Film Festival is delighted to present its high-calibre Industry Days both online and in person at this year’s Festival. The programme includes a keynote interview with US documentarian Dawn Porter (in conversation with Aideen Kane, co-director of The 8th), a case study centred around the documentary feature film Lyra (screening at this year’s Festival) and a career interview with renowned Irish filmmaker Pat Collins.

First Take Online (Monday 15 November)

First Take is a training and development platform for newly established film professionals, film and media students and the wider film industry, which comprises case studies, presentations and panel discussions. Its intention is to promote fresh thinking amongst emerging and working filmmakers, inspiring them to be proactive in creating and promoting their own film work. Sessions will focus on the casting process, the actor as a creator, audience design for film, and will include a special case study on a new feature film from the 2021 Cork International Film Festival programme. The event will take place online on Monday 15 November and will be available for catch-up on the Cork International Film Festival online platform until the end of November. 

Doc Day Online (Tuesday 16 November)

Cork International Film Festival continues to develop its focus on high-quality Irish and international documentary cinema with Doc Day, connecting emerging and established non-fiction filmmakers with industry professionals and the wider documentary sector, with the objective of helping to inform, inspire and develop opportunities within the global documentary landscape. Doc Day will profile a keynote interview with US documentarian Dawn Porter, include a case study centred around the documentary feature film Lyra (screening at this year’s Festival), and explore the editing process behind the new documentary film Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain. The event will take place online on Tuesday 16 November and will be available for catch-up on the Cork International Film Festival online platform until the end of November. 

Doc Day Live (Thursday 11 November)
In addition to the online offering for Doc Day 2021, Cork International Film Festival will host an in-person documentary event and networking session in advance of the Documentary Gala Screening of Pat Collins’ new film The Dance on Thursday 11 November. The event will provide an opportunity for players in the Irish documentary industry to meet and network after a long absence, and will include a career interview with filmmaker Pat Collins, as well as a panel discussion presented in partnership with Screen Producers Ireland. 

All Industry events are free but ticketed. Visit corkfilmfest.org/industry for further details and to book.

The 66th Cork International Film Festival is on sale now. Download the myCIFF app  or visit corkfilmfest.org to browse and book.