Local author Imelda Carroll won ‘Best Screenplay’ for her screenplay Chicken Out at the recent Dublin International Comedy Film Festival. The screenplay was first developed when Imelda was chosen along with 11 others to attend the Wexford Screenwriters Professional Development Workshop, funded by Wexford County Council’s Arts Department along with Film Base and Bodecii Film, in 2017 and 2018.
As part of the process, the screenwriters had to pitch their script to a room full of directors.
“I was delighted to be approached afterwards by Richard Keane of Out Left Productions who was very interested in my script,” says Imelda. “We then developed a pitch for our film with producer Nadège Dumont. We were delighted to be selected for the First Frames Short Film Fund 2019/2020 run by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.
Filming for the film was delayed due to Covid-19 but Out Left Productions was finally shot in September 2020.
“Richard managed to put together a great cast, Rosemary Henderson, Joe Rooney, Eleanor O’Brien as the long-suffering Lindsey and Darragh O’Toole as the chicken man himself, Barry. And Charlie is a little star in the making,” says Imelda.
The film has been featured in a number of film festivals and film awards since its completion in April 2021. To deflate won Best Comedy Short at the Cooper Awards and ONYKO Awards. At ViZ Film Fest 2021, it won Best Short Film, Best Short Comedy, and Best Short Film Cinematography.
In November 2021, it won multiple categories at the New Jersey Film Awards: Best Comedy Short, Best Director, Best Ensemble, and Best Movie Poster. The film also screened at the Waterford Film Festival and the Richard Harris International Film Festival, the 12th Underground Cinema Film Awards, and was shortlisted for the Chicago Irish Film Festival 2022.
Imelda, who won Scripts, The All Ireland Playwriting Festival in 2016 and Write by the Sea’s inaugural short story competition, is also a long-time member of the Wordplay Actors and Writers Studio which meets monthly at the Wexford Arts Centre.
“To deflate was screened as part of the Dublin International Short Film and Music Festival in October where it was also nominated for Best Comedy,” she says. “It was so exciting to see the film on the big screen at Cineworld Cinema. I was then absolutely thrilled to learn that I had won the “Fleabag Award” for best screenplay at the Dublin International Comedy Film Festival and also that Richard Keane won the award for best editor and received a nomination for the best director.
Although the film is not on general release, Imelda hopes a local screening is imminent. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer for To deflate below.