Ignite Logo With Background

Docs Ireland and Cork International Film Festival are delighted to announce the six new projects for Year Three 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 cinematic 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 Three are:

Answering the Call: The Corncrake Project

Director: Martin Danneels

Producer: Laura Cranley

Writer: Geoff Power

Set on Ireland’s rugged north-west coastline, Answering the Call follows an audacious plan to save a tiny population of corncrakes by changing the mindsets of farmers.

And There We Were

Director: Christina Bennett

Producer: Bonnie Boyle

An exploration of how a housing estate in the west of Ireland came to be known as Little Belfast.

If Love Be Blind

Director/Producer: Bob Gallagher

The film explores the role of visual media in shaping our attitudes towards desire, the experience of attraction through blindness, and the invisible part other senses play in the process.

Mo Mheantóir Seán McGuire

Director: Méabh O’Hare

Producer: Karol Lynch

An Irish language feature documentary looking at the real legacy of the Irish fiddle maestro Seán McGuire. Who was this tour de force? What was the truth behind the many stories that surrounded his life? Who was the real man? Myth or legend?

Searching for Samantha (Ar Thóír Samantha)

Director: Ciara Hyland

Producer: Ciara Buckley

When a young girl turns up outside the General Post Office in Dublin unable to speak, it sparks an international hunt to reveal her identity. But that’s just the start of the story.


Director: Oisín Mistéil

Producer: Claire McCabe

Try! follows the colourful and diverse mixed ability rugby community in Ireland on their journey to the World Cup. 

Created in collaboration between Cork International Film Festival (Ireland’s first and largest film festival and destination for cinematic documentary) and Docs Ireland (the all-Ireland documentary focused festival from Belfast Film Festival), this cross-border partnership seeks to foster a new generation of Irish documentary filmmakers from the north and south of Ireland.

Feature documentary in Ireland has developed exponentially over the past decade, with countless award-winning non-fiction films gaining traction and being showcased both nationally, and on an international level; through festivals, cinema releases, television broadcast and VOD. The aim of Ignite is to aid in the long term sustainable growth and artistry of talent in the Irish documentary film community, through training and skills development, mentorship and drawing from the resources and expertise of both festivals.

The scheme is project-led, and supports the progression of the selected projects and their teams, through training that focuses on the development process of documentary, from inception to exhibition. The scheme aims to foster a new generation of non-fiction creative documentary talent from all over the island of 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.

During this comprehensive training initiative, participants will gain a grounding in all facets of developing their project, and will acquire market knowledge of the documentary industry, learning about the current trends in non-fiction film production, and giving them an expansive understanding of the sector. The programme includes workshops, masterclasses, and in person conversations with established documentarians, broadcasters, funders, sales agents, and other industry professionals. All training takes place in an intimate environment, which will allow a hands-on approach; facilitating maximum learning potential and the opportunity to network and foster new relationships.

The 2022/2023 programme provided a long-term engagement, comprising:

  • Training days at Cork International Film Festival in November 2022, and Docs Ireland in June 2023.
  • Regular online training days from November 2022 – June 2023
  • The opportunity to attend a leading International Documentary Film Festival.