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.

Please note, applications for this year’s Ignite Programme have now closed.

‘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 2023, and Docs Ireland in June 2024.
  • Regular online training days from November 2023 – June 2024
  • The opportunity to attend leading International Documentary Film Festival, Sheffield Doc Fest.

See below for a list of our YEAR 3 IGNITE participants.

Full IGNITE guidelines are available to view below:

IGNITE 4 Guidelines (in English)

IGNITE 4 Guidelines (as Gaeilge)

Applications for this year’s Ignite Programme have now closed.

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 Year 3 Participants


Project information

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.