Ignite Large

Ignite is a joint initiative of Cork International Film Festival & Docs Ireland, Belfast, supported by TG4, the Arts Council of Ireland, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen.

‘IGNITE’ is a bilingual talent development programme directed towards emerging Irish documentary filmmakers embarking on their first or second non-fiction feature film. 

Created in collaboration between Cork International Film Festival and Docs Ireland, 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, 
  • acquire market knowledge of the documentary industry,
  • learn about the current trends in non-fiction film production,
  • gain 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 programme provides 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.


To apply for the third edition of the IGNITE Documentary Talent Development Programme, please complete the application form below, including full details of the project, and the director and producer attached:

IGNITE Application Form (in English)

IGNITE Application Form (as Gaeilge)

We would appreciate it if, when submitting your application, you complete the Ignite Diversity Form for both members of your creative team. It is completely anonymous, and is used for the purpose of the diversity monitoring of both Cork International Film Festival and Docs Ireland. The form is available below:

Ignite Diversity Form (in English)

Ignite Diversity Form (as Gaeilge)

The deadline for applications is Friday September 30th at 5pm. Successful projects will be announced on October 17th.

Full IGNITE guidelines are available to view below:

IGNITE Guidelines (in English)

IGNITE Guidelines (as Gaeilge)

If you have any queries, please contact ignite@corkfilmfest.org

The Ignite Documentary Talent Development programme is supported by TG4, the Arts Council of Ireland, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen.

Ignite 2021-2022

Full Project / Participant List

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)

3 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?

Rebel With A Cause – 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.